House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday formally set in motion the process of sending the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate, triggering a historic trial set to begin on Thursday.
At an “engrossment” signing ceremony for the House resolution naming the seven impeachment managers — the lawmakers who will present the House case as prosecutors at the trial — Pelosi said the House was doing its “constitutional duty.”
“Today, we will make history,” she said, “when we walk down — when the managers walk the hall, they will cross a threshold in history, delivering articles of impeachment against the president of the United States for abuse of power and obstruction of the House.”
“This president will be held accountable,” she said.
After signing the resolution, she handed out the pens she used to the managers.
Then, marking the somber nature of the occasion, the managers silently walked the articles, in two blue folders, across the Capitol from the House to the Senate, where the House clerk announced their arrival. The Senate will formally accept them on Thursday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate would convene at noon after which the managers will read the articles aloud, Chief Justice John Roberts will be sworn in and he, in turn, will swear in senators to serve as jurors in the case.
“Let me close with this,” McConnell said. “This is a difficult time for our country. But this is precisely the kind of time for which the framers created the Senate. I am confident this body can rise above short-termism and factional fever and serve the long-term best interests of our nation.
“We can do this. And we must,” he said.
Earlier Wednesday, the House voted 228-193 to formally send the impeachment charges against President Trump to the Senate to begin the third presidential impeachment trial in American history.
The House resolution officially appoints the seven managers, named by Pelosi Wednesday morning.
In the morning, shortly after being named an impeachment manager, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler submitted the text of a resolution that spells out the managers’ duties.
During the short floor debate before the vote, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took aim at the managers appointed by Pelosi, as they sat in front of him, listening.
“By selecting this particular batch of managers, the speaker has further proven she’s not interested in winning the minds, the hearts, or even following the Constitution,” he said, calling out Nadler, and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, specifically.
He criticized Pelosi’s comments this morning about Trump being impeached “forever,” accusing her of playing politics.
“The speaker said, ‘The President is impeached forever.’ Is this what this is all about?” he said. Pelosi pumped her fist in the air as McCarthy quoted her.
There were about 140 members of the public watching from the galleries.
When it was her turn, Pelosi, standing next to a poster showing the American flag and a quote from the Pledge of Allegiance, ended debate by denouncing Trump’s actions and defending the timing of the impeachment proceedings in the House.
“It is a fact that once somebody is impeached, they are always impeached. It cannot be erased. I know you don’t like hearing that,” Pelosi said to McCarthy.
Trump, she said, “gave us no choice” on impeachment.
“They would have liked us to send this over on Christmas Eve so they could dismiss it. Perhaps they don’t know that dismissal is a cover-up.”
President Trump, participating in a signing ceremony of an agreement between the United States and China at the White House, observed some Republicans in the audience and directed them to go vote against the resolution.
You can read the rest of Benjamin Siegel, Katherine Faulders, John Parksinson, and Stephanie Ebbs’ article at ABCnews.com