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‘We’d like to see a fair process’: Pelosi seeks details on Senate impeachment trial

Click to play video 'Democrats not yet sending articles of impeachment to Senate' Democrats not yet sending articles of impeachment to Senate
WATCH: Democrats not yet sending articles of impeachment to Senate

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted on Thursday that before she will send the Republican Senate the articles of impeachment her Democratic chamber approved against President Donald Trump, GOP leaders must provide more detail about how they will handle the expected trial.

“We’d like to see a fair process, but we’ll see what they have and will be ready for whatever it is,” Pelosi said at the Capitol. “So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us,” she had said Wednesday night, just after the House approved the two charges that could evict Trump from office if the Senate agrees.

Click to play video 'Mitch McConnell decries ‘partisan rage’ following impeachment vote' Mitch McConnell decries ‘partisan rage’ following impeachment vote
Mitch McConnell decries ‘partisan rage’ following impeachment vote

The parties’ Senate leaders, Mitch McConnell for the Republicans and Chuck Schumer for the Democrats, met Thursday on trial arrangements but came to no agreement. The two men have a tense relationship, and McConnell holds a tactical edge if he can keep his 53-member Senate majority united.

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Democrats are insisting on more witnesses, testimony and documents than McConnell appears willing to provide before they name the House “managers” who would prosecute Trump in the Senate.

“Sen. Schumer made clear to Sen. McConnell that the witnesses and documents are necessary to ensure a fair trial in the Senate,” said Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman. He said, “Schumer asked Sen. McConnell to consider Sen. Schumer’s proposal over the holidays.”

Click to play video 'Pelosi addresses next steps in Trump impeachment' Pelosi addresses next steps in Trump impeachment
Pelosi addresses next steps in Trump impeachment

READ MORE: Donald Trump impeached by U.S. House

Wednesday night’s vote, almost entirely along party lines, made the president just the third in U.S. history to be impeached. The House impeached Trump on two charges _ abusing his presidential power and obstructing Congress _ stemming from his pressure on Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rival as Trump withheld U.S. aid.

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Pelosi’s unexpected procedural delay in taking the next step _ apparently in search of leverage in locking in trial arrangements _ got a sour response from Senate Majority Leader McConnell and from Trump himself.

McConnell said Democrats were “too afraid” to send the charges to the Senate, where Trump would be expected to be acquitted by the Republican majority. Trump tweeted, “Now the Do Nothing Party want to Do Nothing with the Articles.” He claimed that if the Democrats didn’t transmit the charges, “they would lose by default,” though there is no constitutional requirement to send them swiftly, or at all.

Click to play video 'Kevin McCarthy: Democrats from Trump-voting states were not proud of their impeachment vote' Kevin McCarthy: Democrats from Trump-voting states were not proud of their impeachment vote
Kevin McCarthy: Democrats from Trump-voting states were not proud of their impeachment vote

The trial has been expected to begin in January.

Along with her tough talk, Pelosi appeared upbeat the day after the impeachment votes.

“We’ve been hearing from people all over the country,” she told reporters. “Seems like people have a spring in their step because the president was held accountable for his reckless behaviour.”

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READ MORE: U.S. House passes $1.4T government spending bill on eve of Trump impeachment vote

Pressed about next steps, Pelosi wouldn’t say. Democrats are insisting on more witnesses, testimony and documents than McConnell appears willing to provide before they name the House “managers” who would prosecute Trump in the Senate.

“The next thing will be when we see the process that is set forth in the Senate,” Pelosi said. “Then we’ll know the number of managers we may have to go forward and who we would choose.”

Click to play video 'McConnell says no agreement with Democrats on impeachment witnesses' McConnell says no agreement with Democrats on impeachment witnesses
McConnell says no agreement with Democrats on impeachment witnesses

The Democratic speaker and the top Senate Democrat, Schumer of New York, met privately Thursday at the Capitol after Republican McConnell signalled in the strongest terms yet that his chamber intended to hold a swift trial and acquit the president of both charges.

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McConnell denounced the “most unfair” House impeachment and reassured Trump and his supporters that “moments like this are why the United States Senate exists.”

READ MORE: Trump pens letter slamming Pelosi, Democrats ahead of House impeachment vote

As for what the Senate would do, he said, “It could not be clearer which outcome would serve the stabilizing, institution-preserving, fever-breaking role for which the United States Senate was created and which outcome would betray it.”

The Kentucky Republican described Trump’s impeachment as “the most rushed, least thorough and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history.”

Click to play video 'Nancy Pelosi on House impeachment vote: ‘A great day for the constitution of the United States’' Nancy Pelosi on House impeachment vote: ‘A great day for the constitution of the United States’
Nancy Pelosi on House impeachment vote: ‘A great day for the constitution of the United States’

Fighting back using McConnell’s own words, Schumer said the Republican leader was plotting the “most rushed, least thorough and most unfair” impeachment trial in history by declining to agree to call witnesses including former Trump national security adviser John Bolton, who declined to testify before the House.

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“McConnell claimed the impeachment was motivated by partisan rage,” said Schumer. “This from the man who said proudly, `I am not impartial.”’

“What hypocrisy.”

Click to play video 'Democrat Van Drew joins Republican party, meets with Trump' Democrat Van Drew joins Republican party, meets with Trump
Democrat Van Drew joins Republican party, meets with Trump

Pelosi said that McConnell “says it’s OK for the foreman of the jury to be in cahoots with the lawyers of the accused. That doesn’t sound right to us.”

Complicating any decision to delay are House Democrats’ arguments in recent weeks that Trump’s impeachment was needed “urgently,” arguing his actions were a threat to democracy and the fairness of the upcoming 2020 election.

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‘If you disagree, try to say it in a way that doesn’t tear somebody apart’: Congresswoman Debbie Dingell