Senator Roy Blunt argues that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not have the authority to keep the articles of impeachment from the Senate passed by the House last week.
“Frankly, I don’t think the Speaker has the right to do this,” Blunt said on CNN’s “State of the Union” in response to Pelosi’s decision not to send the articles to the Senate until Senate leaders agree on parameters for a trial.
“The Speaker has a lot of power,” Blunt continued but added that he doesn’t think Pelosi has the authority to withhold the articles from the upper chamber once “the House has spoken.”
“I think it’s a mistake on the Speaker’s part. I think this will look pretty political,” he added.
According to Blunt, based on what he’s heard so far, he does not support removing Trump from office. He said the House failed to make the case, The Hill reported.
The House voted last week largely along party lines in favor of two articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Blunt also defended his colleagues’ remarks that they would not be impartial jurors in the looming Senate trial. He said that, despite its name, the process is not actually a “trial”.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he’ll be in “total coordination” with the White House during the process, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he’s made up his mind and doesn’t need to hear from any witnesses.
“This is called a trial because there was really in the Constitution, I think, no better thing to call it,” Blunt said. “It’s not a trial in any classic sense. It is a political decision to do it.”
“Five of the so-called jurors are running for president,” he added, referencing a handful of the Democrats in the presidential primary.