Appearing on “Special Report” with his Republican counterpart, former Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, Daschle weighed in on Trump’s impending impeachment trial in the Senate, drawing on his experience during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial 21 years ago.
“There is no question in my mind the articles will be sent to the Senate most likely in the next few days,” Daschle said told host Bret Baier. “We’ve gone through the holidays, in some ways it was probably good that everybody cooled down for a few weeks and are coming back maybe with clearer thinking. My guess is you’re going to see those impeachment articles in the Senate’s hands within the next week,” he added.
Pelosi, D-Calif., surprised many in Washington last month with her decision to withhold articles of impeachment — which accused Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his dealings with Ukraine — as she sought to pressure the Senate to agree to certain terms for a trial.
Pelosi has held the articles of impeachment for 20 days. The House voted to adopt the articles on Dec. 18, 2019.
“I’ve been trying to figure out what is her [Pelosi] thinking there,” Lott said. “She can’t force or dictate what the Senate would do after the House has acted but I think she will send articles over to the Senate pretty quickly.”
“The Constitution and the rules with regard to impeachment are pretty clear. They are going to have to send articles of impeachment and the Senate is going to have to act,” Lott reiterated.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday he has the votes to start an impeachment trial even without an agreement on potential witnesses – once the chamber receives the articles from the House.
Shortly after McConnell’s announcement, Schumer vowed to press ahead with Democrats’ demands for a fair trial with witnesses and documents.
Democrats amplified those demands after a key figure in the impeachment inquiry, former national security adviser John Bolton, said he would be willing to testify if subpoenaed.
But McConnell has maintained all along that he wants to model the impeachment trial for Trump after that of Clinton, by dealing with potential witnesses after the trial begins.
“I do think Senator McConnell is right to say we have a template here, this has been done, we can go forward,” Lott said. “But, it’s also very important they maintain stability and make it as bipartisan or nonpartisan as they can.”
“It will have to get done and it will, I believe,” he added. “They will come to an agreement on how to proceed.”
Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.