House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday named seven House Democrats as managers for President Donald Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate.
The California Democrat said the managers will be two powerful committee chairmen, Rep. Adam Schiff of California and Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, as well as Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Rep. Val Demings of Florida, Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado and Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Texas.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he expects to start the impeachment trial for Trump next Tuesday, following the House moves that are happening Wednesday.
The Democratic-led House is slated to take a vote on Wednesday afternoon to set the impeachment managers and send over the articles of impeachment to the Senate. The managers — who will serve as prosecutors in the Senate trial while the president’s lawyers defend him — then are scheduled to walk the articles over to the Senate just after 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
The House’s actions are ending an impasse over Trump’s impeachment that has persisted since Dec. 18. That’s when the chamber voted to impeach the president, but Pelosi delayed transmitting the articles of impeachment to the Republican-run Senate, saying that her party wanted to see that the Senate’s process looks fair.
However, McConnell hasn’t acquiesced to repeated Democratic requests that he commit to having new witnesses and documents in the Senate’s impeachment trial. The Kentucky Republican has said it was a “nonstarter” for Pelosi to try to “hand design the trial proceedings in the Senate.”
Pelosi on Wednesday defended the delayed transmission.
“We had hoped that the courtesy would be extended — that we would have seen what the process would be in the Senate,” Pelosi said Wednesday. “Short of that, time has revealed many things since then. Time has been our friend in all of this, because it has yielded incriminating evidence — more truth into the public domain.”
She pointed to developments such as former Trump adviser John Bolton agreeing to testify if he is subpoenaed, as well as getting documents that show that Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani wrote a note about asking Ukraine’s president to investigate “the Biden case.”
The Democrats’ impeachment push centers on Trump’s pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce investigations into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, as well as into a theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump has frequently criticized Democratic lawmakers for their efforts to remove him from office, saying in a letter to Pelosi last month that “more due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.”
Trump, charged with abuse of power and obstructing Congress, is only the third American president to have been impeached, joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Richard Nixon resigned before an impeachment vote could take place.
But impeachment by the House doesn’t necessarily mean removal from office. Neither Johnson nor Clinton was found guilty in impeachment trials in the Senate, and the same outcome is widely expected in the impeachment of Trump, whose Republican Party occupies 53 of the chamber’s 100 seats. That helps explain why the stock market DJIA, +0.49% SPX, +0.35% hasn’t reacted much to impeachment-related developments.
The Senate had been getting ready to try the president in January, with its legislative calendar for this month cleared to make way for the proceedings. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to preside over the Senate trial, and Trump is expected to be asked to address the charges. A two-thirds majority of senators would be required to vote to convict Trump to remove him from office.