House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats on Friday that the House is likely to vote next week to officially send a pair of impeachment articles against President Trump to the U.S. Senate, a move which would trigger a historic Senate impeachment trial.
"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 wrote in a letter to her Democratic colleagues.
"I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further," the Speaker added.
The 'managers' are the team of U.S. House members who would act as prosecutors in the Senate trial.
NEW from Speaker Pelosi: "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."— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) January 10, 2020
cc: @CourthouseNews pic.twitter.com/TS4GpHuo6I
The House voted December 18 in favor of impeachment articles which charged President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress; but Pelosi held back on sending them to the Senate, in hopes of forcing Republicans to call witnesses who refused to testify before House impeachment investigators.
GOP leaders in the Senate refused to agree to anything along those lines, as Republicans said Pelosi had been forced to back down.
“She's caving and sending her Articles of Impeachment to the Senate without getting a single one of her absurd demands because her own party got fed up with her games,” said House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA).
.@SpeakerPelosi folds and says she’s going to send McConnell the articles of impeachment.— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) January 10, 2020
These articles don’t even allege that President Trump broke any law.
As for what witnesses will be called, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly noted that the witness list will be determined by a majority of Senators - 51 votes - who could decide to call anyone desired by either party.
Democrats - and some Republicans - have already indicated that they want to take up former Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton's offer to testify, as a small group of GOP Senators could hold the keys to who exactly comes before the Senate, or gives testimony in a deposition.
Those Senators include Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Cory Gardner of Colorado, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
News reports on Friday indicated that Collins is already working to broker some sort of witness compromise.
Even as GOP celebrates apparent Pelosi cave on impeachment, Sen Collins tells reporters she is quietly working to give Pelosi what she wanted: a trial with witnesses https://t.co/cT6c82UeYD— Erik Wasson (@elwasson) January 10, 2020
McConnell has indicated the Senate will first approve a resolution to set out rules to govern the first phase of an impeachment trial, which would include opening arguments, and written questions from Senators.