House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference to announce impeachment managers on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. With Pelosi from left are Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Pelosi, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif. and Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Delay over, House to send articles of impeachment to Senate

Trump’s trial will be only the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history

The House is set to vote Wednesday to send the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate for a landmark trial on whether the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress are grounds for his removal.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans a morning announcement to name the House managers who will prosecute the case, a month after the House voted to impeach Trump. At midday, the House will vote to send the impeachment articles to the Senate, and the managers will walk them across the Capitol to the Senate.

Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., are widely expected to be among the managers.

Trump’s trial will be only the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history, and it comes against the backdrop of a politically divided nation and an election year.

He was impeached by the Democratic-led House last month on charges of abuse of power over pushing Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden as the president withheld aid from the country, and obstructing Congress’ ensuing probe.

New details of Trump’s efforts on Ukraine emerged late Tuesday, increasing pressure on senators to call witnesses in the trial, a step that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been reluctant to take.

House investigators announced they were turning over a “trove” of new records of phone calls, text messages and other information from Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said the information shows Trump’s effort ‘’to coerce Ukraine into helping the President’s reelection campaign.” He said this and other new testimony must be included in the Senate trial.

The Senate is expected to transform into an impeachment court as early as Thursday, although significant proceedings wouldn’t begin until next Tuesday after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The Constitution calls for the chief justice to preside over senators, who serve as jurors, to swear an oath to deliver “impartial justice.”

McConnell, who is negotiating rules for the trial proceedings, said all 53 GOP senators are on board with his plan to start the session and consider the issue of witnesses later.

Senate Republicans also signalled they would reject the idea of simply voting to dismiss the articles of impeachment against Trump, as Trump himself has suggested. McConnell agreed he does not have the votes to do that.

“There is little or no sentiment in the Republican conference for a motion to dismiss,” McConnell said Tuesday. ‘’Our members feel we have an obligation to listen to the arguments.”

A mounting number of senators say they want to ensure the ground rules include the possibility of calling new witnesses.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is leading an effort among some Republicans, including Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska for witness votes.

Romney said he wants to hear from John Bolton, the former national security adviser at the White House, who others have said raised alarms about the alternative foreign policy toward Ukraine being run by Giuliani.

Democrats have been pushing Republicans, who have a slim Senate majority, to consider new testimony, arguing that fresh information has emerged during Pelosi’s monthlong delay in transmitting the charges.

Republicans control the chamber, 53-47, and are all but certain to acquit Trump. It takes just 51 votes during the impeachment trial to approve rules or call witnesses. Just four GOP senators could form a majority with Democrats to insist on new testimony. It also would take only 51 senators to vote to dismiss the charges against Trump.

At Tuesday’s private GOP lunch, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky warned that if witnesses are allowed, defence witnesses could also be called. He and other Republicans want to subpoena Biden and his son, Hunter, who served on the board of a gas company in Ukraine, Burisma, while his father was vice-president.

McConnell is drafting an organizing resolution that will outline the steps ahead. Approving it will be among their first votes of the trial, likely next Tuesday.

He prefers to model Trump’s trial partly on the process used for then-President Bill Clinton’s trial in 1999. It, too, contained motions for dismissal or calling new witnesses.

McConnell is hesitant to call new witnesses who would prolong the trial and put vulnerable senators who are up for reelection in 2020 in a bind with tough choices. At the same time, he wants to give those same senators ample room to show voters they are listening to demands for a fair trial.

Most Republicans now appear willing to go along with McConnell’s plan to start the trial first then consider witnesses later, rather than upfront, as Democrats want.

Even if senators are able to vote to call new witnesses, it is not at all clear there would be majorities to subpoena Bolton or the others.

—-

Associated Press writers Matthew Daly, Andrew Taylor and Padmananda Rama contributed to this report.

Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Willow Point Elementary needs your vote

Library initiative vying for prize money in Follett Challenge

Friday is the deadline for students to get Bowl for Breath registration in

Calling all students – the 32nd Cystic Fibrosis Bowl for Breath needs… Continue reading

Citizen birders contribute to 120th annual Christmas Bird Count

Species tallied in Campbell River, Cortes and Quadra Islands and Port McNeill

Campbell River Museum hits the 15 year mark for its Used Book Sale

Book donations are now being accepted and can be brought to the Museum’s back door off of 4th Ave

Have your say on the regional composting facility in Campbell River

CSWM launches online survey, will host two public engagements at Maritime Heritage Centre

Victoria police arrest 12 anti-pipeline protesters supporting Wet’suwet’en

‘We are unarmed, they have guns,’ protesters chanted on Wednesday morning

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Successful end to search for kayakers along the Island river

Father and son located tired and cold, but otherwise OK

Vancouver Island man arrested after police seize suspected illicit drugs in Nanoose Bay

Car impounded after Port Alberni driver clocked travelling at more than twice the posted speed limit

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Advocates call hospital parking fees a ‘shakedown’ after learning most Island tickets are waived

Victoria General and Royal Jubilee hospitals among the most ticketed on the Island

Most Read