Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Friday that the House will vote to appoint impeachment managers next week, setting the stage for the impeachment articles against President Trump to be sent to the Senate soon after.
“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 letter to her caucus. “I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further.”
The announcement comes after Pelosi had unsuccessfully sought for more information from the Senate on how it planned to conduct its trial. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Tuesday that he had enough Republican votes to move forward with the early stages of the proceedings without a bipartisan pre-trial agreement on witnesses, as Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had requested. Pelosi then
suggested she’d wait until McConnell unveiled the procedures package the Senate would advance with — another demand that McConnell blew off. Instead, McConnell reportedly signed on to another GOP senator’s proposal to change the Senate rules to allow impeachment cases to be dismissed by the Senate before the articles were even transmitted by the House. There was no indication McConnell intended to push forward with that route in the days to come in this current situation.
Nonetheless, Pelosi on Friday bashed McConnell’s endorsement of the idea.
“A dismissal is a cover-up and deprives the American people of the truth,” she said in Friday’s letter. “Leader McConnell’s tactics are a clear indication of the fear that he and President Trump have regarding the facts of the President’s violations for which he was impeached.”
The last few weeks have focused on whether a Senate trial would be fair, including a fierce debate over whether the Senate should bring in additional witnesses and subpoena documents that were withheld by the Trump administration in the House’s impeachment inquiry.
The House’s impeachment articles charge Trump with abuse of power, for his efforts to force Ukraine to announce investigations into his political rivals, and with obstruction of Congress, for the White House’s stonewalling of the House’s investigation.
The push by President Trump’s allies for politically-motivated investigations in Ukraine percolated under the surface all summer. But blowing the scandal open was the emergence of whistleblower complaint in September that connected Trump himself to the effort. Under pressure from the furor fueled by the complaint, the White House released a rough transcript of a July phone call Trump held with the Ukrainian president, in which Trump requested that Ukraine open investigations into Joe Biden and into a theory that Democrats and Ukraine meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Over the course of its multi-month investigation, the House heard witness testimony indicating that several administration officials were aware of or even participated in the pressure campaign. Most damning was Trump’s ordered to freeze congressionally authorized military assistance to Ukraine as he and his proxies reiterated their demands.
Pelosi’s letter Friday touted the other revelations that have trickled out about Trump’s Ukraine campaign, mostly through news stories and open records litigation, since the House vote to approve the articles.
Read her full letter below:
Dear Democratic Colleague,
For weeks now, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has been engaged in tactics of delay in presenting transparency, disregard for the American people’s interest for a fair trial and dismissal of the facts.
Yesterday, he showed his true colors and made his intentions to stonewall a fair trial even clearer by signing on to a resolution that would dismiss the charges. A dismissal is a cover-up and deprives the American people of the truth. Leader McConnell’s tactics are a clear indication of the fear that he and President Trump have regarding the facts of the President’s violations for which he was impeached.
The American people have clearly expressed their view that we should have a fair trial with witnesses and documents, with more than 70 percent of the public stating that the President should allow his top aides to testify. Clearly, Leader McConnell does not want to present witnesses and documents to Senators and the American people so they can make an independent judgment about the President’s actions.
Honoring our Constitution, the House passed two articles of impeachment against the President – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – to hold the President accountable for asking a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 elections for his own political and personal gain.
While the House was able to obtain compelling evidence of impeachable conduct, which is enough for removal, new information has emerged, which includes:
- On December 20, new emails showed that 91 minutes after Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, a top Office of Management and Budget (OMB) aide asked the Department of Defense to “hold off” on sending military aid to Ukraine.
- On December 29, revelations emerged about OMB Director and Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s role in the delay of aid, the effort by lawyers at the OMB, the Department of Justice and the White House to justify the delay, and the alarm that the delay caused within the Administration.
- On January 2, newly-unredacted Pentagon emails, which we had subpoenaed and the President had blocked, raised serious concerns by Trump Administration officials about the legality of the President’s hold on aid to Ukraine.
- And on January 6, just this week, former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton announced he would comply with a subpoena compelling his testimony. His lawyers have stated he has new relevant information.
I am very proud of the courage and patriotism exhibited by our House Democratic Caucus as we support and defend the Constitution. 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. I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further.
In an impeachment trial, every Senator takes an oath to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.” Every Senator now faces a choice: to be loyal to the President or the Constitution.
No one is above the law, not even the President.