USA

House to Vote on Wednesday on Sending Trump Impeachment Charges

The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives will vote on Wednesday to send formal impeachment charges against President Donald Trump to the Senate, lawmakers said on Tuesday, bringing the start of Trump’s trial one step closer.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a party meeting that she would also name the Democrats’ team of “managers” who will lead the prosecution of Trump at the trial, Democratic congressman Henry Cuellar said.

The House impeached Trump last month on charges of abusing power by pressuring Ukraine to announce an investigation into his Democratic rival Joe Biden and of obstructing Congress.

But Pelosi has delayed sending the charges to the Senate in an unsuccessful effort to get that chamber’s Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to agree to include new witness testimony that could be damaging to the Republican president.

A Wednesday vote would allow the Senate to begin the trial as soon as this week. However, opening arguments will likely not be heard until next week at the earliest, as the Senate will likely take several days to get through formalities such as swearing in members.

The Senate is expected to acquit Trump, as no Republicans have voiced support for ousting him, a step that would require a two-thirds majority.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has dismissed his impeachment as a partisan bid to undo his 2016 election win as he faces a re-election contest in November.

(Reporting by David Morgan and Richard Cowan; writing by Alistair Bell; editing by Jonathan Oatis)