KEY POINTS

  • Adam Schiff, a former federal prosecutor, will lead impeachment management team for Trump's Senate trial
  • Nadler calls evidence against Trump overwhelming
  • Pelosi says damning evidence has turned up since the vote on the articles of impeachment were approved

Update 2 p.m. EST

The House approved plan to send articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate, 228-193.

Original story

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Monday named House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a former federal prosecutor, to lead the team that will present the impeachment case against President Trump to the Senate.

Also named to the impeachment management team were House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York and Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, who was a staffer during the impeachment investigation of Richard Nixon and was on the House Judiciary Committee when Bill Clinton was impeached, as well as Reps. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Val Demings of Florida, Sylvia Garcis of Texas and Jason Crow of Colorado.

“Today is an important day,” Pelosi said, adding, “What is at stake is the Constitution of the United States.”

Trump is accused of trying to pressure Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for $391 million in military aid and then blocking Congress from investigating his actions. He has called the process a “hoax” and “witch hunt,” and suggested the articles should be dismissed by the Senate without trial. He also has spent the last month denigrating both Pelosi and Schiff. He weighed in as Pelosi was making the announcement, indicating the Senate trial should not uncover any evidence that hasn’t already been presented.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1217469828656701442

A vote was scheduled for later in the day on approving the managers and sending the articles to the Senate. Afterward, the impeachment managers will walk the charges through the Capitol, delivering them to the upper chamber.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the trial likely will begin next Tuesday.

Pelosi has been criticized for holding onto the articles since they were approved, mainly along party lines Dec. 18, saying she wanted to see how the Senate proceeding would be set up before naming managers. Since that time, new evidence against the president has emerged.

“The president was the architect of this scheme,” Schiff said.

Schiff addressed questions about why the House decided to vote on the articles before obtaining critical testimony from key administration officials by saying waiting for the courts to weigh in on whether the House had the authority to subpoena administration officials would have played into Trump’s hands, allowing his alleged effort to rig the 2020 presidential election to go forward.

McConnell is disinclined to call witnesses and has said the trial in the Senate should encompass only the evidence obtained by the House before it voted to impeach Trump. Nadler said, however, failing to call “all relevant witnesses” would amount to the Senate “engaging in an unconstitutional and disgusting coverup. The Senate is on trial as well as the president.”

Schiff said documents obtained since testimony ended in the House paint a clear picture of administration actions. Even if the senators don’t want to hear from witnesses, they should look at the documents, Schiff said, adding, “Documents don’t lie.”

McConnell has not released the Senate resolution setting up a trial, saying only that the same rules that governed the Clinton impeachment would be used this time: The case will be laid out by the managers and then senators will vote on whether to call witnesses and obtain documents.

Schiff said there’s a big difference between the current proceedings and the Clinton trial: All relevant witnesses had testified during the Clinton investigation and that’s not the case this time around because Trump ordered key administration officials not to cooperate with the House investigation.

This is only the third time in U.S. history a president has faced a Senate trial. Lawmakers declined to remove Clinton and Andrew Johnson. Nixon resigned before he could be formally impeached.