WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House of Representatives has adopted a resolution to send two articles of impeachment to the Senate for a trial on whether to remove President Donald Trump from office.
On January 15, the Democrat-led legislative chamber approved by a margin of 228-193 the resolution that also appoints the seven lawmakers who will be trial prosecutors that were announced earlier in the day by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California).
It also provides funding for the trial.
"We are here today to cross a very important threshold in American history," Pelosi said before the vote.
All the trial managers have legal backgrounds and will be led by 10-term Representative Adam Schiff (California), a former federal prosecutor and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
He will be joined by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (New York), Hakeem Jeffries (New York), a former litigator in private practice, Jason Crow (Colorado), a former Army Ranger and private attorney, Val Demings (Florida), a former police chief, Zoe Lofgren (Calfornia), a former immigration lawyer, and Sylvia Garcia (Texas), a former judge.
The trial managers are subsequently expected to "march" the articles of impeachment to the Senate and deliver them, according to Pelosi.
Once there, the managers will read the formal charges aloud on the Senate floor after which the impeachment trial can commence. The senators will be jury members in the trial and Chief Justice John Roberts will be the presiding judge.
In explaining her decision on who to name as trial managers, Pelosi said the emphasis was on litigators.
"The emphasis is on comfort level in the courtroom. The emphasis is making the strongest possible case to protect and defend our constitution, to seek the truth for the American people," she said. "I’m very proud and honored that these seven distinguished members have accepted this serious responsibility."
The adoption of the resolution came four weeks after the House in December charged Trump with abusing the power of his office for personal gain and obstruction of Congress.
He specifically is suspected of trying to influence a foreign government -- that of Ukraine -- to investigate his political rivals.
Trump has also been accused of withholding documents that the House requested during the fact-finding phase of the impeachment proceedings and of blocking or preventing testimony from administration officials.
Trump denies the charges and has called the impeachment proceedings a "witch hunt."
"The only thing Speaker Pelosi has achieved with this sham, illegitimate impeachment process, is to prove she is focused on politics instead of the American people," Trump said after Pelosi's news conference, as cited by the White House press office.
"She failed and the naming of these managers does not change a single thing. President Trump has done nothing wrong. He looks forward to having the due process rights in the Senate...and expects to be fully exonerated," the press office statement said.
"I have great confidence there is enough evidence to impeach the president," Pelosi said.