WASHINGTON (CBS / AP) – House Democratic leaders have carried the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump across the U.S. Capitol in a formal procession to the Senate.
Trump will now face trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, with arguments expected to start next Tuesday and all 100 senators as the jurors. Chief Justice John Roberts will preside. It’s only the third such trial in American history.
Earlier in the day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco announced the House prosecutors for the Senate impeachment trial. The seven Democrats named as impeachment managers include Rep. Zoe Lofgren, whose district covers San Jose and Santa Clara County.
According to Pelosi’s office, Lofgren has played roles in two other impeachment proceedings; as a Judiciary Committee staffer during the investigation into President Richard Nixon in 1974 and as a member of the Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998.
Lofgren released a statement Wednesday, saying, “I must be clear that this is not something I sought or relish. Impeachment is a grave and solemn matter. It’s a stress test for our democracy. I hope every Senator is prepared to seriously consider and vote honestly with an open mind for the future of our democracy.”
A lifelong Bay Area resident who graduated from Stanford University and the Santa Clara University School of Law, Lofgren was first elected to Congress in 1994.
“Of all the people on the management team, she’s probably the most qualified,” said Terry Christensen, the former chair of San Jose State Univeristy’s political science department and Lofgren’s neighbor of over 40 years.
He says her experience will be “invaluable” to the management team to get Republican senators to take the proceedings seriously.
“I think she knows where the bumps in the road are going to be. I think she can predict the reactions of some of the senators are going to be. And also how to present the case because she’s seen it before, and she kind of knows what line to take to make the most credible case possible,” he said.
He also said Lofgren is respected and has a strong reputation as a “workhorse” on Capitol Hill.
“I think they better watch out. Because she’s not that high a profile member of Congress, and they may not know what they’re getting into with her, because she’s smart and capable and she will pursue the impeachment case to the maximum feasible extent possible,” Christensen said.
Also named as prosecutors Adam Schiff of California and Jerrold Nadler of New York, who led the House impeachment probe.
Pelosi made the announcement Wednesday morning, hours before the House voted to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial. The Speaker officially sent the articles Wednesday afternoon, and the Senate plans to begin proceedings on Thursday, with the trial expected to begin next week.
Through a series of Unanimous Consent motions, @senatemajldr sets noon Thursday for the Articles of Impeachment to read to the Senate. The Chief Justice will be sworn in to preside at Impeachment Trial at 2pm, and then swear in all Senators as jurors. The trial will begin Tues. pic.twitter.com/Jxwzo1H75m
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) January 15, 2020
Trump was impeached last month on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The charges stem from his pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrats as he withheld security aid to the country.
Trump complained anew it was all a “hoax,” even as fresh details emerged about his efforts in Ukraine. He is accused of pressuring the Ukrainians to investigate Democrat Joe Biden, while withholding military aid as leverage..
© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. KPIX 5’s Kiet Do and The Associated Press contributed to this report.