HARTFORD, CT — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he understands House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reason for questioning whether there will be a full, fair impeachment trial in the Senate.
“Nancy Pelosi understandably is asking what the rules will be,” Blumenthal said Friday following an unrelated event at the Legislative Office Building.
Blumenthal said he doesn’t want an “indefinite delay. I don’t think Nancy Pelosi wants an indefinite delay.”
But he said the reason she’s in this position is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Blumenthal said Republicans in the Senate “are complicit in the Trump cover-up blocking witnesses and documents that we need for a full, fair proceeding.”
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy told Hearst CT Media Thursday that he would like to see the articles sent to the Senate sooner rather than later.
“I’m sure the House could try to use leverage to change the Senate, but it’s really up to us. I think the Constitution envisions the Senate coming up with the rules for the trial,” Murphy told Hearst. “I don’t know that there’s a role for the House to play in that process.”
Blumenthal said Republicans can’t say they don’t have enough evidence when they are blocking that evidence from being heard in the Senate.
He said once the Senate receives the articles from the House, it will be able to vote on whether certain witnesses should be called. Blumenthal said they’ve asked for at least four witnesses: Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, Robert Blair and Michael Duffy.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York requested the four witnesses in a letter to McConnell.
Blumenthal said he’s spoken to his Republican colleagues and they would be reluctant to vote to exclude evidence and witness testimony. But thus far, McConnell has rebuffed Schumer’s request for additional witnesses to testify at the Senate trial.
“Not a single document was provided by the Trump administration,” Blumenthal said. “Including the full transcript of the call with President Zelensky.”
He said 70% of the American people believe there should be witnesses and documents even if they don’t support impeachment.
At the same time, the Constitution provides no requirement for articles of impeachment be sent or delivered within a certain timeframe.
Conceivably the articles may not be sent, but “no one expects that to happen,” Blumenthal said.
Earlier this week, all five Connecticut House Democrats voted in favor of both articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.