Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his Republican colleagues on Thursday to expect President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial to begin early next week.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested on Thursday that she plans to send over the articles of impeachment against Trump “soon,” NPR reported.
"No, I'm not holding them indefinitely," Pelosi told reporters. "I'll send them over when I'm ready. That will probably be soon."
Pelosi had withheld the articles of impeachment as leverage in negotiations between McConnell and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who called for the trial to include witnesses. McConnell later said he had enough Republican votes to move forward with a trial with no witnesses. Pelosi is now calling for McConnell to release the resolution laying out the terms of the trial.
"All we want to know is what are the rules, it doesn't mean we have to agree to the rules or we have to like the rules," she said. "We just want to know what they are."
McConnell ready to move forward:
McConnell told Republican senators that they should plan for the trial to kick off next week.
“At lunch, we all heard that. And he says: ‘That’s my best guess,’” Indiana Sen. Mike Braun told Politico. “Which means that we’d get started next week.”
“He expects them at some point here very soon,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told the outlet. “The sense is that even if they got here at this very moment right now, there’s still a process involved to notify the White House and chief justice and turning it all around ... I’m not sure he has any specific knowledge, but the gut feeling is that it will come over there tomorrow and set up for a Monday start."
"Mitch said, 'we still expect ... the articles to come over soon. And, you know, maybe plan not to go home next Thursday,'" added North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer.
Pelosi not picking impeachment managers just yet:
Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that there would not be a Friday vote to select impeachment managers for the trial.
"I'll be communicating with my members, and perhaps we'll see that,” she said.
Democrats blasted McConnell for refusing to allow witnesses. McConnell has said the Senate can vote on whether to allow witnesses after the trial begins.
“A Senate trial should be like any other trial. Senators should hear from witnesses. Senators should see the documents. Only then can they make the best possible decision regarding the President’s misconduct. Once upon a time, Mitch McConnell felt the same,” tweeted Rep. Adam Schiff, along with an old clip of McConnell on CNN.
“It is not unusual to have a witness in a trial,” McConnell said in the clip. “It is certainly not unusual to have a witness in an impeachment trial. … The House managers have only asked for three witnesses. I think that’s pretty modest.”