House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) on Wednesday threatened to delay delivering articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate, thus creating more uncertainty and suspense in the process.

Pelosi cited her worries that Congress’s Republican-controlled upper chamber would hold an unfair trial to decide whether or not Trump should be removed from office.

“So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us,” Pelosi told reporters at a press conference shortly after the House charged Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. “That would’ve been our intention, but we’ll see what happens over there.”

Top Democratic aides claimed the House is “very unlikely” to send the Senate the two impeachment articles until at least early next month. The delay Pelosi is threatening could potentially lead to an institutional crisis. The House Speaker and other Democratic leaders are hoping to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) to take on trial rules they view as bipartisan.


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House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) also urged Democrats on Wednesday to make a last-minute attempt to postpone Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate so as to prevent the GOP-led chamber from throwing out the case. Hoyer said fellow Democrats also voiced this opinion, citing a recent Washington Post op-ed by constitutional attorney Laurence Tribe that insists postponing the sending of articles of impeachment to the Senate until the House is assured McConnell will conduct a fair process in trying Trump.

On Thursday, McConnell slammed House Democratic leaders’ efforts to delay the impeachment trial.

In comments on the Senate floor, the majority leader said the House’s impeachment decision “risks deeply damaging the institutions of American government” and added that the lower chamber “has let its partisan rage at this particular president create a toxic new precedent that will echo well into the future.” McConnell also said Pelosi and House Democrats were scared of sending “their shoddy work product” to the Senate.

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