The House of Representatives passed a resolution 228 to 193 Wednesday that kicks off the process of sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
Only one Democrat defected from the party, with Rep. Collin Peterson from Minnesota voting with Republicans. Peterson has been against President Trump’s impeachment from day one. Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican-turned-Democrat- voted alongside the Democrats.
At 5 p.m., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will hold an Engrossment Ceremony with the newly announced impeachment managers and then there will be a procession through the Capitol as the articles are officially delivered to the Senate side of the buildilng.
Leading up to the vote, House Democrats encouraged the Senate to hold President Trump accountable.
‘The Senate is on trial,’ said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, who was picked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve as one of the seven impeachment managers. ‘We will see whether they conduct a fair trial and allow the witnesses or conduct a cover-up. Today’s resolution is the next step in this serious and solemn constitutional process.’
Pelosi also uttered the c-word – ‘cover-up’ – should Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pursue a dismissal vote once the articles are in the Senate’s hands. ‘Dismissal is cover-up,’ Pelosi stated on the House floor, minutes before the House voted on the resolution appointing the managers.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, one of Democrats seven impeachment managers, said Wednesday on the House floor that the ‘Senate is on trial’ too – and needed to hold President Trump accountable
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said if Republicans swiftly dismissed the two articles of impeachment against President Trump in the Senate, it would amount to a ‘cover-up’
Pelosi announced the managers at a Wednesday morning press conference on Capitol Hill.
Pelosi made official that House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff would lead the effort, along with Nadler.
In the House, Schiff and Nadler’s committees handled impeachment, which Pelosi called Wednesday ‘an impeachment that would last forever.’
The speaker also named the No. 5 Democrat in the House, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, as a manager. Jeffries is a member of the Judiciary Committee. As are Reps. Zoe Lofgren, Val Demings and Sylvia Garcia, named Wednesday by the speaker. She also picked Rep. Jason Crow, a Colorado Democrat, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (center) announced impeachment managers Wednesday morning including House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (left) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (right)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (center) names the following impeachment managers: (from left) Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, Sylvia Garcia, Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff, Val Demings, Zoe Lofgren and Jason Crow
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrives on Capitol Hill Wednesday, in advance of announcing the House impeachment managers
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, arriving on Capitol Hill Wedneseday, will move the two articles of impeachment against President Trump over to the Senate in the coming hours
Both Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (left) and Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (right) were named as impeachment managers Wednesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is photograhed as she arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning. Pelosi announces that seven Democrats would serve as impeachment managers
President Trump objected to the Democrats’ plea that the Senate include new evidence in the impeachment trial, sending out this tweet minutes after Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment managers
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (left) put House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (right) in charge
When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (left) was asked about GOP threats to call Hunter Biden to testify during the Senate trial, she had House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (right) answer the question instead
There was a push by some to have her also select Amash, who left the GOP to become an independent and supported Trump’s impeachment.
She did not, choosing only Democrats to serve in the role.
McConnell says the Republican-led upper chamber will begin opening arguments in the impeachment hearing Tuesday next week. Members of Congress will observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.
The House voted, almost entirely along party lines, last month to impeach Donald Trump.
Pelosi then held the impeachment articles in the House, breaking with precedent in sending them immediately to the Senate following the vote.
The California Democrat said she wanted to prove to the American people in that time that there was a need for witnesses in the Senate trial.
She repeated that stance Wednesday morning during the brief press conference.
‘On December 18, the House of Representatives impeached the President of the United States. An impeachment that will last forever,’ Pelosi began. ‘Since December 18 there have been comments about when are we going to send the articles over.’
She said she had hoped the Senate would extend the ‘courtesy’ to tell the House ‘what the process would be.’
‘Short of that, that time has revealed many things since then,’ Pelosi continued. ‘Time has been our friend in all of this because as we’ve yielded incriminating evidence, more truth into the public domain.’
President Trump and the White House disputed this.
‘Here we go again, another Con Job by the Do Nothing Democrats. All of this work was supposed to be done by the House, not the Senate!’ Trump tweeted, moments after Pelosi announced the roster of managers.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham also slapped Pelosi in a statement.
‘The Speaker lied when she claimed this was urgent and vital to national security because when the articles passed, she held them for an entire month in an egregious effort to garner political support,’ Grisham said Wednesday morning.
McConnell says there will be a vote after opening arguments to decide if the Senate should call witnesses to testify in the hearing that will decide if the president will be removed from office.
The weeks-long trial in the Senate is expected to ultimately end in the president’s acquittal. But it will focus attention on Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, as the 2020 presidential campaign begins in earnest.
Biden is one of 12 candidates vying for the Democratic nomination, and the trial might still be under way when Iowa and New Hampshire hold their first nominating contests in early February.
None of the Senate’s 53 Republicans have voiced support for ousting Trump, a step that would require a two-thirds majority in the 100-member chamber.
Though the ultimate outcome is not in doubt, the trial could deliver some moments of drama.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday. His chamber will take over President Trump’s impeachment later in the day
Democrats are pressing to call Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton as a witness, which could prove damaging to Trump. Other witnesses in the impeachment inquiry said Bolton was a vocal critic of the effort to pressure Ukraine.
McConnell, however, has resisted the idea of calling witnesses at all. He claims his chamber should only consider evidence that has already been dug up by the House.
But other Republicans and Trump himself have said they would like to call witnesses of their own – including Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who served on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma from 2014-2019.
Asked Wednesday about GOP plans to call Hunter Biden to testify, Pelosi backed away from the podium, letting Nadler address the question instead.
