By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In a surprise today, Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she may delay sending articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial.

This is an apparent attempt to get some leverage over how the trial will proceed.

Minnesota’s delegation continues to be largely split on party lines with four Democrats voting yes to impeach.

Democrat Collin Peterson joined the three Republican members voting no.

Members of both parties are stressing they want to move forward and start focusing on issues people sent the to Washington to fix.

But the hangover from impeachment isn’t going away soon.

The next step – a trial in the Republican controlled Senate, could be delayed.

Rep. Collin Peterson was one of just two Democrats who voted no on both articles of impeachment.

Peterson represents Minnesota’s sprawling 7th Congressional District in Western Minnesota. After the vote he issued a blistering statement:

“I will not be whipped in line by my party. History will show this to be a mistake and the Senate will make short work of an acquittal,” Rep. Peterson said.

Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was the first Minnesota Representative to call for impeachment and she says the widely held expectation of a quick Senate acquittal is deeply troubling.

“The fact that you can make the statement that the Senate is quickly going to move on this and acquit him really speaks to the injustices that are happening,” Rep. Omar said.

House Speaker Pelosi unexpectedly suggested Democrats might delay sending the impeachment articles to the Senate in an apparent effort to get leverage over how the Senate trial would unfold.

The President mocked the move on.

“Pelosi feels her phony impeachment HOAX is so pathetic she is afraid to present it to the Senate,” President Trump tweeted.

Minnesota Republican Congressman Tom Emmer agrees.

“Speaker Pelosi is putting herself and her members at even greater political risk. She walked them off the political cliff last night in the house,” Emmer said.

Today the only Democrat other than Rep. Colin Peterson to vote no on impeachment officially said he will switch parties.

Rep Jeff Van Drew of News Jersey was warmly welcomed at the White House by President Trump.

Rep. Peterson has said he was also asked if he wanted to switch parties.

He said no thank you.

Esme Murphy