Now that the House has formally sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate, it's only a matter of time before a trial is set to begin. It could even come as early as next week.
But failed 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) believes that all judicial nominations should be put to a halt while an impeachment trial is underway, The Hill reported.
“Today, the United States Senate will receive articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump and begin to determine whether the president’s actions warrant his removal from office,” Harris said in a statement. “The president is charged with high crimes and misdemeanors, and the Senate must take seriously its constitutional role in this process. During the time when articles of impeachment are before the Senate, it would be wholly inappropriate to advance the president’s nominees to the federal judiciary.”
The California senator cited prior precedent for her reasoning. During President Bill Clinton's Impeachment trial in 1999, the House Judiciary Committee didn't convene any nomination hearings or advance any nominations to confirmation votes until after the president's verdict was rendered.
During an impeachment trial, committees are barred from voting but they can still hold hearings.
Harris took to Twitter to reiterate her position:
The Senate is receiving the articles of impeachment against President Trump today. We should not advance any more judicial nominees while we take on this solemn responsibility of the president’s trial for high crimes and misdemeanors.— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) January 15, 2020
It's likely that she decided to make this declaration after President Trump on Tuesday retweeted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) reminder about the Trump administration's record number of judicial appointments and confirmations.