WASHINGTON (CN) – Building up suspense over next steps in President Donald Trump’s Senate trial, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday she will wait another day to appoint the impeachment managers.
Emerging from the Democrats’ weekly caucus meeting in the U.S. Capitol basement, Representative Henry Cuellar disclosed that the House will name the managers in a Wednesday resolution.
“We’ll have a 10-minute debate and we’ll vote on it and send everything over, and the Senate trial will start next week,” the Texas congressman said.
Lawmakers largely refrained from identifying who the managers would be as they left the caucus room, but Representative Val Demings described their attributes.
“They are very talented, very skilled, very committed group, who are committed to finding out the truth and to justice,” the Florida congresswoman said.
House Finance Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters ruled herself out.
“It should be a lawyer,” Waters told reporters in the hallway. “It’s a trial.”
Over the past month since Trump’s impeachment, House Democrats have made a point to tout the evidence that they gathered in the interim. White House emails shaken loose through litigation by the nonprofit Center on Public Integrity have shown that Trump’s political appointee at the Office of Management and Budget ordered a hold on aid to Ukraine some 90 minutes after the July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani’s under indictment in the Southern District of New York, has been cooperating with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s continuing investigation. His attorney Joseph Bondy received the court’s permission on Monday to turn over three more of his client’s electronic devices to the committee.
Asked about the investigations, Waters said she had no update.
“No, but that’s our job to keep on doing our oversight,” the California congresswoman said.
Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington echoed that message.
“There’s been so much information that’s come out since we’ve voted on impeachment, but there’s no specific details on the particulars of the investigations,” Jayapal said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made no secret of his plan to keep any new information from coming out during the impeachment trial, rejecting requests from his Democratic counterpart Chuck Schumer for witnesses and documents. To force witness testimony by key witnesses such as Ambassador John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Senate Democrats need four Republicans to break ranks.
Asked if House Democrats might call the witnesses if the Senate does not, Jayapal would not rule out that option.
“Possibly, but here’s the thing.” she said. “This is a massive cover-up on Mitch McConnell’s part for the Senate leader who’s responsible for the trial, who’s responsible for ensuring a fair trial for Americans.”
Jayapal slammed McConnell’s vow of total coordination with the White House in the process and declared strategy of pre-emptively dismissing the articles.
“To actually sign onto a motion to dismiss the whole thing, to be coordinating with the defense, and to refuse to bring witnesses, is absurd,” she added.
Pelosi said dismissal of the articles without any evidence-gathering at trial would send a clear message.
“A dismissal is a cover-up,” the California Democrat said in a statement. “The American people will fully understand the Senate’s move to begin the trial without witnesses and documents as a pure political cover-up. Leader McConnell and the president are afraid of more facts coming to light.”