23/09/2020

House Democrats voted Wednesday to send a pair of articles of impeachment to…

House Democrats voted Wednesday to send a pair of articles of impeachment to the Senate, a move that launches a trial in the upper chamber and ends the weeks-long wait for Phase Two in the Democrats’ effort to remove President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debateSanders, Warren exchange underscores Iowa stakesCNN’s Van Jones: Democratic debate was ‘dispiriting,’ no evidence party can defeat TrumpMORE from office.
The vote, scheduled by Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse poised to hand impeachment articles to SenateHouse to vote on Iran war powers bills sought by progressivesOn The Money Presented by Wells Fargo Uncertainty clouds Trump’s China trade deal | Judge delays ruling in House lawsuit over Trump tax returns | Treasury blocks foreign investments in critical US firmsMORE (D-Calif.) after a month of speculation over timing, cut virtually across party lines.
Aside from transmitting the articles, the resolution also provides funding for the impeachment process and officially appoints the seven Democrats who will serve as impeachment managers, whom Pelosi named shortly before Wednesdays vote. 
These members will act essentially as prosecutors, making their case before the GOP-controlled Senate that Trump should be removed from office. The articles focus on two separate charges abuse of power and obstruction of Congress related to Trumps pressure campaign on Ukrainian leaders to find dirt on his domestic political rivals.
Democrats voted largely along party lines to impeach Trump on these two impeachment articles on Dec. 18.
Shortly after that historic vote  which made Trump just the third U.S. president to be impeached Pelosi chose to withhold the articles from the upper chamber as leverage to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats sound election security alarm after Russia’s Burisma hackHouse poised to hand impeachment articles to SenateRepublicans face internal brawl over impeachment witnessesMORE (R-Ky.) to allow witnesses and other new evidence to be considered as part of the trial.
The move triggered a clash of the political titans, with both leaders using the undefined constitutional rules of impeachment to their strategic advantage.
A break in the stalemate came when Pelosi, facing pressure from both parties in the Senate, chose to transmit the articles even as McConnell indicated he had the Republican votes to adopt a set of trial rules that excluded guaranteed votes on potential witnesses, as Democrats have demanded. 
In a separate controversial move, McConnell had also endorsed a GOP resolution that would change the Senate rules to allow a vote dismissing the articles without a trial  if Pelosi did not turn them over to the upper chamber by a specified date.
McConnell has indicated he does not want to call in witnesses and rather focus on a speedy trial that is widely expected to acquit the president in the GOP-controlled Senate, where a two-thirds majority is required to remove a sitting president. The Republican leader has said hes simply adopting the Clinton impeachment model, where senators vote first on a resolution to start the trial and then later on separate requests to bring in potential witnesses.
Democrats believe McConnell will bury the demands for witnesses by arguing the trial has already gone on too long.
Still, Pelosis political gamble helped Democrats reap some fire power. 
John BoltonJohn BoltonHouse poised to hand impeachment articles to SenateRepublicans face internal brawl over impeachment witnessesMcConnell opens door for Hunter Biden testimony at Trump trialMORE announced last week that he would be willing to testify publicly if the Senate subpoenaed him, sparking a wave of Democrats and even a few Republicans saying they want to hear the former national security adviser speak.
And on Tuesday Democrats on the Intelligence panel released new information on Lev Parnas, a close associate of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiYovanovitch calls for investigation following evidence released by lawmakersCongressional candidate ensnared in latest impeachment evidenceREAD: House docs on Giuliani associate Lev Parnas’s texts, notesMORE. The documents include text messages, notes and other communications he had with Giuliani and other Trump officials, which further highlighted efforts to push out former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchYovanovitch calls for investigation following evidence released by lawmakersCongressional candidate ensnared in latest impeachment evidenceREAD: House docs on Giuliani associate Lev Parnas’s texts, notesMORE and dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from the Democratic debateSanders, Warren exchange underscores Iowa stakesDemocrats clash at debate over keeping US troops in MideastMORE and his son. 
Senate Democrats need at least four Republicans to vote in favor of witnesses. So far, only three have emerged to express any interest in that strategy.