After overseeing the votes to impeach President Trump Wednesday night, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a few next steps to take: naming impeachment managers to make her case in the Senate and transmitting the approved articles of impeachment to that upper chamber.
Except, Pelosi announced at a press conference after the votes, she's not going to do either of those things just yet.
Voicing concern about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's willingness to hold a fair trial, Pelosi announced for the first time that she might not, in fact, be in a rush to send the articles of impeachment over to the Senate. She said instead she wanted to hear more about how the Senate planned to conduct the trial first, Vox reports.
"We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side," Pelosi said.
At the press conference, Pelosi criticized comments McConnell made on Fox News last week that suggested he was very much in the tank for Trump. "Everything I do during this, I'm coordinating with the White House counsel," McConnell said then. "There will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this.
"It's up to the senators to make their own decision working together" on how to run the trial, Pelosi said. "Hopefully in recognition that there are witnesses the president withheld from us, there are documents the president withheld from us, and I would hope that information would be available to go to a trial, to the next step."
Asked if she could guarantee she'd send over the impeachment articles to the Senate at all, Pelosi said, "That would have been our intention, but we'll see what happens over there." She also said she hopes she'll get more information from the Senate "soon."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rebuked President Trump at the start of the debate on the articles of impeachment, calling him an 'ongoing threat to our national security,' reports CNN.
"It is a matter of fact that the President is an ongoing threat to the integrity of our elections, the basis of our democracy," Pelosi said.
Pelosi added: "When the President's wrongdoing was revealed, he launched an unprecedented, indiscriminate and categorical campaign of defiance and obstruction."
She began by reading the salute the US flag.
"The republic for which it stands is what we are here to talk about today," she added.
Trump is "stunned" Democrats took it this far
One of President Trump's advisers said the President is "stunned" Democrats took their concerns about his dealings with Ukraine to the brink of impeachment.
Trump mentions a variation of this kind of reaction nearly every time the topic of impeachment comes up, the adviser said. He simply can't believe it's happening, the adviser continued.
Looking over the horizon to the 2020 campaign, this adviser argues impeachment actually helps Trump in his reelection bid.
"The enemy continues to be Washington," the adviser said.
"Partisan impeachment will be weaponized to our advantage," the adviser said, insisting Trump will paint himself as the victim to excite his base heading into the upcoming election battle.