FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – One day after their historic vote to impeach President Donald Trump, House Democrats say they may delay sending those two articles to the Senate, where a trial will be held.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she won’t name House impeachment managers until she sees how the Senate will conduct its trial.
On Twitter Thursday, Senator Ted Cruz called it an “excellent idea,” and suggested the Speaker wait until November 2, 2020.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 19, 2019
Senator John Cornyn tweeted “We’ll just confirm more federal judges, maybe take up USMCA, and pass a highway/infrastructure bill while the Speaker dawdles.”
David Coale, a Constitutional Law Attorney in Dallas said, “We have two sentences in our Constitution that speaks to this. One gives the House the full power of impeachment. The other gives the Senate sole power to try a case of impeachment.”
Coale said we’re in unchartered territory, but that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t have to wait for Speaker Pelosi to transfer the two articles of impeachment against the President to the Senate. “At some point, the Senate would be within its rights to say we’re going to go ahead and start on some kind of trial.”
During the Senate’s trial, House impeachment managers will present the Democrats’ case and then President Trump’s attorneys will present his.
Chief Justice John Roberts will preside.
In an interview Wednesday, Senator Cruz told CBS 11, “You’re not going to see Elizabeth Warren and me going 15 rounds in the middle of the trial. Instead, we will sit at our desks and listen to the evidence presented.”
On Thursday, Majority Leader McConnell called the House Impeachment “constitutionally incoherent” and has said he won’t call new witnesses as Democrats request.
But Senator Cruz said he would welcome other witnesses. “My view is if the President wants to call witnesses in his defense, the House denied him that opportunity, they denied him due process, I think the Senate should give him the opportunity to call those witnesses.”
As for the House delaying sending the impeachment articles to the Senate, Nancy Bocskor, Director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at Texas Woman’s University, said it caught many people by surprise. “I think everybody seems to be stunned by this.”
Bocskor questioned the Speaker’s move because Senate Republicans have said they won’t convict and remove the President from office. “It is dead. There’s nothing that’s going to happen. You can put it on page one everywhere that Trump was impeached, but that’s all it was.”