- The House of Representatives passed a resolution on Wednesday to transmit the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate.
- It could take several days for the Senate to finalise the rules for Trump’s trial, which includes a discussion about witnesses.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced earlier Wednesday that the impeachment managers who will lead the prosecution against Trump in the Senate will be Reps. Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Jason Crow, Zoe Lofgren, Val Demings, Hakeem Jeffries, and Sylvia Garcia.
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The House of Representatives passed a resolution on Wednesday to transmit the two articles of impeachment it passed against President Donald Trump to the Senate.
Earlier Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the impeachment managers in Trump’s trial would be:
- Rep. Adam Schiff of California
- Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California
- Rep. Val Demings of Florida
- Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York
- Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado
- Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Texas
Democrats and Republicans in the upper chamber have fought fiercely over the terms of Trump’s impeachment trial since the House voted last month to impeach the president, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Specifically, Democrats wanted Republicans to commit to calling witnesses during Trump’s trial and to remain impartial throughout the proceedings.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Trump allies, like Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, had said they were working closely with the White House ahead of the trial and would not act as objective jurors.
Last week, McConnell said he would move forward with the trial without committing to calling witnesses and would instead decide on that question once the trial starts, similar to what happened during Bill Clinton’s impeachment in the 1990s.
But after some senators, including Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, signalled their disapproval, the Kentucky Republican conceded to reporters on Tuesday that some GOP lawmakers may join Democrats in calling for witnesses.
The two articles of impeachment against the president relate to his efforts to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election by strong-arming Ukraine into delivering political dirt on one of his 2020 rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden, while Trump withheld vital military aid and a White House meeting that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky desperately wanted.
Trump’s actions came to light through a whistleblower complaint that an anonymous US intelligence official filed in August. At the centre of the complaint was a July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky in which Trump repeatedly pressured Zelensky to investigate the Bidens and look into a bogus conspiracy theory suggesting that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 US election.
The White House released a memo of the phone call that confirmed the whistleblower’s main allegation. But subsequent testimony from nonpartisan, career national-security and foreign-service officers revealed that the phone call was just one data point in a months-long campaign by Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to force Ukraine to accede to his demands.
Gordon Sondland, the US’s ambassador to the European Union, testified that “everyone was in the loop” on Trump’s efforts, including the national security adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and other top brass at the White House and across federal agencies.
After weeks of holding on to the articles of impeachment, Pelosi discussed the next steps with House Democrats at their weekly caucus meeting last week.
It could take several days for the Senate to finalise the rules – including the discussion about witnesses – and for the trial to begin. Once the trial starts, McConnell is set to keep the Senate in six days a week until a vote is held to conclude the proceedings.
Chief Justice John Roberts will be the presiding official. Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, and Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal attorney, will serve as the president’s attorneys during the trial.
The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to acquit Trump; that would make him the third US president to be impeached but not removed from office.
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