House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that the House will send articles of impeachment to the Senate next week, setting in motion a trial that is likely to run through the end of January
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that the House will send articles of impeachment to the Senate next week, setting in motion a trial that is likely to run through the end of January.
Pelosi said the House will vote on a resolution to formally transmit the articles after she meets with all House Democrats at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
“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 said in a note to the House Democratic conference. “I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at her weekly press conference in Washington on Jan. 9. (Photo: Michael Brochstein/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images) The earliest a trial could start, given this timetable, is Wednesday. That means a debate between Democratic presidential candidates scheduled for Tuesday night in Iowa will likely go forward. Three Democratic senators — Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar — qualified for the debate, and would not have been able to be present if the Senate trial, which they are required to attend, had been scheduled any sooner.
Pelosi’s announcement came one day after she said she would not let go of the articles until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released details of how the trial will be conducted. The decision to announce she will send the articles was a concession that further delay was politically untenable in light of objections from Senate Democrats earlier this week.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP) McConnell not only has not disclosed details of the trial to Pelosi, he also hasn’t even shown it to a number of Senate Republicans, based on their responses to inquiries from Yahoo News.
Not even Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of President Trump’s staunchest defenders, has seen the rules, a spokesman said.
Senators do have a pretty good sense of what the rules will be, though. McConnell has said for some time that he wants to use the same rules that governed the 1999 Senate impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. Clinton, a Democrat who was impeached by the House for lying about a sexual affair with a White House intern, was acquitted after a five-week-long trial.
Story continues But until McConnell promulgates specific language, many details remain murky.
A senior House Democratic aide told Yahoo News that another reason Pelosi did not send articles to the Senate this week was because of the escalating tensions with Iran, which, Pelosi feared, might have given Senate Republicans an excuse to dismiss the charges out of hand without even scheduling a trial.
The U.S. military killed Iran’s most prominent military leader last Friday, and on Wednesday, Iran fired ballistic missiles at U.S. forces stationed at Iraqi military bases. The administration reported no casualties.
Trump’s Thursday morning speech and the absence (thus far) of an additional Iranian response appeared to deescalate the crisis. It was unclear if Pelosi might change her mind if the military situation heated up again between now and Tuesday.
Michael Isikoff contributed to this article.
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