House Speaker Nancy Pelosi considering delaying Donald Trump's impeachment trial

  • Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate could be delayed until there is an agreement on the impeachment trial process, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said.

Speaking to the media the day after the House of Representatives voted to impeach the President for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Ms Pelosi refused to say when she would send two articles to the Senate for a trial saying "next thing for us will be when we see the process set forth in the Senate."

Ms Pelosi said House Democrats want to be clear on the number of impeachment managers — House prosecutors who make the case for Mr Trump’s conviction and removal from office — and who they will be before they call up the bill to the Senate.

Asked if House Democrats risk giving Republicans grounds for criticism if they take too long to deliver articles of impeachment to the Senate, Ms Pelosi replied, "Frankly, I don't care what the Republicans say."

She praised the "moral courage" of the caucus who spoke "patriotically" to hold up the constitution.

It is thought Ms Pelosi may wish to stall the Senate hearing until Senate Majority Leader and Republican Mitch McConnell agrees to the parameters Democrats are calling for, as well as agreeing to bring in firsthand witnesses who have previously not given evidence.

Mr Trump responded via Twitter on Thursday morning dismissing the Democrats as the "Do Nothing Party".

He wrote: "I got Impeached last might without one Republican vote being cast with the Do Nothing Dems on their continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history. Now the Do Nothing Party want to Do Nothing with the Articles & not deliver them to the Senate, but it’s Senate’s call!"

Until the articles are submitted, the Senate cannot hold the trial that is nearly certain to acquit the Republican president.

For Mr Trump to be removed from office, at least two-thirds of the Senate must vote to do so, but the Upper Chamber is dominated by Republicans.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham blasted Ms Pelosi’s move that would potentially delay the Senate trial, where she said Mr Trump was sure to get a “fair shake” compared to the House.

In an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America, Ms Grisham said Ms Pelosi’s announcement was “Just another gimmick and more changing of the rules”.

Ms Pelosi during the vote on the article II of impeachment against President Donald Trump Credit: AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected a proposal earlier this week from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to call several witnesses.

Mr McConnell also said that he is coordinating with the White House and declared that “I am not an impartial juror”.

Ms Pelosi said that Mr McConnell “says it’s okay for the foreman of the jury to be in cahoots with the lawyers of the accused. That doesn’t sound right to us”.

Mr Schumer and Ms Pelosi are set to meet on Thursday morning, according to a person familiar with the planning.

Asked again if she could guarantee that she would send the articles to the Senate, Ms Pelosi said at the news conference: “That would have been our intention.” But they will see what the Senate decides, she said.

An aide to Mr McConnell said he did not have an immediate comment on Ms Pelosi’s remarks.

But he tweeted that Mr McConnell would speak about “House Democrats’ precedent-breaking impeachment of the President of the United States” on Thursday morning.