US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi will not send formal charges of misconduct against President Donald Trump to the Senate on Friday, according to a senior Democratic House aide, despite growing expectations that such a move could come soon.
The Democratic-led House impeached Trump last month on charges that he abuses his power in dealings with Ukraine and obstructed efforts by Congress to investigate the alleged misconduct. But a trial to determine his guilt or innocence cannot begin in the Senate until the House transmits the charges.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the chamber's No. 2 Democrat after Pelosi, told reporters that he did not expect any impeachment-related resolution to come to a vote on Friday, such as a measure naming a slate of lawmakers to serve as prosecutors at Trump's trial.
"The speaker will make this decision, the speaker will make the announcement and the speaker will take the action. It will be when the speaker decides," Hoyer said.
Pelosi has withheld the charges, known formally as articles of impeachment, for weeks in a bid to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to divulge details of his plan for a Senate trial.
Democrats, fearing the Republican-controlled Senate could quickly dismiss charges against Trump, want a guarantee that the trial will include testimony from witnesses, including former Trump national security adviser John Bolton.
Pelosi said on Friday that she would send the charges to the Senate "soon" but demanded to see details of McConnell's trial rules, which are not expected to address the question of witnesses until the proceedings are well under way.
A McConnell aide had no comment, when asked when a resolution spelling out the trial plan might be unveiled.