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 President Donald Trump’s Senate trial.
In a letter to her Democratic colleagues, Pelosi said she was proud of their ″courage and patriotism” and warned that senators now have a choice as they consider the charges of abuse and obstruction against the president.
“In an impeachment trial, every Senator takes an oath to do ’impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws,″ Pelosi wrote. ”Every Senator now faces a choice: to be loyal to the President or the Constitution.”
Pelosi has been in a standoff with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that has consumed Capitol Hill and scrambled the political dynamic more than three weeks after the House impeached Trump.
She said she has asked House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler to be prepared to bring to the floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
“I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further,” Pelosi wrote. She did not announce a date for the House vote.
The protracted showdown has scrambled the politics of impeachment and the congressional calendar three weeks after the House Democrats impeached Trump on charges of abuse and obstruction over his actions toward Ukraine.
Transmittal of the documents and naming of House impeachment managers are the next steps needed to start the Senate trial.
McConnell wants to launch a speedy trial without new witnesses.
Trump mocked Pelosi with his tweets Friday and derided her and other Democrats late Thursday in Toledo, his first rally of 2020.
The House impeached Trump in December on the charge that he abused the power of his office by pressuring Ukraine’s new leader to investigate Democrats, using as leverage $400 million in military assistance for the US ally as it counters Russia at its border. Trump insists he did nothing wrong, but his defiance of the House Democrats’ investigation led to an additional charge of obstruction of Congress.
The Senate trial would be just the third impeachment trial in the nation’s history.
McConnell told GOP senators at a lunchtime meeting this week to expect the trial next week, according to two people familiar with his remarks. The people requested anonymity to discuss the private meeting.