House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D., S.C.) on Thursday called for holding back the articles of impeachment from the Senate if the outcome is "preordained" by Republicans.
"Are you suggesting it's possible you will never transmit the articles of impeachment?" CNN anchor John Berman asked.
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"If it were me, yes, that's what I'm saying," Clyburn replied. "I have no idea what the speaker will do. But if you have a preordained outcome that's negative to your actions, why walk into it? I'd much rather not take that chance."
Upon completing the vote to impeach President Donald Trump, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said she is not sure about the House's next steps because the Senate has not set the process for a trial.
"We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side," Pelosi said Wednesday during a press conference following the impeachment vote. "So far we haven't seen anything that looks fair to us. Hopefully it will be fair."
Clyburn said the House Democrats are willing to hold the articles indefinitely if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) does not agree to a "fair and impartial trial."
"If he doesn't come around to committing to a fair trial, keep those articles here. Keep it as long as it takes," Clyburn said.
The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate trial to determine whether or not the president should be removed from office is expected to proceed in early 2020 if House Democrats decide to send the articles to the Senate.