House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate
The House will vote Wednesday to send impeachment articles to the Senate, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told Democrats Tuesday morning, according to multiple Democrats.
Pelosi did not announce at Tuesday morning’s House Democratic Caucus meeting which lawmakers will serve as prosecutors — also known as impeachment managers — in the Senate trial.
But the resolution slated to hit the House floor on Wednesday is expected to name the impeachment managers.
“The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial,” Pelosi said in a statement confirming the Wednesday vote to send the articles of impeachment and name managers. “The President and the Senators will be held accountable.”
The resolution will get ten minutes of floor debate before receiving a vote, which is expected to largely fall along party lines.
The vote will come exactly four weeks after the House passed two articles of impeachment accusing Trump of abusing his power for pressuring the Ukrainian government to open investigations into his political opponents and obstructing Congress during Democrats’ inquiry by defying subpoenas for witness testimony and documents.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) are widely expected to serve as managers, as well as other members of their committees.
Other names floated include Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). Both declined to say on Tuesday if they would be serving as impeachment managers.
“It’s my expectation – though it’s the Speaker’s call and we have complete confidence in her – that Chairman Schiff and Chairman Nadler will play a prominent role in carrying the message over in the Senate,” Jeffries said.
Pelosi had withheld the articles from the Senate in an effort to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to agree to terms for an impeachment trial, including whether witnesses can be called.
McConnell has so far refused to budge, arguing that any decisions on witnesses should come after both sides make opening arguments in the trial.
Against that backdrop, Democrats have been virtually unanimous in supporting Pelosi’s strategy to delay sending the articles, while the spotlight has shone on Senate GOP leaders and the rules that will govern the trial.
They’re pushing for the Senate to call witnesses that refused to testify during the House impeachment inquiry, including former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
Bolton announced earlier this month that he would be willing to testify in the Senate impeachment trial if he is subpoenaed, despite ignoring an initial demand for his testimony from House Democrats late last year.
“What we were focused on here was a fair trial, just talking about what the process would be for a fair trial and making sure the American people hear the full truth,” said Rep. Ann Kuster (D-N.H.).
The announcement arrives as numerous House Democrats have been jockeying for the coveted spot of impeachment manager — a prominent position that can raise a national profile in an instant.
Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was not among the lawmakers seeking a manager role. But he said those on the front lines of the investigation — particularly lawmakers on the Intelligence and Judiciary committees — are obvious choices to assume the position.
“They’re the ones who, obviously, should proceed,” he said.
The Senate trial is expected to begin in the coming days once the House sends over the articles of impeachment. But senators will have to attend to some housekeeping items before the substance of the trial begins, meaning opening arguments likely won’t begin until after the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday next week.
The Senate must first pass a resolution informing the House that it is ready to receive the articles of impeachment. The impeachment managers will then physically walk from the House chamber to the Senate to formally deliver the articles of impeachment.
Next, the Senate will have to adopt a rule package outlining procedures for the trial. Each senator will also have to take a special oath for the trial to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.”
–This report was updated at 11:54 a.m.