Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY
Published 3:00 a.m. ET Dec. 19, 2019 | Updated 7:44 a.m. ET Dec. 19, 2019
WASHINGTON – A day after voting along mostly party lines to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, lawmakers are set to return to the Capitol as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced some uncertainty to the future timeline of the impeachment process.
Speaking at a press conference following the House’s vote on Wednesday evening, Pelosi seemed to suggest managers would not be named until Senate Republicans agreed to a “fair” process – which could result in a delay in the transmission of articles of impeachment to the Senate.
On Thursday, lawmakers will also deliberate and likely pass a major bipartisan trade agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement – the United States Mexico-Canada Agreement.
After the passage of impeachment articles, the House has to pass a separate resolution naming managers for impeachment in the Senate.
“We cannot name managers until we figure out what the process is on the Senate side,” Pelosi said. “So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us.”
The Senate has not yet announced its procedures for a trial.
Asked what she considered a fair trial, Pelosi cited Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comments that he was “not an impartial juror” as an example of an unfair trial.
Pelosi also met with committee chairs who had led the impeachment inquiry following the press conference.
Leaving the meeting, Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., told reporters, “It’s hard to appoint managers if you don’t know what the plan is going to be.”
Pelosi declined to comment as she left the Capitol, telling reporters, “Good night.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will speak on the Senate floor about what he denounced as the “precedent-breaking impeachment of the President of the United States” in a tweet.
Josh Holmes, a former top aide to McConnell, said in a tweet that Democrats’ strategy was the equivalent of “holding a grenade with the pin pulled rather than facing what happens when they send it over McConnell’s wall.”
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