WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives will vote Wednesday to send two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday.
“The House will now proceed with a vote on transmitting the articles of impeachment and naming impeachment managers on Wednesday, January 15,” Pelosi said in a statement, following a closed-door Democratic caucus meeting Tuesday morning.
Wednesday’s House resolution is expected to have three functions: To transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate, name the House members who will serve as managers of the impeachment trial, and fund the trial itself.
Pelosi has yet to announce who she has selected to serve as impeachment managers, the House members who will effectively act as prosecutors in the president’s trial. On Tuesday, House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said Pelosi would release the names of the managers sometime before Wednesday’s vote.
But the list is likely to include House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Schiff led the formal House impeachment inquiry against Trump last year. Nadler leads the committee which drafted and approved the two articles of impeachment against the president that were passed in December.
The vote Wednesday will trigger a series of carefully choreographed procedural steps between the House and Senate, culminating in a walk across the Capitol by the House impeachment managers, who will be carrying the actual articles of impeachment in their hands.
The managers will then physically deliver the articles to Secretary of the Senate Julie Adams, a career public servant and former McConnell staffer who has held the Senate’s top administrative position since 2015.
The actual delivery of the articles is likely to occur late Wednesday afternoon, although House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Wednesday that the ceremonial walk could potentially be pushed back to Thursday morning.
The handover will mark the end of a nearly month-long delay in transmitting the documents, which Pelosi orchestrated in an attempt to force concessions out of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Chief among them has been the ability to call witnesses, which Democrats have long demanded as part of any trial they would consider to be a “fair” one.
But McConnell has so far said the question of witnesses should be shelved until partway into the trial itself, as was the case in the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton.
Absent a last-minute change of heart by McConnell, Wednesday’s vote will represent a political defeat for Pelosi, the de facto architect of the impeachment process so far.
The House voted on Dec.18 to impeach Trump on two articles stemming from his monthslong campaign to pressure Ukraine into launching investigations into Joe Biden and other domestic political opponents. The pressure tactics allegedly included withholding congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
Trump was impeached on charges that he abused the power of the presidency and obstructed Congress by prohibiting top administration officials from testifying about the Ukraine scheme.