Thursday, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, joined a resolution condemning House Democratic leadership for failing to promptly deliver the two Articles of Impeachment to the Senate.
House Democrats voted to impeach the President well before Christmas; but Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-California, has refused to deliver them to the Senate unless Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, makes concessions on the manner of the impeachment trial to Senate Democrats.
“Today I joined a resolution with 26 of my colleagues condemning the House of Representatives for withholding the Articles of Impeachment,” Sen. Shelby wrote on Twitter. “The speaker’s actions are currently inconsistent with the Constitution. @POTUS and the American people deserve better.”
The powerful Senate Judiciary Committee is chaired by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina.
“This resolution is a simple statement by the Senate,” Sen. Graham said. “It is our job as Senators to dispose of the articles that were lawfully passed. The Speaker’s attempt to shape or delay the trial is unprecedented. It cannot stand.”
“In addition, I am very pleased to see Democrats are raising their voices in support of the idea that Speaker Pelosi should transmit the Articles of Impeachment for disposition in the Senate,” Graham continued. “I believe this is a turning point in the debate. What the Speaker has been doing is inconsistent with the Constitution and unfair to the President and the American people. I hope and expect that this constitutional standoff will end soon.”
House Democrats claim that the President has obstructed Congress and abused his power and that these charges are so serious that they warrant impeaching the President. Republican scoff at the claim that Pres. Trump did anything that would warrant impeachment and dismiss the impeachment as a politically motivated “sham.”
While the House of Representatives has the power under the Constitution to forward Articles of Impeachment, it is the Senate that actually holds a trial onto whether the House allegations have merit or not and decide punishment, if any. While impeaching a President requires only a simple majority of the House of Representatives, convicting a President in the Senate requires a super majority and given the partisan makeup of the Senate it is unlikely that numerous Republican Senators will side with Democrats to convict the President. Not a single House Republican voted in favor of Pelosi’s impeachment articles.
Even Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, has expressed impatience with Pelosi’s theatrics.
“If we’re going to do it, she should send them over,” Feinstein was quoted in Bloomberg News. “I don’t see what good delay does.”
Sen. Richard Shelby is the Chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
Original reporting by the Washington Examiner and Fox News contributed to this report.