Over the past couple of weeks the House and the Senate have been in a standoff over the articles of impeachment. There has been much speculation over when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would transfer the articles over to the Senate. Now, that speculation can be put to rest.
Politico reports that on Friday afternoon, Pelosi announced that she will transfer the articles of impeachment to the Senate in the upcoming week. In a letter to House Democrats she wrote, “I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate.”
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) held on to the articles in an effort to convince Senate Republicans to accept new witnesses and evidence to help ensure a fair trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) dismissed any and all of those notions. He has stated he already obtained the GOP votes he needs to run the trial to his liking. Additionally, he signed a Senate GOP resolution to alter the rules of the chamber and entirely dismiss Trump’s impeachment if House Democrats didn’t submit the articles within a time frame to their liking. Pelosi addressed this in her letter writing, “Yesterday, he showed his true colors and made his intentions to stonewall a fair trial even clearer by signing on to a resolution that would dismiss the charges.”
No word yet on who Pelosi will choose as impeachment managers, the House Democrats who will prosecute the case against Trump. It’s expected she will select Nadler and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif) though it is unclear what other Democrats she may be considering. Once the impeachment managers are sent to the Senate, a Senate trial would be activated the next day with the articles of impeachment officially being presented to the chamber. Chief Justice John Roberts would then be sworn in to oversee the trial.
Under the trial rules McConnell favors, the case will be ran similarly to President Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999. Witnesses will be postponed from appearing until after the House has presented its case for removal and the president’s legal team issues its response. Pelosi and many other ranking Democrats are concerned that McConnell will use this method to block any witnesses from appearing and to prevent new evidence that has emerged since the Dec. 18 vote from being introduced.
The Senate trial will have an effect on the campaign trail as Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Cory Booker of New Jersey will all be held to the Capitol until the trial concludes.