KEY POINTS

  • Pelosi has delayed sending articles of impeachment to the Senate, saying she wants to see the rules first
  • Republicans accuse Pelosi of attempting to dictate the shape of an impeachment trial
  • Trump says if Bolton is called as a witness, he will move to restrict the testimony

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she likely would send articles of impeachment against President on to the Senate “soon” even though Republicans have not agreed to call any witnesses at the Senate trial.

The House impeached Trump last month for trying to pressure Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for $391 million in military aid and then blocking Congress from investigating his actions. Since then, Pelosi has declined to send them on to the Senate, saying she wanted to see the trial rules first.

"I'm not holding them indefinitely," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. "I'll send them over when I'm ready, and that will probably be soon."

Pelosi has run into sharp criticism from Republicans, who accused her of trying to dictate how the Senate trial should be run and of holding on to the articles because she knows there is no case.

Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., introduced a resolution to censure Pelosi for delaying the articles, calling it “a pathetic and unconstitutional attempt to extract concessions from the Senate.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Pelosi’s inaction has united Republicans and Democrats opposed “to her own reckless behavior.”

Earlier this week McConnell said he has the votes to proceed with a trial without immediately deciding on whether to call witnesses or seek documents. Democrats want to hear from key administration officials including former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

Bolton has said he is willing to testify if subpoenaed, but Trump indicated he would try to limit what

Bolton could reveal.

"People can’t go up and say whatever my thoughts are, whatever your thoughts are about us, countries' views. You don't want that to be out," Trump said, adding that he wants to preserve executive privilege for future presidents.

“We have to protect presidential privilege," he said.