Pelosi Suggests Appointing Managers Before Sending Impeachment Articles To Senate

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday the House will take steps next week to send articles of impeachment to the Senate ending Democrats' blockade of US President Donald Trump's Senate trial.

Ms Pelosi said she was waiting for what she wanted from the start - "to see the arena" and "terms of the engagement" that Mr McConnell will use - before sending her House managers to present the articles of impeachment in the Senate.

The House impeached Trump last month on charges that he abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate a domestic political rival and obstructed efforts by Congress to investigate the alleged misconduct. At that precise moment, Pelosi's "Dear Colleague" letter saying she would send the impeachment articles this coming week landed in hundreds of congressional inboxes. "We'll get about it as soon as we can", he said. The White House may ask for more time for trial preparation as Trump attends the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 21.

Having rushed to impeach Trump on December 18, arguing he posed a "clear and present danger" to U.S. national security and the very fabric of democracy, Democrats proceeded to sit on the articles for over three weeks. No president has ever been deposed by the Senate.

Pelosi's hand may have been forced by a growing number of Senators expressing support for a recently introduced resolution that would, if passed, automatically dismiss the impeachment articles if they weren't transmitted to the Senate.

Back then, all 100 senators agreed to start Clinton's trial without an agreement to bring witnesses or testimony, as the Democrats have demanded in Trump's proceedings. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told reporters in her home state that she's speaking with a "fairly small group" of fellow Republican senators about potentially allowing House Democrats to call witnesses once they have finished presenting their arguments. She is one of national Democrats' top targets in the 2020 election and voted against her party in 1999 to acquit President Bill Clinton during an impeachment trial.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) rebuffed all of their requests and eventually signed up to Hawley's proposal.

It remains unclear how the Senate trial will play out as McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer haven't been on the same page.

Trump quickly signaled his intention to block any testimony from John Bolton, the brazen former national security advisor, who could be a wildcard witness in the process.

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The California Democrat insisted her caucus wasn't trying to dictate the rules, as McConnell has accused her of doing.

But a trial to determine his guilt or innocence can not begin in the Republican-controlled Senate until the House transmits the charges.

Speaking on the Senate floor on Wednesday, Mr McConnell said: "There will be no haggling with the House over Senate procedure". Republicans are just as focused on a speedy trial with acquittal. Pelosi announced on Friday that the articles will be sent next week.

At one point, referring to the European Union ambassador and the White House chief of staff, Bolton reportedly told a deputy "I am not part of whatever drug deal [Gordon] Sondland and [Mick] Mulvaney are cooking up".

White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said White House counsel Pat Cipollone would lead Trump's defense and outside counsel Jay Sekulow would be involved.

The House also alleges Trump prevented officials from testifying and withheld documents during the chamber's investigation.

In a news conference on Thursday, Trump made a similar statement when he asserted that he "would have no problem" with Bolton testifying if not for "presidential privilege".

Nadler, D-N.Y., and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., will most likely lead the team.

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