Senate Called On to Charge Pelosi with 'Obstruction of Congress' Over Impeachment
Democrats refuse to hand over articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump
The Senate is being called on to charge Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) with "obstruction of Congress" after refusing to hand over the Democrats' articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
Speaker Pelosi is refusing to transmit the articles to the Senate for a trial after they were passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday evening.
In the words of the very articles she is withholding, Nancy Pelosi is guilty of “obstruction of Congress.”
Yet, unlike the president, Pelosi has no constitutional basis for refusing the request from the Senate to submit the articles.
For weeks, the Democrats have been pushing impeachment as a matter of urgency.
Anti-Trump Democrats have insisted that President Trump needs to be impeached and removed from office as soon as possible, but they are now attempting to delay a Senate trial without good reason.
House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), declared in his report: “Given the proximate threat of further presidential attempts to solicit foreign interference in our next election, we cannot wait to make a referral until our efforts to obtain additional testimony and documents wind their way through the courts.”
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, argued at the December 9 hearing on that report: “We agree that when the elections themselves are threatened by enemies foreign or domestic, we cannot wait until the next election to address the threat.”
During the House debate on impeachment Wednesday, Nadler made the point again: “The threat is urgent.
"If we do not act — now — what happens next will be our responsibility as well as his.”
And during the opening House debate on the articles of impeachment Wednesday, Speaker Pelosi herself declared: “If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty.”
Yet just hours later, after House Democrats had voted to impeach the president, Pelosi told journalists that she was delaying the delivery of the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
She claimed not to have decided yet who the House “managers” of the trial in the Senate would be.
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are both complaining that Republicans will not offer a “fair trial” in the Senate — that is, a fair trial for the prosecution, not for the president.
Yet even Schumer himself, in arguing for additional witnesses to be called in the Senate, told CNN as recently as Monday morning: “We’re not trying to be dilatory. We’re trying to have the kind of justice America is known for, which is swift but fair justice.”
Now, however, Pelosi is dragging her feet, amidst reports that she will not transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate until early January.
It is not clear why the Senate needs to wait: Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution says clearly: “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”
Regardless of the formal transmission of documents, the Constitution allows the Senate to hold a trial as soon as an impeachment takes place in the House.
But Pelosi is claiming otherwise, apparently relying on the advice of left-wing law professors and the support of liberal legal analysts on cable news.
She is no longer rushing the process; she is now obstructing it, knowing that there is no two-thirds majority for removal in the Senate, which may even dismiss the charges as unconstitutional.
Unlike Trump, who can cite text and precedent in resisting subpoenas, Pelosi’s delay is unlawful and unprecedented.
According to political law expert Joel B. Pollak, by attempting to delay the process, Nancy Pelosi is guilty of obstruction of Congress and should be charged by the Senate.
She will fail, but just as the Democrats have told us for weeks that the president can be impeached for “attempting” to do something they consider wrong, Pelosi, too, can be held accountable to attempting to undermine the Constitution.
When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell loses patience and moves to dismiss the impeachment, he should add another charge — against Pelosi, for contempt.