US House sends Trump impeachment case to Senate

The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution to submit articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate for a trial.

The House impeached Mr Trump last month. The Senate will decide whether to convict and remove him from office.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will sign a copy of the resolution with the newly announced team of lawmakers who will prosecute the case against Mr Trump.

The Senate impeachment trial will be only the third in US history.

While Democrats control the House, Mr Trump’s fellow Republicans hold sway in the Senate 53-47, and are all but certain to acquit him.

Mrs Pelosi appeared earlier at a news conference with the seven “managers” who will lead the Democratic case against the Republican president.

They will be led by Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee.

The six others are Jerrold Nadler, head of the House judiciary committee, Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Zoe Lofgren of California, Jason Crow of Colorado, Val Demings of Florida and Sylvia Garcia of Texas.

Mrs Pelosi said on Wednesday morning: “I’m very proud to present the managers who will bring the case, which we have great confidence in, in terms of impeaching the president and his removal.”

During the trial, Mr Trump will be defended by White House lawyers, including Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow.

Mr Trump was impeached by the House on 18 December, on accusations of abuse of power and obstruction of congress.

He denies trying to pressure Ukraine to open an investigation into his would-be Democratic White House challenger Joe Biden.

Mr Trump has been touting unsubstantiated corruption claims about Mr Biden and his son, Hunter, who accepted a lucrative board position with a Ukrainian energy firm while his father handled American-Ukraine relations as US vice-president.

Mr Biden is one of a dozen candidates campaigning for the Democratic Party’s White House nomination.

The Senate trial might still be under way in early February when Iowa and New Hampshire hold the first contests to pick the eventual Democratic presidential candidate.

In the news conference, Mrs Pelosi defended her decision to hold off submitting the impeachment articles to Congress for more than three weeks as she quarrelled with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell about the trial rules, and even fellow Democrats urged her to stop stalling.

“Time has been our friend in all of this, because it has yielded incriminating evidence, more truth into the public domain,” she told reporters.

As Mrs Pelosi spoke, Mr Trump tweeted to call the process a “Con Job by the Do Nothing Democrats”.

Mr McConnell has said the trial is expected to begin in earnest next Tuesday.

BBC