It’s time: On Wednesday (January 15), the House of Representatives voted to send both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate, NBC News reported. Along with that vote, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced which seven Democrats will serve as impeachment managers to prosecute the case; Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will preside over it all.
The 228-193 vote came down mostly on party lines — Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota was the only Democrat to join every Republican in voting “no,” the New York Times reported. (He was one of the two Democrats to vote “no” in the December 2019 impeachment vote, so his breaking party lines isn’t all that surprising.)
As a reminder, this comes nearly six months after President Donald Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate 2016 election interference based on a conspiracy theory, and to dig up dirt on his potential political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden; four months after a whistleblower wrote a complaint about the call; and a month after Trump was officially impeached by the House of Representatives.
In the Senate, they’ll likely hold a trial, including a full defense and prosecution. In this case, the defense will be Trump’s own defense lawyers, including Pat Cipollone, Jay Sekulow, Pat Philbin, and Mike Purpura, NPR reported.
Members of the House Judiciary Committee would serve as prosecutors, or impeachment managers. On Wednesday, Pelosi announced that Democratic Representatives Adam Schiff of California, Jerry Nadler of New York, Zoe Lofgren of California, Val Demings of Florida, Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Sylvia Garcia of Texas, and Jason Crow of Colorado will fill those roles. Essentially, they’re the Democrats’ last hope to persuade Senators to vote in favor of removing the President of the United States from office. Incredibly chill.
As prosecutors, they’ll present each case for impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — to the Senate, who serve as jurors. The outcome of this trial determines if Trump will be convicted and removed from office and, as a reminder, that requires a two-thirds majority vote – meaning all Democrats and at least 20 Republicans will have to vote together to remove him.
This is the third official impeachment in U.S. history — there were seven impeachment managers for President Andrew Johnson's 1868 impeachment, and 13 managers for President Bill Clinton's impeachment, according to USA Today. (Richard Nixon resigned before the impeachment vote ever came down from the House, let alone went to the Senate.) And we have to look at those impeachments for some of the rules while we wait for the Senate to tell us how they’re going to run the trial. For instance, the Senate hasn’t told us how long each manager will have to give their case; during Clinton’s impeachment, the managers and the president’s lawyers had 24 hours to present, and Senators were given 16 hours to question either side, USA Today reported. After they questioned both sides, they voted.
The managers will likely meet up soon, but the trial isn’t expected to convene until Thursday, the New York Times reported. It’s then that the managers will likely bring the articles to the Senate chamber, Justice Roberts will take his oath, and the Senate will summon Trump.
But Republican leaders told the Times that the proceeding won’t really begin until Tuesday after the long weekend. Make no mistake: We’ll all need our rest for this one — and, as the Times reports, the Senate needs to settle the North American trade agreement and other legislative items before fully diving into impeachment proceedings.