WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday told her Democratic caucus members there could be a House vote next week on a resolution to appoint impeachment managers and to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
In a letter to her colleagues, Pelosi said she has asked Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan), the House Judiciary Committee chairman, to be prepared to bring that resolution to the House floor next week, but she didn’t specify a date.
“I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further,” Pelosi said in the letter.
Under Senate rules, the transmittal of the articles will initiate the beginning of a trial on whether to convict and remove President Donald Trump by the 100 senators, with House members prosecuting the case, the White House defending and Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts overseeing the proceedings.
“She should have sent them a long time ago. It just belittles the process,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News.
“About time,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters as he walked through the Capitol building’s halls.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement: “Senate Democrats are ready for the trial to begin and will do everything we can to see that the truth comes out.”
Pelosi, who has withheld the articles from the Senate for about three weeks, has faced increasing pressure not only from Republicans but also a growing number of Democrats to send them to the Senate.
House Democrats approved two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — against Trump on Dec. 18 for pressing Ukraine to investigate a political rival for his personal and political benefit, and blocking the House impeachment inquiry.
Pelosi sought to push McConnell to agree to Schumer’s demand that the trial include witnesses and new documents — or at least to disclose what rules will be in effect.
McConnell has rebuffed Pelosi, announcing this week he had the 51 votes to pass the rules for the Senate trial without needing to work and compromise with Schumer.
McConnell said he will model the trial on the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1999. His Senate trial lasted from Jan. 7 to Feb. 12.
“There will be no unfair, new-rule rule book written solely for President Trump,” McConnell said Thursday.
To put pressure on Pelosi, McConnell added his name to a Republican resolution to allow the Senate to dismiss the articles of impeachment for lack of prosecution after 25 days.
Pelosi said in her letter that McConnell had shown his “true colors” by signing on with that resolution that could lead to dismissal of the charges. “A dismissal is a cover-up and deprives the American people of the truth,” she wrote.
She pointed to new evidence in previously undisclosed internal Trump administration emails that has emerged since the House passed the articles of impeachment, and a willing witness in former national security adviser John Bolton.
McConnell has a Republican majority in the Senate, with 53 senators, to the 47 senators voting with the Democratic caucus. Rules for the Senate trial require a simple majority. Convicting Trump of each article requires 67 votes.