What We Learned After The House Vote on Impeachment Articles

Just after 5:30 p.m., the seven House Democrats named as impeachment managers solemnly walked across the Capitol, from the House chamber to the Senate, to deliver two articles of impeachment against President Trump.

The formal fanfare came after an engrossment ceremony in which Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, signed the articles using multiple pens. Afterward, she handed the pens to the lawmakers who surrounded her during the ceremony.

Once the representatives reached the Senate, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, announced that the articles would be officially presented by the impeachment managers on Thursday and that the trial would begin on Tuesday.

Earlier Wednesday, House lawmakers voted to officially transmit the articles to the Senate. The 228-to-193 vote was largely along party lines, much like the House’s vote in December to impeach Mr. Trump.

After a monthslong impeachment inquiry unfolded in the House, the action will shift to the Senate on Thursday. Once the Senate signals it is ready to proceed with the trial, the impeachment managers will again walk to the Senate chamber, where they will be guided to a precise spot to read the articles of impeachment aloud.

The House also voted Wednesday to send seven Democrats as “managers” to prosecute its case before the Senate.

The team, announced by Ms. Pelosi at a morning news conference, is smaller and far more diverse than the 13 white men chosen by Republicans in 1998 to prosecute President Bill Clinton during his Senate impeachment trial. Ultimately, Ms. Pelosi said, she decided on a team heavy with “litigators.” Most of the managers have had direct experience in a courtroom.

The managers are Representatives Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee; Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee; Zoe Lofgren of California; Hakeem Jeffries of New York; Val B. Demings of Florida; Jason Crow of Colorado and Sylvia R. Garcia of Texas.

They will serve as the public face of the impeachment process for Democrats and may be the only voices for their party heard inside the Senate during the trial.

Even as the House was formally moving the impeachment of the president to the trial stage, lawmakers were still reacting to new details and documents House Democrats released a day earlier about Mr. Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine. The release included the first document that shows the president knew about and condoned the alternate foreign policy agenda with Ukraine led by his private lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani.

The documents also showed how Mr. Giuliani and his associate, Lev Parnas, worked to force out the American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, because she did not support efforts to pressure the Ukrainian president to announce investigations that would personally benefit Mr. Trump. Mr. Parnas is under federal indictment.

Democrats said the latest disclosures and other potential new testimonies should be part of the Senate’s trial. Mr. McConnell has waved off these demands as he pushes for a quick trial with little debate.

One of the managers, Mr. Schiff, predicted Wednesday morning that the Senate trial would be a “sham” under those conditions.

“And if McConnell makes this the first trial in history without witnesses, it will be exposed for what it is, and that is an effort to cover up for the president,” said Mr. Schiff, who led most of the impeachment inquiry.

Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, hit back, calling the impeachment a “sham” and accusing Ms. Pelosi of lying in describing the inquiry as “vital to national security.”

Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, said on Wednesday that she negotiated an agreement with Mr. McConnell to allow the Senate to vote on whether to subpoena witnesses or documents after both sides had presented their cases.

Mr. McConnell announced plans last week to do just that, saying he would model the trial rules on those that governed the impeachment trial of Mr. Clinton.

Senate Democrats need four Republicans to reach the 51 votes necessary to call witnesses. Along with Ms. Collins, Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Mitt Romney of Utah have also indicated that they may be open to considering new witnesses and evidence.

Sometime Thursday, after the impeachment managers formally exhibit the articles of impeachment to the Senate, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is expected to be sworn in to preside over Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial.

Chief Justice Roberts will cross the street from the Supreme Court to the Senate for the official ceremony.

The Senate will then summon Mr. Trump to answer the impeachment charges against him. The chamber will most likely break for the holiday weekend and reconvene on Tuesday, when the trial will formally begin.

Senate leaders have predicted that the trial could last three to five weeks. But senior Trump administration officials said on Wednesday that they expected at most a two-week trial that would vindicate the president.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*