McConnell tells Pelosi she can 'go right ahead' and hold onto impeachment papers amid impasse

Brendan Morrow

Democrats and Republicans are headed into the holidays while facing an impeachment impasse.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reiterated Monday she can't select impeachment managers until she knows "what sort of trial the Senate will conduct," while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called her position "absurd," The Washington Post reports.

After the House of Representatives last week passed two articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the rules of the Senate's trial still need to be agreed upon. Pelosi indicated last week she wouldn't appoint impeachment managers, a step necessary for the trial to move forward, "until we see what the process is on the Senate side." She added, "So far we haven't seen anything that looks fair to us."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) has called for White House witnesses like acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to testify at the trial, CBS News reports. Though McConnell has resisted these calls, he did say Monday that Republicans "haven't ruled out witnesses" while telling Pelosi, "I'm not anxious to have this trial, so if she wants to hold onto the papers, go right ahead."

Trump, meanwhile, accused Pelosi in a tweet Monday of "crying for fairness in the Senate, and breaking all rules while doing so."

Don't expect any major immediate progress to be made on the issue, with McConnell saying Monday, "Look, we're at an impasse. We can't do anything until the speaker sends the papers over, so everyone enjoy the holidays."

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