KEY POINTS

  • Pelosi will prepare to hand over articles of impeachment next week
  • Democrats failed to secure trial rules from Senate Republicans
  • Senate impeachment trial could begin in less than two weeks

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Friday that she is preparing to deliver both articles of impeachment to the Senate so that the trial may begin.

According to the New York Times, Pelosi said the process will begin next week after the House designates impeachment managers. While it appears that the Democrats did not succeed in securing trial rules that would include testimonies, Pelosi said she hopes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would share a draft of the trial rules before starting the trial.

McConnell has held steady in his stance that witnesses likely shouldn’t be allowed, or at the least, whether or not to allow them shouldn’t be decided until after the trial begins. Several Republicans, however, haven’t helped McConnell’s position over the past week.

On Monday, former national security advisor John Bolton said that he would be willing to comply with a subpoena to testify in the Senate. In response, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has come forward to say that he believes Bolton should appear as a trial witness. Surprisingly, President Donald Trump has also expressed support for witness testimonies during the trial, although he wants to subpoena Democrats.

Pelosi’s gamble to withhold the articles of impeachment for nearly three weeks doesn’t appear to be a victory for Democrats. While not an utter disaster, they aren’t getting what they wanted from Senate Republicans and instead may have made Democrats look petty in the public eye. Pelosi’s stalling tactic, if nothing else, may have extended the lifespan of the impeachment process in the national discussion, if only for a few extra weeks.

Both McConnell and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have said that they want to conduct the Senate trial as swiftly as possible, as both have already decided that they will vote to acquit. No doubt both men are also eager to move past the impeachment well before the election season heats up later this year.

Although the general consensus is that the Republican-dominated Senate will vote to not convict Trump, going through with impeachment will likely still benefit Democrats, regardless. Even when and if Trump is acquitted, he will forever be known as being only the third president to ever face impeachment. Democrats no doubt hope that taint will follow him and the Republican Party into 2020 and beyond.