The House voted Wednesday to send articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate for a trial and to name the seven lawmakers who will prosecute him.
The House managers walked the articles across the Capitol and presented them to the secretary of the Senate late in the day, and lawmakers are to formally read the documents aloud at noon Thursday. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will be sworn in at 2 p.m. to preside over the trial, then senators will be sworn in.
The House voted 228 to 193, largely along party lines, to send the Senate the two articles accusing Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., split from Democrats supporting the resolution and joined Republicans opposing it. Opening arguments in the trial are likely to begin Tuesday.
“This is as serious as it gets for any of us,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who called impeachment patriotic rather than political, personal or partisan. “Only the vote to declare war would be something more serious than this.”
A two-thirds majority of the Senate would be required to convict and remove Trump, which is unlikely in the chamber where Republicans outnumber Democrats 53 to 47.
Trump, who said he expects to be exonerated, commended Republicans for defending him.
“They have a hoax going on over there. Let’s take care of it,” Trump said during a ceremony announcing a China trade agreement.
White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said “this sham, illegitimate impeachment” reveals Pelosi is more focused on politics than on the American people.
“President Trump has done nothing wrong,” Grisham said. “He looks forward to having the due process rights in the Senate that Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats denied to him, and expects to be fully exonerated.”
The House managers – seven lawmakers chosen by Pelosi – will serve in a role similar to prosecutors in the trial by presenting the evidence against Trump. The lead manager is Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who is joined by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.; and Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.; Val Demings, D-Fla.; Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.; Jason Crow,