‘We are prepared. But the relevant question is relevance – is relevance,’ Nadler said. ‘In any trial, you call witnesses who have information about the allegations, about the charges.’
The New York Democrat reminded reporters that the charges involved whether Trump held up $391 million in military aid to Ukraine ‘in order to get Ukraine to announce an investigation of a domestic political opponent,’ Nadler said.
‘Any witness who has information about whether that is true or not true is a relevant witness. Anybody – like Hunter Biden – who has no information about any of that, is not a relevant witness,’ Nadler explained.
The night before the House vote, some indication of just how explosive the next few weeks could be came with the House Intelligence Committee releasing a new trove of information from Lev Parnas, the Soviet-born sidekick of Rudy Giuliani who is now indicted on felony charges.
In more than 30 pages of messages and image retrieved from one of Parnas’ devices, it revealed how Giuliani had written to Ukraine’s newly-elected president, Voldomyr Zelensky, saying that with the president’s ‘consent and knowledge’ he was requesting a meeting.
It also showed Parnas writing down the apparent details of a ‘deal’ to secure an investigation of ‘Biden’; Parnas pressing Giuliani to get a visa for an allegedly corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor and the attorney saying he had ‘No. 1 on it’; and Parnas and a fanatically pro-Trump Republican congressional candidate exchanging messages calling Marie Yovanovitch, then the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine a ‘b***h’ and suggesting her movements were being monitored.
In one message the would-be Congressman, Robert Hyde, told Parnas he had men watching her and said: ‘They are willing to help if we/you would like a price.’
Hyde, who has posed repeatedly with the president and given more than $50,000 to pro-Trump campaign groups at the same time as owning child support, said on twitter: ‘How low can liddle Adam Bull Schiff go? I was never in Kiev. For them to take some texts my buddy’s and I wrote back to some dweeb we were playing with that we met a few times while we had a few drinks is definitely laughable. Schiff is a desperate turd playing with this Lev guy.’
The Parnas files may be the tip of an iceberg; the House Intelligence Committee has three of his devices.
THE IMPEACHMENT MANAGERS: MEET THE SEVEN DEMOCRATS PROSECUTING DONALD TRUMP
Adam Schiff of California: The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, 59, led the impeachment process against Donald Trump. He became a frequent target of Trump’s fury: the president called him ‘Liddle’ Adam Schiff and made fun of his neck. But Schiff won praise for his leadership during witnesses hearings. Schiff served in the California State Assembly and was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles for six years. He oversaw the prosecution of Richard Miller, the first FBI agent ever to be indicted for espionage. Elected to Congress in 2012.
Jerry Nadler of New York: The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, 72, led the series of hearings that developed the two articles of impeachment against the president: abuse of power and obstruction of justice. He’s in his 15th term in Congress and was a New York State Assembly man before joining Capitol Hill. He was in law school when he was first elected to state office and completed his J.D. while serving in Albany. He and Schiff were expected to be named. Elected to Congress in 1992.
Zoe Lofgren of California: A close Nancy Pelosi ally and a long time friend of the speaker, Lofgren, 72, has the unique experience of playing a role in three presidential impeachment proceedings: as a Judiciary Committee staffer during Richard Nixon’s in 1974, as a Judiciary Committee Member during Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment, and now in President Trump’s. Additionally, she heads the Committee on House Administration, a position that has the moniker ‘Mayor of Capitol Hill’ given the panel’s jurisdiction over the everyday running of the Capitol, including members’ allowance, office space, and rules of the House. Elected to Congress in 1994.
Hakeem Jeffries of New York: Jeffries, 49, was a litigator in private practice before running for elected office. He worked in the litigation department of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison before becoming assistant litigator for Viacom and CBS, where he worked on litigation stemming from the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy, when Janet Jackson’s breast, adorned with a nipple shield, was exposed by Justin Timberlake for about half a second, in what was later referred to as a ‘wardrobe malfunction’. The Federal Election Commission fined CBS $550,000 after a long legal case. The Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Jeffries serves on the House Judiciary Committee. Before Congress, he was in the New York State Assembly for six years. Elected to Congress in 2012 and a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Val Demings of Florida: Demings, 62, served in the Orlando Police Department for 27 years, including serving as the city’s first female chief of police. She is one of seven children born in poverty – her father worked in Florida orange groves and her mother was a housekeeper. She was the first member of her family graduate from college. She worked as a social worker before joining the Orlando police department. A member of the House Intelligence panel and the Judiciary Committee, Demings won plaudits for her careful questioning of witnesses during the impeachment hearings. She wrote on Twitter in December, during the impeachment process: ‘I am a descendant of slaves, who knew that they would not make it, but dreamed and prayed that one day I would make it. So despite America’s complicated history, my faith is in the Constitution. I’ve enforced the laws, and now I write the laws. Nobody is above the law.’ She spends her free time riding her Harley-Davidson Road King Classic motorcycle. Elected to Congress in 2016.
Jason Crow of Colorado: Crow, 40, was an Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he served three tours and was awarded a Bronze Star. He was a private litigator with the Holland and Hart Law Firm before running for Congress. He was elected to Congress in 2018 and serves on the House Armed Services Committee.
Sylvia Garcia of Texas: Garcia, 69, has a strong judicial background. She was the director and presiding judge of the Houston Municipal System and was elected city controller. She was also the first Hispanic and first woman to be elected in her own right to the Harris County Commissioner’s Court. Elected to Congress in 2018, she serves on the House Judiciary Committee.