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House will vote on resolution to send articles of impeachment to the Senate next week

Pelosi to send impeachment articles "soon"
Pelosi to send impeachment articles "soon" 09:08

The House will vote next week on a resolution to designate impeachment managers to prosecute the case against President Trump in a Senate trial, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday, which will end the impasse between the House and the Senate over when articles of impeachment will be delivered.

In a letter to House Democrats on Friday, Pelosi said that she had asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to draft the resolution to be voted on next week. Under Senate rules, the trial cannot begin until the House names impeachment managers to prosecute the case against Mr. Trump and then formally delivers the articles to the Senate.

"I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further," Pelosi wrote to the Democratic House members.

Pelosi has been withholding the articles from the Senate, saying she needs to see the rules for the trial set by the Senate before the House delivers the articles. Democrats argue that the Senate needs to hear from new witnesses and admit new evidence for it to be a fair trial.

"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," Pelosi said in her letter Friday.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a one-sentence statement in response to Pelosi's announcement Friday: "Senate Democrats are ready for the trial to begin and will do everything we can to see that the truth comes out."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not want to include consideration of witnesses and documents in the vote on the rules for the Senate trial. He would prefer to vote on the rules and then hear the opening arguments from the House impeachment managers and President Trump's defense team before voting on whether to call witnesses or consider new evidence. 

He announced Tuesday that Republicans have enough support to move forward with the approach he prefers. The vote on the organizing resolution determining the rules of the trial will, according to McConnell, mirror the procedures used in the Clinton impeachment trial. Under the resolution, House impeachment managers and the president's defense team would deliver opening statements before the Senate would vote on whether to call witnesses or consider new evidence.

Pelosi slammed McConnell in her letter, saying that 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." McConnell signed on as a co-sponsor to Senator Josh Hawley's resolution to dismiss the articles of impeachment on Thursday.

"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," Pelosi said.

McConnell responded to Pelosi's announcement on Friday afternoon, saying: "About time!"

Pelosi has been signaling for some time that she was close to agreeing to delivering the articles, telling reporters Thursday that she wouldn't hold the articles "indefinitely," and that the House would transmit them to the Senate "soon."

McConnell had said that he expected to see the articles delivered as early as Friday. Politico reported that McConnell told Republican senators Thursday that he expected the articles to be transmitted Friday, which would have set up an impeachment trial to begin next week.

Meanwhile, Senator Lindsey Graham introduced a resolution Thursday condemning Pelosi for not immediately transmitting the articles of impeachment to the Senate, and demanding that the House deliver the articles immediately.

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