Jan 15, 2020

House votes to send articles of impeachment to Senate

House impeachment managers
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House approved a resolution on Wednesday appointing House managers for the impeachment trial and transmitting the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Rep Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) was the sole Democrat to vote against the resolution.

Why it matters: The vote triggers the start of the long-anticipated Senate trial, which has been delayed for nearly a month after the House approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Driving the news: Pelosi named the seven House managers at a press conference earlier Wednesday.

  • House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)
  • House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.)
  • Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.)
  • Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.)
  • Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas)

What's next: After the vote, Pelosi will hold an Engrossment Ceremony photo op with the impeachment managers, after which they will travel through the Capitol to present the articles of impeachment to the secretary of the Senate. Once the articles successfully land in the Senate, there will be a few days of housekeeping and procedural work.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is expected to recess the substantive part of the trial — opening arguments and the Q&A period — until Tuesday in order to give House managers and Trump's defense team a few days to prepare.
  • On Tuesday, the Senate is also expected to vote on an organizing resolution that will lay out the terms for the trial.
  • Several key Senate Republicans — including those up for tough re-election races, those comfortable bucking Trump, and those retiring at the end of this year — are insisting there be specific language ensuring a vote on whether to call witnesses and request documents.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is also expected to use the vote on the resolution to push Democrats' messaging.

  • A Democratic leadership aide told Axios that they will force votes on subpoenaing key witnesses such as Trump's former national security advisor John Bolton, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Mulvaney's senior advisor Robert Blair, and top White House budget official Michael Duffey, as well as relevant documents.
  • This has concerned some vulnerable Senate Republicans who are worried about the optics of a fair trial: "The Democratic amendments that will be offered in the beginning will be designed to screw us," a Republican Senate aide told Axios. "Like, 'How can we cut these to look like an ad?'"

Worth noting: The resolution gives managers authority to submit additional evidence to the Senate. Last night, impeachment investigators sent the House Judiciary committee new evidence obtained from Lev Parnas, a Giuliani associate indicted by the Southern District of New York.

  • The public release of some of these materials could give Democrats new ammunition to pressure vulnerable Senate Republicans to allow new testimony from witnesses.

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