House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy insinuated that Speaker Nancy Pelosi may have delayed sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate to hurt 2020 White House hopefuls who serve in the body — specifically Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“Within her own leadership, there were questions about why she held them,” McCarthy said during a press conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
“If there’s anyone who gained from this, it’d be anybody who’s running for president that’s not in the US Senate. With Iowa quickly upon us in early February, those four senators who are running for president will now no longer have a voice.”
The impeachment trial, which is expected to begin next week, could last several weeks — when some of the most pivotal Democratic caucuses will be held.
McCarthy told reporters that the Democratic socialist “actually has a chance to win [the Democratic nomination]. But not now that Nancy Pelosi has held these documents.”
He added, “There was nothing gained [from withholding the articles],” he said, adding, “If you look at the true political nature of why,” it was “to harm one campaign and give a benefit to another.”
The California Republican went on to reference Sanders directly, discussing how he was treated by Democratic party leadership in his 2016 primary challenge against Hillary Clinton.
“I know what happened four years ago. Something no one thought would,” McCarthy said. “That the head of a complete party of the Democrat National Committee resigning the day before, actually the night before, the nominating convention. Why? Because emails came out to show that one of the main campaigners, Sen. Bernie Sanders, was cheated.”
A spokesperson for Sanders’ campaign did not respond to The Post’s request for comment on the allegations.
A Pelosi spokeswoman quoted a tweet from Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill when asked for comment by The Post.
“Impeachment has nothing to do with politics or the presidential race. As usual, the Minority Leader has no idea what he’s talking about,” the tweet read.
Pelosi has been holding up the articles since they were passed by the House in mid-December but is expected to send them to the Senate on Wednesday.
She has repeatedly argued she did so in order to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reveal how a trial would proceed in the Senate to ensure fairness.
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