The House on Wednesday delivered articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate and approved seven Democrats to serve as prosecutors in the third trial of a U.S. president.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) signed the articles at a ceremony in the Capitol, hours after she named a team of managers led by two trusted lieutenants, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).

The managers then walked the articles across the Capitol and presented them to the chamber led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has repeatedly characterized the House case as weak.

The crux of the case is the allegation that Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine to combat Russian military aggression, to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a probe of an unfounded theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

●Schiff, Nadler lead group of House managers to prosecute Trump in Senate impeachment trial.

●Impeachment spotlight turns to key question: whether to call witnesses.

●Ukraine prosecutor offered information related to Biden in exchange for ambassador’s ouster, newly released materials show.

●Pomp and a procession, then Trump impeachment trial begins in earnest.

3:00 a.m.
Link copied

Nunes now says he remembers Parnas as Parnas claims Nunes was involved in Ukraine scheme

Lev Parnas, a former associate of Trump personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani, implicated Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), the House Intelligence Committee’s top Republican, in the effort to get a Biden investigation going in Ukraine and said he met with Nunes several times at the Trump hotel.

Nunes had previously said he didn’t recall speaking to Parnas, but on Fox News hours before Parnas’s interview with Rachel Maddow aired, he said he now remembered a phone conversation with Parnas, but hadn’t remembered the name. He characterized the call as “very odd, random, talking about random things.”

But Parnas said Nunes definitely knows him, and that he was surprised to see him as the top Republican during the impeachment hearings given his involvement on Ukraine.

“I was in shock when I was watching the hearings and when I saw [Nunes] sitting up there . . . ,” Parnas told Maddow. “Because [Nunes] was involved in getting all this stuff on Biden.”

2:30 a.m.
Link copied

Parnas claims Trump ‘knew exactly what was going on’

Parnas, whose text messages and other materials have been released by House Democrats, alleged on Rachel Maddow’s show on MSNBC that Trump “knew exactly what was going on” with Ukraine.

The biggest falsehood out there is that “the president didn’t know what was going on,” Parnas said. He also said that he had all of his communications with Ukrainian officials as a representative for Trump.

Former national security adviser John Bolton “100 percent” knew the administration was pressuring Ukraine to announce an investigation into Biden, he added.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) tweeted as the interview was underway:

“I’m trying to be extraordinarily careful with my words here, so apologies if this is a bit stilted. 1) This @maddow interview is an absolute must-watch. 2) There is no excuse, no justification, no rationale, for refusing to include witnesses and documents in the upcoming trial.”

12:45 a.m.
Link copied

House managers to cross Capitol for exhibition of articles

The House impeachment managers, led by the sergeant at arms, will again walk across the Capitol to the Senate side for the exhibition of the articles Thursday, according to guidance from Pelosi’s office.

The procession will take place at noon. Schiff will then read the two articles of impeachment against Trump on the Senate floor. Afterward, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will swear in the senators as jurors.

11:30 p.m.
Link copied

Trump allies decry Pelosi’s handing out pens used to sign articles

Republicans took issue with Pelosi for signing the articles of impeachment with a pile of pens that could then be handed out to members of Congress as mementos.

It’s customary that bills and executive orders are signed with multiple pens for the president to hand out as souvenirs. Earlier in the day, Trump handed out pens used to sign a trade deal with China.

But Trump allies, including the White House press secretary, still jumped on Pelosi for giving out the black impeachment pens with her signature emblazoned in gold.

“Nancy Pelosi’s souvenir pens served up on silver platters to sign the sham articles of impeachment … She was so somber as she gave them away to people like prizes,” tweeted White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) tweeted that she’d walked by after the signing ceremony and that “Dems were giddy with excitement in Capitol hallway, asking, ‘Did you get your pen?’ The American people will hold House Dems accountable for making a mockery of their duty to the Constitution.”

One of Trump’s closest allies in Congress, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) also piled on.

“They claim it’s a somber, serious occasion they’re heartbroken over … and then they pass out impeachment-signing pens with special cases. Folks. You can’t make it up,” he said.

10:55 p.m.
Link copied

McConnell outlines Thursday schedule

After the House managers delivered the articles of impeachment, McConnell detailed the schedule for Thursday’s proceedings.

The House managers will return to the Senate at noon Thursday to exhibit the articles, McConnell said. Then, at 2 p.m., Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will be sworn in to preside over the trial and swear in the 100 senators to serve as jurors.

More than two dozen Senate Democrats were seated at their desks while McConnell spoke Wednesday night. By contrast, the only Republican senators present in the chamber were McConnell, Kevin Cramer (N.D.) and Charles E. Grassley (Iowa), who was presiding.

The public galleries were less than half full.

10:30 p.m.
Link copied

House managers deliver impeachment articles against Trump to Senate

Pelosi signed the articles of impeachment at a ceremony in the House Rayburn Room late Wednesday afternoon, shortly before handing them to the seven impeachment managers to deliver to the Senate.

“Today, we will make history,” Pelosi said, flanked by the managers she named earlier in the day. She added: “When they bring this over, it will set in motion a process on the Senate side. ... They will take a special oath of office and do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws. Let’s hope that they uphold that oath that they take tomorrow.”

