Trump Accepts Pelosi’s Invitation to Deliver SOTU despite Impeachment
By Staff, Agencies
US President Donald Trump accepted an invitation from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to deliver his annual State of the Union address to a joint meeting of Congress, two days after she oversaw his impeachment.
The Feb. 4 speech may fall in the middle of Trump’s Senate trial for high crimes and misdemeanors, or it may give Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell extra incentive to wrap up the proceedings.
McConnell, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are wrangling over the contours of the trial, its length and whether witnesses will be called.
Pelosi’s invitation reflects the political reality that the chances Trump will be removed from office by the Republican-controlled Senate, either by February or later, are remote.
“In their great wisdom, our founders crafted a Constitution based on a system of separation of powers: three co-equal branches acting as checks on each other,” Pelosi said in her letter to Trump on Friday.
“In the spirit of respecting our Constitution, I invite you to deliver your State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in the chamber of the House of Representatives,” Pelosi wrote.
In a scathing letter to Pelosi on Tuesday, Trump said that “do-nothing” Democrats were committing an unconstitutional abuse of power in impeaching him.
“More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem witch trials,” Trump wrote.
The State of the Union will put Trump in the same room with the House Democrats who made him the third president to be impeached in US history.
A State of the Union address during an impeachment trial is not without precedent. In 1999, President Bill Clinton gave his address during his Senate impeachment trial.