House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats remain concerned how the GOP-led Senate will carry out President Donald Trump's impeachment trial

By Eric Todisco
January 12, 2020 04:00 PM

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling out how she believes the Senate’s Republican majority will handle the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

On Sunday, Pelosi, 79, told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that she had no regrets about withholding the impeachment articles from the GOP-led Senate, adding that Democrats remain concerned about how the trial will be handled.

“The president is impeached for life, regardless of any gamesmanship on the part of Mitch McConnell,” Pelosi said on This Week. “There is nothing the Senate can do to ever erase that.”

Pelosi also pushed back on Majority Leader McConnell’s claims that he will follow the precedent of former President Bill Clinton‘s impeachment trial in the late 1990s in bringing out any witnesses and new evidence after the opening presentations.

“President Clinton allowed the witnesses to come forward. President Trump has not allowed that,” she said. “The evidence was all there, it was just a question of bringing it to the forefront.”

Pelosi and Trump
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Last month, McConnell told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he would be in “total coordination” with the White House over how the impeachment trial would play out, angering Democrats and raising questions over whether it will be a fair trial.

Republicans have been openly concerned as well, including Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski who told local KTUU last month that she’s hoping to see a “full and fair process” play out during Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate.

“When I heard that I was disturbed,” Murkowski said of McConnell’s comments. “To me, it means that we have to take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense, and so I heard what leader McConnell had said, I happened to think that that has further confused the process.”

McConnell and other Republican lawmakers have made it clear they want a quick trial in the Senate, where it is widely expected Trump will be acquitted on his two impeachment charges.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski
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Until the Senate’s trial begins, Murkowski said she’s unsure how she’ll vote.

“How we will deal with witnesses remains to be seen,” Murkowski said, later adding that she doesn’t know yet how she’ll vote until the trial takes place. “For me to prejudge and say there’s nothing there or on the other hand, he should be impeached yesterday, that’s wrong, in my view, that’s wrong.”

Trump became the third president in American history to be impeached in December when the House of Representatives voted to impeach him on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over the Ukraine scandal.

Democratic lawmakers say Trump allegedly withheld about $400 million in military aid while pressuring Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky into launching a pair of investigations that would benefit Trump in the 2020 election.

Donald Trump
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

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The impeachment was preceded by a day-long debate on the House floor between Democrats and Republicans, who argued over the merit of Trump’s impeachment charges and later ultimately voted along party lines to impeach him.

It’s unlikely Trump will be removed from office over his impeachment, as a two-thirds majority vote is needed to remove him and Republicans already hold a majority in the 100-seat Senate, where the vote will take place with 53 seats.

It remains unclear when the impeachment trial will exactly take place or whether the Senate will call additional witnesses for the trial.

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