US House approves resolution sending impeachment articles to Senate

Washington - By Sophie Wingate and Shabtai Gold, - The US House of Representatives approved a resolution on Wednesday sending the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate for his trial to begin.

The measure, which passed the Democratic-controlled House 228-193 in a vote largely along party lines, also appointed the seven impeachment managers who will prosecute the case against Trump in the upper chamber.

"[Trump] put his own personal interest above the national interest, above our national security and if not stopped he will do it again," lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff said.
"The only remedy is conviction and removal from office," Schiff added.
The other managers appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi are Jerry Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Hakeem Jeffries, Val Demings, Jason Crow and Sylvia Garcia. They all have extensive backgrounds in the legal profession.
"The emphasis is on litigators. The emphasis is on comfort level in the courtroom. The emphasis is making the strongest possible case to protect and defend our constitution to seek the truth for the American people," Pelosi said ahead of the vote.
The vote to transfer the articles to the Senate came four weeks after the House impeached the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his handling of relations with Ukraine.
Since the first vote, more evidence has come to light on the alleged scheme to pressure Ukraine to help Trump's re-election campaign.
A formal and rare ceremony is set to take place at 5 pm (2200 GMT), when the impeachment managers are expected to hand-deliver the articles to the Senate, a process known as engrossment in the arcane language of Congress.
The trial will mark the shift from the Democratic-controlled House to the Republican-controlled Senate. It still remains unclear if Trump's Republican Party will give in to demands from the Democrats to call witnesses and procure more documentation.
"We don't think the Senate needs to hear from any witnesses," a White House official told reporters, adding that the administration expected a quick two-week trial.
Trump is due to deliver his State of the Union address on February 4, with the trial threatening to overshadow the annual event.
Democrats say the president pressured Ukraine to announce an investigation into Joe Biden - a leading candidate to run against Trump in elections this year - including by withholding critical military aid and a White House meeting.
Pelosi had withheld the articles of impeachment from the Republican-controlled Senate over the Christmas break in an effort to force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow witness testimony during the trial. McConnell has rebuffed that request.
Already on Thursday the Senate could take its first impeachment step, swearing in Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the case. Major proceedings will likely begin in earnest next week, possibly on Tuesday.
During the trial, the Senate is expected to meet every day except Sundays. The chamber will need a two-thirds majority to remove Trump from office, an unlikely event.
Trump took to Twitter to again bash the impeachment process, which he often dubs a "hoax" even as he is confident of an acquittal
"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!" he said, seemingly referring to the Democrats' push for witnesses at the trial.


Wednesday, January 15th 2020
By Sophie Wingate and Shabtai Gold,

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