Pelosi, according to an aide, had been mulling the tactic since she heard former Nixon White House counsel John Dean float the idea on CNN on Dec. 5. In the committee meeting, she added that she believed McConnell would be motivated to move. “Somebody said to me today that he may not even take up what we send. [But] then [Trump] will never be vindicated,” she said, according to the aide in the room. “He will be impeached forever. Forever. No matter what the Senate does.”
The following day, Pelosi presided over the floor vote on impeachment, wearing a striking black suit to project solemnity, accessorized with a large gold brooch of the Mace of the Republic, a symbol of the House. When scattered cheers broke out inside the chamber after the first article was approved, she sternly and silently shushed them with a glare and a sharp gesture. After the vote, she announced that she did not plan to transmit the articles right away, saying she could not determine how to appoint House impeachment managers until the Senate decides on its rules for the trial.
It was originally understood that Pelosi was inspired by Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe, who
“also advised Democrats that they could withhold the articles of impeachment as leverage — even though the Constitution says explicitly that ‘The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments,'” writes Breitbart’s Joel Pollak.
Fox News political analyst, Brit Hume slammed Pelosi for taking advice from Dean, who played a major role in the coverup of the Watergate scandal during the Nixon Administration:
Always good to get strategic advice from the mastermind of the Watergate coverup. https://t.co/oviMkfMddp
— Brit Hume (@brithume) January 9, 2020
Breitbart’s Alex Marlow called Pelosi out for “basing her strategy on a network that just had to settle for defaming a 16-year-old,”– a reference to the recent news that Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann settled his multimillion dollar lawsuit with CNN.
Earlier today, Pelosi told reporters she would send the articles of impeachment over to the Senate “when I’m ready.”
Pelosi is now basing her strategy on a network that just had to settle for defaming a 16-year-old. https://t.co/kE9FWIlCwM
— Alex Marlow (@AlexMarlow) January 9, 2020
“I’m not withholding them indefinitely,” she said during a press conference. “I’ll send them over when I’m ready. And that will probably be soon. … documentation, witnesses, facts, truth. That’s what they’re afraid of”
Speaker Pelosi: "I'm not withholding them indefinitely. I'll send them over when I'm ready. And that will probably be soon. … documentation, witnesses, facts, truth. That's what they're afraid of" https://t.co/FdmhM5pCLB pic.twitter.com/ig5xhRa97W
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 9, 2020
Pelosi’s comments come as Democratic senators have expressed frustration with the lack of urgency from the Speaker to send the articles of impeachment over to the Senate.
“The longer it goes on the less urgent it becomes,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein told Politico. “So if it’s serious and urgent, send them over. It it isn’t, don’t send them over”
Senators Angus King (D-ME), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chris Coons (D-DE) have also come out this week calling for Pelosi to speed up the impeachment process.