“We’ve upped the ante on this,” Nancy Pelosi told Molly Ball, but unfortunately for her, Mitch McConnell called her bluff. By holding onto the articles of impeachment, Pelosi had hoped to dictate the terms of the Senate trial, or at least to paint it as hopelessly partisan. Either way, Pelosi and Chuck Schumer thought they could potentially buffalo a handful of McConnell’s caucus into handing them control of the impeachment trial proceedings.
Instead, Pelosi’s gambit has undermined the argument that impeachment was so urgent that the House couldn’t wait to get it done. Now, Politico reports, Pelosi’s looking for an off-ramp from the box canyon she inadvertently entered:
HERE’S WHAT’S CLEAR if you talk to House and Senate Democratic insiders: Speaker NANCY PELOSI is on the brink of ending her hold of the impeachment articles. The House is going to send them to the Senate in the near future, which will trigger the trial, most likely in the next few weeks. PELOSI has not given any hints of exactly when she might start this process, but we were told late Wednesday night this is coming soon.
THE LEFT WAS CLAMORING for PELOSI to hold the articles, in an attempt to get Senate Majority Leader MITCH MCCONNELL to agree to witnesses. He didn’t — and most people realized he never would.