A group of House Democrats is pushing Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leaders to withhold the articles of impeachment against President Trump that emerged from the House on Wednesday, potentially delaying a Senate trial for months.
The notion of impeaching Trump but holding the articles in the House has gained traction among some of the political left as a way to potentially force Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, to conduct a trial on more favorable terms for Democrats. And if no agreement is reached, some have argued, the trial could be delayed indefinitely, denying Trump an expected acquittal.
The gambit has gained some traction inside the left wing of the House Democratic Caucus this week. Representative Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Oregon, said Wednesday, as his colleagues debated the impeachment articles on the House floor, that he has spoken to three dozen Democratic lawmakers who expressed some level of enthusiasm for the idea of ‘‘rounding out the record and spending the time to do this right.’’
‘‘At a minimum, there ought to be an agreement about access to witnesses, rules of the game, timing,’’ Blumenauer said of a Senate trial. Another Democrat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said there is ‘‘serious concern about whether there will be a fair trial on the Senate side’’ and acknowledged active talks about withholding the articles.
After the impeachment vote Wednesday, Pelosi would not rule out the idea of withholding the articles.