Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday, Jan. 8, said that House Democrats’ turn is over after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) demanded more details and witnesses, while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) predicted the Senate will take up impeachment trial next week.
In a letter to her colleagues late on Tuesday, Jan. 7, Pelosi said, “McConnell has made clear that his loyalty is to the President and not the Constitution.”
The speaker said the process McConnell is outlining “is not only unfair but designed to deprive senators and the American people of crucial documents and testimony.”
McConnell gave his response on Wednesday morning, saying, “There will be no haggling with the House over Senate procedure.”
“We will not cede our authority to try this impeachment. The House Democrats’ turn is over,” the McConnell said.
McConnell announced on Tuesday that he had the 51 votes needed to establish the impeachment rules and delay a decision on calling witnesses until after opening arguments and questions from senators.
But speaking to reporters on Tuesday, McConnell said he hoped Pelosi will send over the articles of impeachment this week.
Echoing McConnell, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham also predicted that the Senate will start its impeachment proceedings next week.
“Hats off to Mitch McConnell for playing this very well. We’ll take the trial up next week,” Graham said in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, signaling an end to the stalemate over the impeachment articles.
Graham urged Pelosi to quickly send the two articles of impeachment to the Senate for disposition as she had claimed “it was urgent.”
“She’s losing Democrats in the Senate. The impeachment dam of Nancy Pelosi is about to crack,” he said.
Graham has also prepared a resolution urging Pelosi to transmit the articles “immediately.” The measure could be introduced as soon as Thursday.
Democratic senators have also predicted that the stalemate will be resolved this week and the impeachment trial will start soon.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told reporters on Wednesday, “My intuition is that we’re going to be in an impeachment trial pretty soon.”
Includes reporting from The Hill and The Associated Press