After delaying the move to send a pair of impeachment charges against President Donald Trump to the U.S. Senate, Democrats announced today that the House would vote Wednesday to approve a slate of impeachment 'managers' for the case against the President, a move which will trigger the start of a historic impeachment trial.
"In America, no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States of America," said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).
In a closed door meeting, Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not reveal the names of the House prosecution team, as most expect Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) to lead the House managers in the Senate trial.
Once the House approves the names of the trial managers, then the impeachment papers will finally be walked across the Capitol, and presented to the Senate.
During Democratic caucus this morning Adam Schiff laid out how a Senate trial could look, according to multiple people in the room.— Lauren Fox (@FoxReports) January 14, 2020
Schiff spoke to House Dems about the Clinton trial rules and compared them to what McConnell has said about the process, while Nadler walked Dems through how the floor debate will work tomorrow on the resolution.— Ben Siegel (@benyc) January 14, 2020
As Democrats set out their next steps in the House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was again knocking the idea that an impeachment trial of President Trump should have extra witnesses who were not a part of the House inquiry.
“If the existing case is strong, there's no need for the judge and the jury to reopen the investigation,” McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor, as GOP leaders have tried to dissuade Republicans from joining with Democrats to call extra witnesses.
But there do seem to be Republicans willing to do just that, especially when it comes to testimony from President Trump's former National Security Adviser, who labeled the hold on military aid for Ukraine a 'drug deal.'
“I would like there to be witnesses, and to be able to hear from someone like John Bolton,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT).
At some point, the Senate will have to vote on whether to call certain witnesses - 51 Senators is all it would take to authorize testimony from a specific individual.
Democrats cast it as a choice between a fair trial, and a cover up.
New Pelosi statement: "The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial. The House will now proceed with a vote on transmitting the articles of impeachment and naming impeachment managers on Wednesday, January 15."— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) January 14, 2020
In a statement issued later on Tuesday morning, the Speaker confirmed the House would act on Wednesday.
"The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial," Pelosi said in a written statement.
"The President and the Senators will be held accountable.”