By Jack Phillips
Two days after House Democrats voted to approve articles of impeachment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday invited President Donald Trump to deliver the annual State of the Union address on Feb. 4.
“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. To ensure that balance of powers, the Constitution calls for the president to ‘from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union,’ ” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Trump.
She added: “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, February 4, 2020 in the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives.”
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Trump will attend.
“President Donald J. Trump has accepted the Speaker’s invitation to deliver the State of the Union Address on February 4, 2020,” he said in a statement on Friday.
The letter comes a mere two days after the House voted almost exclusively along party lines to impeach the president after Democrats alleged that he abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political opponent and obstructed Congress when lawmakers investigated his actions.
Pelosi has not yet sent over the two articles of impeachment, and she would not commit to sending them when she was asked during a press conference. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) did not come up with a deal on a Senate trial before they left for the holidays on Thursday.
The move to potentially withhold the articles of impeachment drew criticism from the GOP, Trump, and some legal experts.
The February State of the Union address, if Trump agrees to it, would come a day after the Iowa caucuses for the Democratic presidential candidates.
During the address, Trump will be able to speak about some of his recent successes, including the United States, Mexico, and Canada trade agreement (USMCA), which is designed to improve on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) trade deal signed during the Clinton administration.
Trump also announced this week that the United States is nearing a final trade deal with China.