House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to send articles of impeachment to the US Senate this week after a weeks-long standoff with Senate Republican leadership.
Now a new political firestorm will kick off in the Senate as Republicans seek to reject the House's impeachment vote. The first shots in this new round were fired Sunday as President Donald Trump and Speaker Pelosi squared off ahead over the upcoming Senate impeachment trial.
"The president is impeached for life, regardless of any gamesmanship on the part of Mitch McConnell," Pelosi argued. "There is nothing the Senate can do to ever erase that."
On ABC's "This Week" she also declared, "Let's be optimistic about the future, a future that will not have Donald Trump in the White House, one way or another. Ten months from now we will have an election if we will not have him removed sooner. But again, he will be impeached forever."
Pelosi said today:
– Trump won't be president next year "one way or another"
– Dems may "have him removed sooner" than the election
– Trump "will be impeached forever"
It's clear: Impeachment was a Democrat hit job to stain Trump’s legacy and hurt him at the polls. Nothing more. pic.twitter.com/LY4TUwNiuZ
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) January 12, 2020
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise blasted Pelosi's gleeful claims, tweeting, "It's clear: Impeachment was a Democrat hit job to stain Trump's legacy and hurt him at the polls. Nothing more."
Rep. Fred Keller also said Pelosi's comments reveal that her agenda "has been only about one thing: impeaching a duly-elected President without facts and without evidence. Her quest to cancel 63 million votes and influence this year's election has been a total sham and a needless, divisive farce."
Meanwhile, Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani says the Senate can clear the president's name by simply dismissing the charges. Trump agrees the case should be dismissed, but Pelosi says that would be a coverup.
Trump tweeted, "Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have. I agree!”
Pelosi is finally acquiescing to send the two articles of impeachment to the Senate after failing to get Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to go along with her demands. McConnell stood firm stating, "There will be no haggling with the House over Senate procedure."
Democratic senators had even begun pressuring Pelosi last week to send the articles to the Senate. That came after critics pointed out that House Democrats had argued they needed to urgently pass impeachment articles before Christmas but then held onto them for several weeks, refusing to deliver them to the Senate.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and others have already rejected the House impeachment effort, predicting the Senate trial would end ”in a matter of days″ with a fast acquittal.