Less than 48 hours after she gaveled in the votes making him the third president to be impeached in United States history, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited Donald Trump to deliver his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Feb. 4.
The three-paragraph letter to the president says she’s extending the invitation in “the spirit of respecting our Constitution” — the document she and Trump have been accusing each other of besmirching in recent days.
The letter is signed, “best regards,” and was sent three days after Trump sent Pelosi a seething six-page letter ripping her for proceeding with a vote on two articles of impeachment against him.
“By proceeding with your invalid impeachment, you are violating your oaths of office, you are breaking your allegiance to the Constitution, and you are declaring open war on American Democracy.” Trump wrote in his letter, which was signed “Sincerely yours.”
The House voted to impeach Trump almost entirely along party lines Wednesday night, hours after Pelosi called Trump “an ongoing threat to our national security and the integrity of our elections.”
“It is an established fact that the president violated the Constitution” by abusing his power and obstructing Congress, she said on the House floor.
Trump’s address could come during his still-to-be-scheduled impeachment trial.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham have said they want to get the trial started and concluded as soon as possible, with Graham suggesting it could be over by the middle of January.
Pelosi, however, has yet to name her selection of House “managers” — or prosecutors — for the trial, a necessary step to get the impeachment trial moving. McConnell said Thursday he was at an “impasse” with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on moving forward with the rules governing a Senate trial, which could slow the proceedings as well.
That isn’t sitting well with the president, who tweeted Thursday that “I want an immediate trial!”