WASHINGTON (AP) — In a dramatic procession across the U.S. Capitol, Democratic House leaders marched the formal articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate late Wednesday, setting the stage for only the third trial to remove a president in American history.
The ceremonial pomp and protocol by lawmakers who will be prosecuting the case against Trump moved the impeachment out of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic-run House to the Republican-majority Senate, where the president’s team is mounting a defense aiming for swift acquittal.
“Today we will make history,” Pelosi said as she signed the documents, using multiple pens to hand out and mark the moment. “This president will be held accountable.”
Earlier Wednesday, the House voted 228-193, almost entirely along party lines to deliver the charges.
The split reflected the deeply divided nation at the start of this presidential election year. It came one month after the House impeached Trump alleging he abused his presidential power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden, using military aid to the country as leverage. Trump was also charged with obstructing Congress’ ensuing probe.
Trump’s political campaign dismissed the House effort as “just a failed attempt to politically damage President Trump leading up to his reelection.”
The Senate will transform itself into an impeachment court on Thursday. The Constitution calls for Chief Justice John Roberts to preside at the trial, administering the oath to senators who will serve as jurors and swear to deliver “impartial justice.’