Pelosi not yet ready to transmit Trump's impeachment to the Senate

CNN's The Daily DC


For the past several weeks. There's been one burning question dominating this saga. When Will Nancy Pelosi? The speaker of the house transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate and therefore launched the trial process in the Senate. While this morning Speaker Pelosi finally addressed at that point. Take a listen now in terms of impeachment. You'll keep asking me the same question. I keep giving you the same answer. As I said right from the start art we need to see that the arena in which we are sending our managers is that too much to ask of course addressing that point in an answering that question or two different things. A Pelosi later added that she's not holding onto the articles indefinitely and that she would probably transmit them soon soon. I've got to fantastic guests to help me make sense of all of this political gamesmanship in a few minutes will be talking with CNN. National Security and legal analysts. Susan Hennessy but I I'm joined by my colleague. CNN Politics Congressional reporter. Alex Rogers Alex. Welcome to the PODCAST. Thanks so much for me so it seems to me. After days. Days Days of stasis on this story we did learn in the last twenty four hours several things one as I just said speaker. Pelosi said she's likely to transmit these soon she's not going to hold onto them forever. To President. Trump actually asserted yet again today. He's opened. Witnesses named some witnesses. He's interested in of course. Course which are total non starters For the Democrats in terms of Adam Schiff or Joe Biden or hunter Biden or the whistle blower but is has said and he's going to really leave this to the Senate. We learned that Mitch McConnell the majority leader in the Senate went to the White House and briefed the president on what the contours of this trial is going to look like. So it sounds like the president has more information about Mitch. McConnell's vision of how this trial is going to play out then speaker. Pelosi does which is why she's still hanging onto the articles as we're recording this at least and Finally we've learned that there seems to be a strategic divide going on between the president and and his advisors and or some of his advisers and certainly the Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell in terms of whether or not he wants some very vociferous defenders from the House Republican Conference To join in defending his case in the Senate McConnell of course worried that Too partisan partisan of abroal may upset the apple cart with some of the moderate center. Republicans that they need to keep on board with the plan here so all of those. Those things have emerged in the last twenty four hours and yet Nancy Pelosi is still holding onto the articles of impeachment. What does that mean soon when you expect her to send these to the Senate or she said today today I'll send them over when I'm ready and we're still trying to figure out what leverage she has Senator Majority Leader Mitch? McConnell said yesterday that she has none he has the votes. It's a simple majority devote Democrats are hoping that there are four Republicans to join them. But now we've talked to Susan Collins. Lisa Murkowski Mitt Romney and all of them are on Mitch McConnell. Donald Seidel Miss. So we're wondering here. What Nancy Pelosi is looking for if there's any possible signal that she could get from The Republican leader. She says that she just wants to see the rules. Mitch McConnell says let's just go back to the nineteen ninety nine precedent under Clinton and. Just run with that now she. It seemed to me when she walked into a press conference. Today Should two main message point. She wanted to hit when it came to the issue of impeachment. One was. She's not buying this whole Mitch. McConnell nineteen ninety nine Clinton enroll. She thinks he's not portraying how those were set up namely the Clinton rules were devised in a bipartisan agreement. And I think there was one hundred hundred nothing vote supporting them. In the United States Senate That was hammered out with the blessing of the leaders. Trent Lott and Tom Daschle. Nothing like that is going on with McConnell when Schumer right now is Pelosi's point number one so she doesn't By his argument that this is playing by the Clinton rules. That was one thing she wanted to drive home but number two it seems she wanted to sort of list Her reasons that she thinks she's been victorious in this decision to hold onto the articles articles namely that it has put the issue of documentation and witnesses front and center in a way that if the articles had immediately gone over in December. Maybe they weren't. What do you make of that? I mean her point is that there's a number of witnesses who have not been Who have refused to testify and the Clinton Peterman process? All of those witnesses had already talked before that that evidence was already out there But the thing is that she right now is losing not only those moderate Republicans Republicans at your needs but also Democrats. There's a number of them who've said in the past couple of days that let's just let's just get this started senator. Dianne Feinstein said if we're going to do it she she she should send them over. I don't see what good delay does. She's later walk that back. Other Congressmen have also Adam Smith at today on CNN. Basically said let's transmit these articles goals that's during the Senate trial and then he later said I misspoke wait. I missed how Senator Feinstein walked back to her comments. What did she say? Because it's all those comments my eyes widen so I I missed the walk back. She said today that those comments are now being taken out of context okay. I don't know if that's a real walk back. They're not out of context are they. I don't know vow. The the thing though is what does holding the articles now do for the Democrats. Are they really going to be able to change the rules. Or they can get these witnesses upfront. No Mitch McConnell has the votes. And he's ready to go he's made that crystal clear what What do you make of this concern concern that? McConnell has apparently expressed that Having some very vocal House Republican conference members who were Lord Diehard trump supporters at all costs be part of his defense may upset the apple cart of sort of the Republican unanimity. That you just described that he's been able cobbled together. How is how big of a concern do you sense? Is this for McConnell. So we have some reporting from Sarah Westwood Phil Mattingly came out today. There's there's this struggle between some of president trump's allies who think that a legalistic argument by Patsy. Baloney the White House counsel so is Not going to be good enough. You need to win this. It's it's not only trial but it's somewhat theater have your most for syphilis. Allies Congressman Jim Jordan Congressman Mark Meadows. Some of these people who can articulate the president's argument in different style. Then you also have Senator Mitch McConnell's view. It appears where those those people are going to turn off exactly the Republicans that you need. You Need Susan Collins. Lisa Murkowski the people people in the middle so the president right now is receiving this conflicting advice. And we don't know yet. I don't think the decision has been made on who is going to defend the president and the trial yet. Yeah no we have not heard that decision we know that Pets Bologna and his team. The White House counsel on his team Have put together a plan and that there seems to be one but we don't yet know exactly who will be doing the defending of the president. And I think that the president who we know consume so much Fox News and sort of has this echo chamber constantly feedback loop in in. His mind doesn't always necessarily think the way McConnell does about Are we just doing a full on brawl with the Democrats here or is there work to be done with your own party here and McConnell's clearly trying to make the case Mr President don't lose sight. Yes you're going to be acquitted but you've got to still keep your party on board. I think right now if you just run the nineteen ninety nine Clinton trial rules you will see each side making their argument and then a couple of days of questions from the senators and then you vote whether to dismiss the whole thing right then there or then to also get into the witnesses that Democrats think will bolster their case my final question for you before we go to break you say that Democrats will boast of their case. What about the fact that Donald Trump is still out there saying he wants them? Witnesses I Mitch. McConnell sort of in a no witnesses camp. He doesn't necessarily want to see Joe Biden or Hunter Abidin or the whistle blower called. So there's a difference there too is they're not of course There are some Republicans who want to see honor Biden. They WANNA Have I think Senator Ron Johnson said this week the full gamut of witnesses. But you've also seen Senator Susan Collins who you know really the crucial senator here say a that it would be inappropriate inappropriate for president trump to say to China investigate on our Biden Susan Collins once witnesses But we we don't really think that means also hundred I think we've that means you know people with firsthand evidence other people who testified before the house. Yeah actual impertinent witnesses to this What these articles of impeachment are about and therefore pertinent to this trial? Alex let's take a pause and our conversation for the moment legal analysts Susan. Hennessy will join us right

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