House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declined to offer a timeline or commit to when exactly she will send the recent House passing of article of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate to trigger the start of a trial, despite calling on the urgency of his removal with only week left of his presidency.
Pelosi was asked if there were “any updates” on when she is planning to send over the Article of Impeachment to the Senate.
“No,” Pelosi responded to a reporter’s inquiry during her weekly news conference Friday afternoon.
“In terms of the timing, what our – as I mentioned – we, one week ago, on January 6th, there was an act of insurrection perpetrated on the Capitol of the United States, incentivized by the President of the United States. One week later, Wednesday to Wednesday, that President was impeached in a bipartisan way by the House of Representatives, so urgent was the matter,” Pelosi added. “They’re now working on taking this to trial, and when they – you’ll be the first to know when we announce that we’re going over there.”
However, the Senate is currently on recess and cannot accept the article resolution until they return back in session, currently scheduled a day before the Jan 20th inauguration on Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) rejected Democrats’ calls for the Senate to return this week by invoking an emergency reconvene of all 100 members, saying “there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial” could be accomplished before the swear-in ceremony of Joe Biden.
Pelosi gave remarks two days after the House passed the second impeachment articles against Trump, charging him for “incitement of insurrection” of rioters storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6. Prior to Wednesday’s House vote, Pelosi hand-selected nine new impeachment managers that will act as prosecutors during the Senate impeachment trial. She emphasized to reporters how eager the new team is “solemnly and prayerfully preparing” for the impending trial.
“Justice is called for as we address the act of insurrection that was perpetrated against the Capitol complex last week. Right now, our Managers are solemnly and prayerfully preparing for the trial, which they will take to the Senate,” Pelosi said.
The House Speaker also announced that she tapped retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore “to lead an immediate review of security infrastructure, interagency processes and command and control” of the Capitol complex.
“We must subject this whole complex, though, to scrutiny in light of what happened and the fact that the inauguration is coming,” Pelosi informed reporters of Honore, who has “experience with the National Capital Region’s security” serving as a former Vice Director for Operations, J-3, with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Speaker added, “I have said to the Members, we are very passionate to our reaction to this assault on our democracy, on this temple to democracy. We’re very passionate about our reaction, but we must be very dispassionate in how we make decisions to go forward for security, security, security… We’re grateful to General Honoré for making some recommendations to us on how we can keep our Members safe, our staff safe, the people who make the building function — our custodians and the rest, who had to clean up after this insurrectionist mob.”
When asked about a number of House Democrats asking the Sergeant-at-Arms and Capitol Police in a letter to look into the role GOP lawmakers may have played in plotting the riot by allegedly giving some in the group a tour of the Capitol the night before, Pelosi said those if found to be “accomplices” and “aided and abetted” the insurrection will be prosecuted.
“If it in fact it is found that members of Congress were accomplices to this insurrection, if they aided and abetted the crime, there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress in terms of prosecution,” Pelosi said.
Trump is reportedly set to leave office next Wednesday at noon.