After weeks of delay, the two articles of impeachment adopted by the House were finally delivered to the Senate on Wednesday, January 15.
The delivery followed a press conference during which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named seven impeachment managers, as reported Wednesday:
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff is set to be the lead manager. The other managers include House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic Colorado Rep. Jason Crow, Democratic Florida Rep. Val Demings, Democratic Texas Rep. Sylvia Garcia, and Democratic California Rep. Zoe Lofgren.
The selected managers spoke in turn about the gravity of the situation and the seriousness with which they would undertake their sworn duty. Later that day, they officially delivered the articles to the Senate in a solemn processional. Only at a brief signing ceremony, during which Speaker Pelosi handed out souvenir pens made especially for the occasion, did any of the Democrats appear to celebrate the occasion.
After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the articles of impeachment to send off to the Senate, Pelosi handed out multiple pens to the impeachment managers https://t.co/AsLXDHsFhh pic.twitter.com/Vmm3tqezKj
— CNN (@CNN) January 16, 2020
The delivery of the articles prompted the start of President Donald Trump’s trial in the Senate, and it is not yet clear just how long and drawn out that trial might be.
The question of witnesses has been raised by multiple sources — mainly by House Democrats who have insisted that the Senate call witnesses they either could not get or chose not to go through the courts to compel. But Republicans have also suggested that — especially if the House is granted the requested witnesses — the Senate should also call former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
As always, the Daily Caller wades through the most recent stories to break down the most important details and new information.
The key players:
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has been at the forefront of the call for witnesses, often attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for conceding that he would not be politically unmotivated as a juror. However, Schumer was quick to say in 1998 that the Senate was not to act as a typical jury and that all of them likely had political bias going into the trial.
Schumer asked by Meghan McCain here about past quotes about Senate jurors not being impartial by noting he already voted on impeachment in the House in 1998.https://t.co/5EIMriXPEg
— Sarah Burris (@SarahBurris) January 14, 2020
- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley made it clear even before he received the articles that he planned to ensure fair and transparent proceedings. Grassley also appeared to suggest that the Supreme Court ought to move toward allowing cameras to further support transparency and accountability.
Chief Justice Roberts will preside over impeachment trial on TV I hope he gets comfortable in front of cameras in Senate chamber &warms up 2 cameras in courtroom @ Supreme Court Transparency wld allow more Americans 2see our judicial system @ wrk
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) January 14, 2020
- Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul issued an ultimatum to Republicans and Democrats alike, saying that if the trial brought in any of the new witnesses requested by the House, he would force a vote to call Hunter Biden.
My colleagues can’t have it both ways. Calling for some, while blocking others. If we are going to give a platform to witnesses the Dems demand, I look forward to forcing votes to call Hunter Biden and many more! https://t.co/hrOzVyiG9x
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 14, 2020
- Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz echoed Paul, saying that if the Democrats wanted to hear from former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Republicans would call Hunter Biden as well.
Ted Cruz: If Democrats call Bolton as impeachment witness, GOP can call Hunter Biden https://t.co/bNwAU2GpW2
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) January 17, 2020
The White House response:
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham criticized Pelosi for handing out impeachment souvenirs.
Nancy Pelosi’s souvenir pens served up on silver platters to sign the sham articles of impeachment…She was so somber as she gave them away to people like prizes. https://t.co/RMOiNeoMu0
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) January 15, 2020
President Trump himself has continued to refer to the entire process as “a hoax.”
Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial based on the no evidence, no crime, read the transcripts, “no pressure” Impeachment Hoax, rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have. I agree!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020
Trump also accused Democrats of forcing a trial in the lead up to the Democratic Primary — particularly the Iowa caucuses — in an effort to quash the rise of independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. He called the move “very unfair” but “a lot of fun to watch!”
They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously. They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial. Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020
….Joe Biden, and Bernie is shut out again. Very unfair, but that’s the way the Democrats play the game. Anyway, it’s a lot of fun to watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020
The hot takes:
- New York Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin laid out the reasons he believed the proceedings in the House had been unfair to the president.
Lest we forget:
House GOP was denied all witnesses in impeachment inquiry who weren’t also on Dem list.
POTUS’ counsel wasn’t allowed at the depos or public Intel hearings.
Schiff was prosecutor, judge, jury & witness coach of his “grand jury investigation”
…etc etc etc
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) January 17, 2020
- Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy voiced his confusion at the Trump team’s decision to add Ken Starr, the special prosecutor in the case against former President Bill Clinton, to the defense.
Sen. Leahy: “I see Ken Starr, a man who pushed the weakest impeachment case, certainly in my lifetime, and now he’s up here to defend the strongest impeachment case in my lifetime. Well, that’s their choice. But it’s a weird choice.” https://t.co/oXAUKAMSGJ
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 17, 2020
- CNN panel including Dana Bash called the souvenir signing pens “unusual” and “jarring.”
CNN panel bashes Nancy Pelosi for handing out impeachment pens. It was a “jarring” “celebration” pic.twitter.com/oQlI8tgIW0
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) January 15, 2020
The latest RealClearPolitics average includes eight reputable polls which combined show that support for impeachment and removal is underwater by just under half a point. According to those polls, which range from December 10 – January 14, 46.9% support impeachment and removal while 47.3% oppose.
FiveThirtyEight has been tracking support for impeachment over time, and while the numbers among Republicans and Democrats have remained somewhat consistent, independents have shown less and less support —particularly when it comes to the Senate removing the president from office — in recent weeks.
According to a Morning Consult poll taken January 10-12, 47% of independents would approve and 42% would disapprove of the Senate removing Trump from office. A Civiqs poll taken January 11-14 with a similar partisan breakdown showed 45% of independents in favor of removal while 51% opposed.
Check back next week for the latest up-to-the-minute information, commentary and related content.