CNN Legal Analyst Paul Callan: Pelosi "Grasping" By Holding Impeachment Articles, "Republicans Hold All The Cards" | Video | RealClearPolitics

CNN Legal Analyst Paul Callan: Pelosi "Grasping" By Holding Impeachment Articles, "Republicans Hold All The Cards"

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CNN legal contributor Paul Callan said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is "grasping" by not sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate and holding onto them in the House. Callan said Pelosi is "coming to the end of the road" of holding onto the articles in hopes of getting Senate Republicans to deliver concessions on an impeachment trial.

"I think she's grasping here, because there's really -- the Republicans hold all the cards in the Senate. The Constitution says that the trial of an impeachment is solely within the discretion of the Senate," Callan said Monday on CNN.

ANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Paul, I want to start with you. The Trump administration says there's no urgency in the McGahn case, for a couple of reasons, one, that the House went ahead and voted to impeach without hearing from him on obstruction, and, two, that the obstruction article of impeachment is focused on Ukraine and not Russia.

Others say it points to a pattern of bad behavior by President Trump. What do you make of all this? How do you see it?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think the courts will be eager sort of to avoid making a decision on this, because impeachment has already been voted. The articles have been voted. Now, Nancy Pelosi may be holding them back. But they have been voted. So that's over. Now, he was being subpoenaed in connection with that proceeding. So, in law, there's a doctrine called mootness, when the thing and controversy has been rendered irrelevant.

DEAN: Moot, yes, right.

CALLAN: It's moot. All right?

So I think the -- giving impeachment articles is moot. And I doubt that the courts going to order that subpoena be honored.

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DEAN: Yes. Yes. Paul, what do you make of Nancy Pelosi's strategy of holding this investigation? And is there an advantage an advantage to that?

CALLAN: Well, I think she's grasping here, because there's really -- the Republicans hold all the cards in the Senate. The Constitution says that the trial of an impeachment is solely within the discretion of the Senate.

All of the prior impeachments have involved the majority of the Senate at the time determining what the rules would be. And, of course, the Republicans are in the majority now. So the only thing she can do is try to threaten to withhold the documents that are necessary for the trial in order to get a fairer trial.

But I think we're coming to the end of the road on that. And the impeachment articles will have to be formally submitted. Frankly, I think they could be tried even if they weren't formally submitted. They're a matter of public record. We know exactly what was voted.

But we will see how this plays out. And in the end, Mitch McConnell gets to call the shots, just as Pelosi called the shots on the House side. That's because, in the end, this is a political process. It's not a court of law. It's a political process, and it's controlled entirely now by the Republicans.



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