A growing number of Senate Democrats are breaking with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her handling of articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
Seven Democrats — Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Doug Jones, Chris Murphy, Joe Manchin, Richard Blumenthal, Jon Tester, and Chris Coons — told various news outlets Wednesday that they are ready for Pelosi to transmit the articles so that the Senate can move forward with Trump’s trial.
Angus King, an Independent from Maine, also said he supported passing the impeachment baton to the Senate.
“If we’re going to do it, she should send them over. I don’t see what good delay does,” Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Bloomberg.
“I think the time has past. She should send the articles over,” Murphy told The Washington Post.
“We were ready on the day the articles were voted, to conduct the trial,” Blumenthal told Politico.
“At some point it’s appropriate to send them and in effect pass the baton to senators who are going to continue to insist on witnesses and documents.”
The House of Representatives impeached Trump on two separate articles — for abuse of power and obstruction — on Dec. 18. Democrats accused Trump of abusing his office by pressuring the Ukrainian government to open up politically-charged investigations in exchange for concessions from the administration.
Pelosi has refused to send the articles to the Senate in hopes of forcing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to commit to allowing witnesses to be called at Trump’s eventual trial.
Democrats ideally want to hear from current and former administration officials like Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, and John Bolton, the former national security adviser. Mulvaney was reportedly directly involved in discussions regarding U.S. military aid to Ukraine. Bolton reportedly voiced concerns to other officials regarding the administration’s actions towards Ukraine.
Pelosi’s strategy crumbled Tuesday when McConnell told his fellow Republicans on Tuesday that he had enough votes to proceed with the trial without committing to calling witnesses.