The Majority Whip says no one in the Senate is in any rush to start Donald Trump’s trial.
Senator John Thune won’t be checking his watch anytime soon for those articles of impeachment.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to transmit the official paperwork to the Senate, after the House of Representatives impeached Donald Trump on Wednesday for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, making him only the third president in American history to be charged with such crimes.
He will go to trial early next year in the Senate to either be removed from office or acquitted.
“We assume at some point they’ll send it over, but they seem to be sitting on it for the time being,” Thune said while walking through Reagan National Airport on Thursday.
As he noted Pelosi holding off, Thune remarked, “She seems to think that she has got some leverage by keeping it over there. I don’t think anyone in the Senate is anxious to get it from ’em, so I don’t think… whatever she thinks she’s doing, is not working.”
Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that the House would wait to deliver the articles until the Senate had laid out the rules for the trial.
As to whether there would be any conditions set for the trial, Thune said, “I don’t think there’s been any conversations yet. We can’t take it up until the house moves it, so at the moment we’re kind of at a holding pattern. But, ya know, if they want to sit on it, we’re not in any rush to do it.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor Thursday that Pelosi’s decision to withhold the articles shows Democrats “may be too afraid to even transmit their shoddy work product to the Senate.”
Thune echoed that statement by saying, “It seems the fact that they aren’t anxious to send it over suggests they think they have a weak case. They want the senate to do the work for ’em.”
“It seems like that’s what they are holding out for, but for the moment… we in the Senate, we’ll just wait to see what the House does.”