WASHINGTON (CN) — Dusting off a procedure not seen in the House of Representatives for 21 years, lawmakers voted 228-193 to transmit articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate on Wednesday.
The vote came one month after the House impeached Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Trump’s trial in the Senate is set to kick off Jan. 21, with seven impeachment managers appointed just this morning by Speaker Nancy Pelosi presenting evidence. Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court will preside over the proceedings where Trump will effectively be represented by a team selected by the White House at some future date.
The last time such a vote occurred in the House was articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton.
“This trial is necessary because President Trump gravely abused the power of his office when he strong-armed a foreign government to announce investigations into his domestic political rival,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, one of the managers named Wednesday. “He betrayed our country when he used the powers of his office, including withholding vital U.S. military assistance — to pressure the government to help him win reelection.”
Nadler detailed everything that has come to light in the past six months about Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelensky, where he dangled the promise of a White House visit and U.S. military aid in exchange for an investigation into Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy firm that once counted Hunter Biden as a board member.
“He invited foreign interference into our elections — again,” Nadler said. “He jeopardized national security. He did it all for his personal, political gain. And then he violated the Constitution by stonewalling Congress’ efforts to investigate, ordering an absolute blockade of evidence.”
Pelosi signed the articles of impeachment after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, swapping out pens after forming each letter and distributing them to the impeachment managers and chairs of the House committees that marshaled the impeachment process.
The newly minted impeachment managers then solemnly marched through the marbled halls of the Capitol to the Senate.
As expected, the Senate invited the impeachment managers to return on Thursday at noon to formally present the articles. Chief Justice Roberts will be sworn in shortly after 2 p.m. on Thursday, after which he will swear in the senators.
Less than 24 hours before lawmakers appeared on the House floor, the House Intelligence Committee released a trove of new documents from Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
The files included a series of chilling text messages and curious emails that appear to show that the ousted U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch faced a pattern of covert surveillance.