Donald Trump has become the third American president to be impeached. Trump has been charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Led by Democrats, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the articles of impeachment on Dec. 18, 2019. Trump will face trial in the GOP-controlled Senate in 2020, a presidential election year. Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were also impeached. Neither was removed from office.

Pelosi sending Trump impeachment articles over to the Senate next week

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she is asking Democratic leaders to appoint House impeachment managers and will transmit President Donald Trump’s long-delayed impeachment articles to the Senate next week.

Pelosi made the announcement in a letter to her Democratic colleagues.

“I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate,” Pelosi said. 

The speaker’s announcement comes in the wake of increasing Democratic pressure to move Trump’s impeachment forward.

Read Pelosi’s letter here.

“By joining a resolution to dismiss, [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell showed his true colors,” Pelosi said. “Americans have now seen what is at stake in a fair trial with witnesses evidence, and new evidence has emerged. 

“Every senator will have to vote: is their loyalty is to the president or the Constitution?”

On Thursday, Pelosi told reporters in her weekly news conference she would transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate “soon.”

U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Nadler’s committee began impeachment hearings on President Donald Trump on Dec. 4, 2019. Nadler has represented several different New York congressional districts since 1992. Now overseeing President Trump’s impeachment hearings, Nadler once described President Bill Clinton’s impeachment as a “partisan railroad job.” Nadler is frequently listed as one of the U.S. House’s most liberal members.

″I’m not holding them indefinitely,” Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol, according to The Associated Press. “I’ll send them over when I’m ready. That will probably be soon.”

Despite Democrats’ professed sense of urgency in passing House impeachment articles against the president last month, Pelosi has delayed sending the charges over, or name the trial’s House managers, until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announces how the trial will proceed. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other House Democrats have been demanding additional witnesses be called during a Trump trial, thus stalling any scheduling of a trial.

House Democrats are drafting impeachment articles against President Trump. Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the announcement Dec. 5, 2019. The announcement came after hours-long testimony on Dec. 4, 2019, from four legal scholars on whether the president has committed impeachable offenses. Democrats could schedule an impeachment vote before the end of 2019. If adopted, President Trump will face a trial in the U.S. Senate in a presidential election year. The Senate is controlled by the GOP.

On Wednesday, Democratic senators joined Republicans in calling on Pelosi to send over the articles. U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told CNN, “My hope is that we'll be able to get the trial started next week.

“I think if we're trying to create leverage on the Republicans, that leverage really exists when we put them on the record on motions to call witnesses,” he said. 

Another Connecticut Democrat, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, told the network he’d like to “begin the trial tomorrow. As a former prosecutor, I'm ready to go to court.”

»MORE: How today’s U.S. senators voted on Bill Clinton’s impeachment

Even U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is eager to get underway, telling Politico, “the longer it goes on, the less urgent it becomes. So if it’s serious and urgent, send them over. If it isn’t, don’t send it over.” 

U.S. House Democrats have drafted two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. House leaders are charging the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. They announced the articles of impeachment on Dec. 10, 2019. A full House impeachment vote could come before Christmas. If passed, the president would face a Senate trial in 2020, a presidential election year.

McConnell already has enough votes to defeat any Democratic notions of calling witnesses who did not testify during Trump’s House impeachment hearings. Two GOP moderates, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, agree with McConnell that a Trump impeachment trial should follow the guidelines of Bill Clinton’s 1999 trial. 

President Bill Clinton was impeached on perjury and obstruction of Congress charges on Dec. 19, 1998. He was acquitted by the Senate on Feb. 12, 1999. Fourteen senators from that trial still remain in office. Here's how they voted. Susan Collins, R-Maine. Not guilty on both counts Michael D. Crapo, R-Idaho. Guilty on both counts Richard Durbin, D-Illinois. Not guilty on both counts Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming. Guilty on both counts Dianne Feinstein, D-California. Not guilty on both counts Charles Grassley, R-Iow

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News Pelosi’s impeachment dam “is about to crack. 

"You said it was urgent," Graham said. "If you believe it to be urgent, send it to the Senate for disposition.” 

»MORE: Pelosi demanding McConnell release Senate’s impeachment trial plans

McConnell told GOP senators at a lunchtime meeting this week to expect the trial next week, according to two people familiar with his remarks. The people requested anonymity to discuss the private meeting. 

He had signed on to a resolution from Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., to change Senate rules to allow for the dismissal of articles of impeachment if the House doesn’t transmit them in 25 days. That now appear unlikely. 

 In the weeks since Trump was impeached, Democrats have focused on new evidence about Trump’s effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals and they pushed the Senate to consider new testimony, including from former White House national security adviser John Bolton.

Trump impeachment trial: John Bolton says he will testify if subpoenaed

Republicans are just as focused on a speedy trial with acquittal. 

Republicans have the leverage, with a slim 53-47 Senate majority, as McConnell rebuffs the Democratic demands for testimony and documents. But Democrats are using the delay to sow public doubt about the fairness of the process as they try to peel off wavering GOP senators for the upcoming votes. It takes just 51 senators to set the rules.  

“When we say fair trial, we mean facts, we mean witnesses, we mean documents,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., promising votes ahead. “Every single one of us, in this Senate, will have to have to take a stand. How do my Republican friends want the American people, their constituents, and history to remember them?” 

 Trump had weighed in from the White House suggesting that he, too, would like more witnesses at trial. They include former Vice President Joe Biden, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination now, and his son Hunter, as well as the government whistleblower whose complaint about the president’s pressure on Ukraine sparked the impeachment investigation. 

It’s still unclear who Pelosi will appoint as impeachment managers to prosecute the case in the Senate. 

 Nadler, D-N.Y., and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., will most likely lead the team. 

Impeachment was established in the U.S. Constitution as a way to accuse a president of a crime and then hold a trial to determine if guilty. The first step requires a U.S. House member to introduce an impeachment resolution. The House speaker directs the judiciary committee to hold a hearing to decide whether to put the full measure to a vote by the full chamber. A majority of the committee must approve the resolution. If approved, it moves to a full vote on the House floor. If a majority of the House vot

Trump is only the third sitting president in American history to be impeached, joining Andrew Johnson and Clinton. 

The two articles of impeachment by House Democrats — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — point to Trump pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden while withholding as leverage military aid the country relies to counter Russia as well as his efforts to block the House investigation.

»MORE: Who are the major players in a Trump impeachment trial?

The Constitution requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate to convict in an impeachment trial, thus making Trump’s actual removal from office highly unlikely in the GOP-controlled Senate. 

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.

With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.

Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.