A House chairman called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to send the impeachment articles to the Senate—the first House Democrat to do so.
“I understand what the speaker was trying to do—basically trying to use the leverage of that to work with Democratic and Republican senators to try to get a reasonable trial, a trial that would actually show evidence, bring out witnesses,” Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said during a Jan. 9 appearance on CNN.
“But at the end of the day, just like we control it in the House, Mitch McConnell controls it in the Senate,” Smith said, referring to the Senate majority leader. “I think it was perfectly advisable for the speaker to try to leverage that to get a better deal. At this point, it doesnt look like thats going to happen.”
“It is time to send the impeachment to the Senate and let Mitch McConnell be responsible for the fairness of the trial,” he added.
CNN anchor Dana Bash said that the comments from Smith were “perilous” politically; he was the first House Democrat to publicly call for Pelosi to transmit the articles. Bash said one House Democrat texted her saying members of the caucus arent speaking out publicly because theyre afraid of retribution from the Speaker. A number of Senate Democrats said this week that the articles should be transmitted.
Smiths comments came after Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) crafted a resolution calling on Pelosi to send the impeachment articles to the Senate.
Pelosi lacks “the power to effectively veto a resolution passed by a duly elected majority of the House of Representatives by refusing to transmit such a resolution to the Senate,” Graham wrote in the resolution, which he planned on introducing on Thursday.