US House Sends Impeachment Articles to Senate, Pelosi Names Trial Managers
By Staff, Agencies
The House voted on Wednesday to send the impeachment articles against US President Donald Trump to the Senate, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the seven House Democrats who will serve as the "managers" in the trial, which is set to start next week.
The measure passed 228-193, with one Democrat opposing the resolution – Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, who also voted last month against both articles of impeachment.
The two articles, charging the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, were signed by Pelosi at a historic engrossment ceremony Wednesday evening and then hand-delivered to the Senate in a procession through the Capitol that was led by the House clerk and sergeant-at-arms and included the House managers.
"Today, we will make history, when we walk down – when the managers walk down the hall, [they'll] cross a threshold in history, delivering articles of impeachment against the president of the United States for abuse of power and obstruction of the House," Pelosi said during the ceremony in the Rayburn room across from the House chamber.
Pelosi was flanked at the ceremony by the House managers, who will serve as the prosecution in the Senate trial, and committee chairs who conducted the impeachment inquiry. The speaker signed the articles using several pens, which she then distributed to the managers and committee heads as keepsakes.
The seven managers then followed House Clerk Cheryl Johnson, who carried the articles, into Statuary Hall, past Pelosi's leadership office, through the Capitol Rotunda and then past Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office. The House clerk then took the articles into the Senate chamber.
As the message that the articles were transmitted was read aloud, all the senators in the room turned around to look except McConnell, who faced forward to the dais, not turning around once to see the scene unfold behind him.
Soon after, McConnell rose to acknowledge the submission of articles and lay some ground rules for the next few days. He said that the Senate will officially receive the House managers at noon ET on Thursday, when they will present and exhibit the articles to the upper chamber. At 2 p.m. Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the trial, will be escorted into the Senate chamber and swear in all senators.
The "trial will commence in earnest on Tuesday," McConnell said. It remains undecided if witnesses will be called to testify.
The House managers who will prosecute the case against the president in the Senate are: Reps. Adam Schiff of California, who will be the lead manager; Jerry Nadler of New York; Hakeem Jeffries of New York; Jason Crow of Colorado; Zoe Lofgren of California; Val Demings of Florida; and Sylvia Garcia of Texas.
The managers have varied biographies: Schiff was a federal prosecutor; Demings was a police chief; several are attorneys; and Lofgren was a staffer on the House Judiciary Committee during the Nixon impeachment and a House member during the Clinton impeachment.
"This is about the Constitution of the United States, and it's important for the president to know and Putin to know that American voters – voters in America – should decide who our president is," Pelosi said, referring to the Russian president at a press conference with the managers.
Nadler said on the floor ahead of the resolution vote that Pelosi had "led our fight for a fair trial in the Senate."
"Above all, a fair trial must include additional documents and relevant witnesses," he said. "The American people have common sense. They know that any trial that does not allow witnesses is not a trial. It is a cover-up.
During Pelosi's news conference, Trump called the impeachment a "Con Job" in a tweet, and McConnell spoke on the Senate floor.
Trump told GOP lawmakers who attended the signing of his trade deal with China, including Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the House minority leader, that he'd understand if they had to leave for the vote on the impeachment resolution. "They have a hoax going on over there, so let’s take care of it," Trump said.