What We Know—and Don't—About This Week's Resolution to Name Impeachment Managers, Send Articles to Senate

The articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump are expected to be sent to the Senate Wednesday, ending a nearly monthlong standoff between House and Senate leaders. But some of the next steps in the impeachment process remain unclear.

Here's what to expect in the coming days as the Senate readies to start its impeachment trial.

resolution vote impeachment managers
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (C) holds a press conference after the House passed Resolution 755, Articles of Impeachment Against President Donald J. Trump, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on December 18, 2019. Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/Getty

Impeachment managers to be named, Senate trial to begin

A resolution establishing the impeachment managers and transmitting the articles to the Senate is expected to be passed by the House Wednesday, according to several Democratic members who spoke to reporters after a weekly caucus meeting Tuesday morning with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Pelosi later confirmed in a statement that the resolution will come Wednesday.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), chair of the Democratic Caucus, told reporters that Pelosi, Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) walked the caucus through what is expected to come this week. However, members told reporters that the speaker revealed little information.

Transmitting the articles and naming the managers will conclude the House's involvement in the impeachment process, allowing the Senate to proceed with its trial once the chamber passes rules to govern how the trial will operate. It's unclear when those rules will be passed, but it's expected they will come shortly after the Senate receives the articles.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters Tuesday he believes the trial will likely start January 21.

The rules are also expected to mirror those of the trial of former President Bill Clinton. McConnell has said he has the votes to pass Clinton-era rules without the support of Democrats, who have demanded certain witnesses be subpoenaed for testimony. That means the chamber will only consider whether they want to hear from witnesses after the managers and the defense for Trump, which is expected to come from the White House, are presented.

Who will the impeachment managers be?

That is a question that even the vast majority of Democrats say they have yet to learn. Pelosi held her cards close and provided very little information during her caucus meeting about the resolution, including who the managers will, according to several Democratic lawmakers. The move helps to prohibit leaks—which are common on Capitol Hill—about who the managers will be.

But it's expected that certain lawmakers will be named managers, such as Schiff and Nadler, because of their involvement throughout the impeachment inquiry.

"I would expect" to be named a manager, Nadler told reporters after the caucus meeting. But he noted that he has not discussed the matter with Pelosi.

Can Senate Republicans dismiss the articles without a trial?

The party does not appear to have the votes to dismiss the articles, despite an effort to do so that's supported by more than a dozen Republicans in the Senate, including McConnell.

"We're very confident that the president's rights, including a motion to dismiss, will be protected as this process is outlined and ultimately agreed to by the United States Senate," White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland told reporters Tuesday just before meeting privately with GOP senators.

But even McConnell conceded afterward that "there is little or no sentiment in the Republican Conference for a motion to dismiss."

"Our members feel we have an obligation to listen to the arguments," he added.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a close alley to the president, suggested any motions to dismiss would be "a bad idea."

"I don't think you have the votes for it," Graham told reporters. "I think it's personally a bad idea. I don't think it's gonna happen."

More moderate GOP members, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mitt Romney (R-UT), have said they do not want to dismiss the articles without a trial.

"A dismissal is a cover-up," Pelosi said in her statement, a term she and Democrats have consistently used. "The American people will fully understand the Senate's move to begin the trial without witnesses and documents as a pure political cover-up."

This story was updated to include additional information from McConnell, Graham and Ueland.

What We Know—and Don't—About This Week's Resolution to Name Impeachment Managers, Send Articles to Senate | Politics