/Historic Trump impeachment case heads to Senate

Historic Trump impeachment case heads to Senate

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Media captionPelosi “proud to present impeachment managers”

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 resolution passed largely along party lines by 228 votes to 193.

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

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

The Senate trial will be only the third of a US president in 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.

It remains to be seen how the case could influence the president’s campaign for re-election this November.

Mrs Pelosi, who launched the impeachment inquiry in September, said on the House floor before the vote: “We are here today to cross a very important threshold in American history.”

All Republicans voted against the resolution to transmit the articles of impeachment. Only one Democrat, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, did not vote in favour.

Democrats were joined by Justin Amash of Michigan, a former Republican who left the party to become an independent.

The Republican leader in the House, Kevin McCarthy of California, said Democrats were trying to remove the president with the “weakest case”. He called it a “sad saga”.

Mrs Pelosi appeared earlier at a news conference with the seven “managers” who will prosecute 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. The seven will ceremonially walk the articles of impeachment across the Capitol to the Senate later on Wednesday.

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Media captionA beginner’s guide to impeachment and Trump

White House lawyers Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow have been tipped to lead the president’s defence team. The Republican leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, said opening statements in the trial were expected next Tuesday.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will be sworn in to preside, and he will administer an oath to all 100 senators to deliver “impartial justice” as jurors.

During an event at the White House, Mr Trump rejected the charges as a “hoax”.

The president was impeached by the House on 18 December, on accusations of abuse of power and obstruction of congress. He denies trying to pressure Ukraine’s leader during a phone call on 25 July last year 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 could 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”.

Who are the House managers?

Adam Schiff, 59, (California) a Harvard-educated lawyer who presided over much of the House impeachment inquiry

Jerry Nadler, 72, (New York), the judiciary committee chairman who has been an adversary of Mr Trump since the 1980s

Zoe Lofgren, 72, (California) a Capitol Hill staffer during Nixon’s impeachment inquiry, she voted against President Clinton’s impeachment

Hakeem Jeffries, 49, (New York), a corporate lawyer by training and chairman of the Democratic caucus

Val Demings, 62, (Florida) who was the first female police chief in Orlando. She sits on the judiciary and intelligence committees

Jason Crow, 40, (Colorado) a former Army Ranger and Afghan and Iraq wars veteran who wrested a seat from a Republican in 2018

Sylvia Garcia, 69, (Texas) a first-term congresswoman who previously served as a judge for the Houston municipal court system

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