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‘Brilliant’: Pelosi’s power play to delay sending McConnell impeachment articles just changed everything

12/20/2019 9:28 am ET Sneha Konda

Pelosi uses Senate Leader Moscow Mitch's own words against him in 'strategic step'Pelosi uses Senate Leader Moscow Mitch's own words against him in 'strategic step'In the biggest surprise power move of impeachment, House speaker Nancy Pelosi said she’d wait to see the Senate trial rules before sending the impeachment charges to the Senate.

Most Republicans, Democrats, and Independents believe that the Senate will give Trump a “fair trial.” In fact, 64% of GOP voters—nearly 2 in 3—feel that Trump’s top right-hand men should testify in the Senate impeachment trial. So do a whopping 72% of Independents, as we’ve reported.

When the 79-year-old House Speaker was asked what she would consider a “fair trial,” she waved a piece of paper and said,

“This is what I don’t consider a fair trial. That Leader [Mitch] McConnell has stated that he’s not an impartial juror, that he’s going to take his ‘cues’ from the White House, and he is working in total coordination with the White House counsel’s office.”

In one swift move, she had reminded Americans of McConnell’s widely criticized appearance on Sean Hannity’s primetime Fox News segment.

Mitch had said, “Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can.”

What’s even more shocking is how McConnell ended his statement on FOX:

“We know how it’s going to end. There’s no chance the president’s going to be removed from office.”

With her power move, Daily Kos notes, Pelosi just gave Democrats leverage. Dems want a lengthier trial with top White House aides for witnesses, which is what 7 in 10 Americans want too. Republicans want a shorter trial with zero witnesses.

Mitch might have said they are in “no hurry,” but as Michael Steele, a former chair of Republican National Committee said on MSNBC, “She’s going to wait and see what McConnell puts on the table and she’s going to force the negotiation between Schumer and McConnell on her terms.”

Check and mate.

*****
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