The latest on President Trump's impeachment
It's still an open question which House Democratic lawmakers will prosecute the case in the Senate as impeachment managers, which will be selected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, though she is expected to name Reps. Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler, who chair the two committees that spearheaded the impeachment proceedings, as the leaders of the impeachment manager team.
Sources involved in the conversations also believe that Pelosi is looking to select a team that reflects her caucus. Among those being considered are...
- Florida Rep. Val Demings
- California Rep. Zoe Lofgren
- New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries
- Illinois Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi
- Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes
- California Rep. Eric Swalwell
- Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin
- California Rep. Jackie Speier
- Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro
But Democrats say Pelosi has not made any final decision, especially because she doesn't know the makeup of the trial. And she has not informed her colleagues who she is expected to name.
"If the Senate decides we're doing to have a full-blown trial with witnesses and cross examination, that might suggest a certain set of individuals with a certain skill set," said Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island. "If instead, the Senate is going to limit it to some legal arguments or some constitutional arguments, that may suggest another set of managers."
The sources say if the Senate is expected to hold a short trial with no witnesses, there will likely be a more limited team. A longer trial would likely to lead to a more robust team.
Even though it’s uncertain when President Trump’s impeachment trial is expected to start, House Democrats are privately preparing for a trial to begin as soon as the week of Jan. 6.
Staff for the key House committees, in consultation with Democratic leadership, are expected to work over the holiday recess in the event the trial starts early in the new year, per two sources with knowledge of the work.
Where things are right now: In order for a trial to take place, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi needs to send over the articles to the Senate.
But she says she needs to understand what the process will be like in the Senate to determine which impeachment managers to name to prosecute their case. The House needs to vote on the impeachment managers before the articles are sent over, Democrats say. The earliest House vote would be Jan. 7.
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are at an impasse over the rules for a trial, with Schumer wanting a deal struck up front on witnesses and documents and McConnell saying those decisions should come later and they should agree to just the nuts-and-bolts of the trial initially.
The House voted Wednesday to approve two articles of impeachment against President Trump — obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.
The House and Senate are now in recess for the holidays. Here's where things stand:
- The House hasn't sent the case to the Senate yet: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would not commit to sending the articles of impeachment against Trump to the Republican-held Senate. The Senate will eventually hold a trial to determine if Trump should be removed from office, but can't take up the issue until the House formally transmits the articles.
- A key point: Pelosi told reporters that she was waiting for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to cut a deal first on the rules that would govern the Senate trial before she sends over the articles.
- Next month: We're not sure when McConnell and Schumer will decide on trial rules and when the House will send over the articles of impeachment. However, even before Trump was impeached, McConnell had said the Senate would hold the trial in the new year. House Democrats are privately preparing for a trial to begin as soon as the week of Jan. 6.
The House and Senate are now in recess for the holidays after both chambers took their last votes of the year yesterday.
The break comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not committed to sending the articles of impeachment to the Republican-held Senate. The Senate will eventually hold a trial to determine if Trump should be removed from office — but it can't take up the issue until the House formally transmits the articles.
The speaker's refusal to immediately transmit the articles of impeachment passed by the House to the Senate has triggered a rare direct power game with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.