While the managers, House Clerk Cheryl Johnson and House Sergeant at Arms Paul D. Irving delivered the articles across the Rotunda in a procession, McConnell’s office described the action as simply a notification and indicated that the articles will be officially received on Thursday.

At that point, the two charges — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — will be formally read.

10:00 p.m.
Link copied

McConnell’s office says Senate will not yet accept articles from the House

In the latest gamesmanship between McConnell and Pelosi over the articles of impeachment, McConnell’s office made clear it would not formally accept the articles until Thursday, even if they are delivered by the House later Wednesday.

The House clerk and sergeant at arms are expected to lead the managers as they deliver the articles to the Senate this evening. But McConnell’s spokesman, David Popp, said they won’t be accepted until the Senate has sent the House managers a formal invitation to bring them over.

“Under Impeachment rules, once the House formally notifies the Senate it has appointed managers, the Senate is required to set a time for the House managers to exhibit the articles. This two-step process is specified in the rules of impeachment,” Popp said in a statement.

“When the Senate receives the initial message tonight, the body will formally invite the managers to exhibit the articles during tomorrow’s session of the Senate,” he continued. “Only at that time, when the House managers return at the invitation of the Senate, is it possible for the Senate to formally receive the exhibition of the Articles of Impeachment.”

Pelosi’s spokesman, Drew Hammill, quickly retorted that the House “never expected exhibition of the articles today. The articles will be transmitted to the Senate today as planned.”

9:00 p.m.
Link copied

Bipartisan congressional leaders hold gold medal ceremony honoring retired NFL player Steve Gleason

Leaders of both parties in Congress gathered in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall on Wednesday afternoon to present the Congressional Gold Medal to retired NFL player Steve Gleason for his advocacy on behalf of those diagnosed with ALS.

Gleason, 42, played seven seasons in the NFL, all for the New Orleans Saints, before retiring in 2008. He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, in 2011.

Pelosi, McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) were among the lawmakers who spoke at Wednesday’s event, which provided a brief respite from the day’s wrangling over Trump’s impeachment.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees also delivered remarks.

The ceremony began about two hours before the impeachment managers were scheduled to begin a procession across the Capitol Rotunda to present the articles of impeachment to the secretary of the Senate.

8:25 p.m.
Link copied

Meadows says Trump is in a ‘good mood’ as impeachment moves to the Senate

A Trump ally, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), said he had spoken to the president, whom he described as being in a “good mood” as the House prepares to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Meadows said he had also spoken with McConnell about plans for the Senate trial.

Meadows would not detail his conversations with either Trump or McConnell but made clear he is personally against calling additional witnesses during the trial, arguing that Democrats are desperate to improve their case.

Meadows said three Ukrainian officials and two witnesses in the House had already said that there was no “quid pro quo.”

“How many more people are going to have to say it wasn’t a problem before my Democrat colleagues will finally start to believe?” he asked.

Democrats have pointed out that Republicans complained during the House hearings that there had been no firsthand witnesses but now do not want those with firsthand knowledge to testify in the Senate.

Meadows said he did not expect to be a part of Trump’s legal defense team, but he suggested that there’d be a benefit to having House members involved.

He said, though, that he was “very impressed” by Trump’s legal team.

7:45 p.m.
Link copied

Sen. Collins says Parnas documents show House ‘did an incomplete job’

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) responded Wednesday to the news of House Democrats’ newly released materials by arguing that the documents prove that the House didn’t complete its impeachment investigation before sending the articles over to the Senate.

“It’s only now being revealed,” Collins said of the materials, which were released Tuesday night.

The documents appear to show Ukraine’s top prosecutor offering Lev Parnas — an associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani — damaging information related to Biden if the Trump administration recalled the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

When told by a reporter that the late release of the documents was because Parnas had just sent them over to the House Intelligence Committee, Collins suggested that House Democrats had not done a complete job during their investigation.

“Doesn’t that suggest that the House did an incomplete job, then?” she asked. “And I do think that, as I said, that it’s important that we have an up-or-down vote on the issue of subpoenaing witnesses and documents. And I’ve worked very hard to get that included, along with my colleagues that I mentioned, into the governing resolution.”

The House subpoenaed the material last October and a federal judge only recently gave permission for the information to be shared with the investigators.

6:45 p.m.
Link copied

White House says it doesn’t expect impeachment trial to last longer than two weeks

The White House signaled Wednesday that it doesn’t expect the Senate impeachment trial to last longer than two weeks, casting acquittal as a foregone conclusion and arguing that Trump’s team will present “a very strong case for the president.”

Asked whether Trump would go ahead with plans to deliver his State of the Union address Feb. 4 even if the impeachment trial hasn’t concluded by then, a senior administration official told reporters, “I think it’s extraordinarily unlikely that we’d be going beyond two weeks.”

“We think that this case is overwhelming for the president, and the Senate’s not going to be having any need to be taking that amount of time on this,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about internal White House deliberations. The official added that House Democrats “don’t have any credible evidence to show any wrongdoing.”

The official declined to say whether Trump would proceed with plans to attend the World Economic Forum, referring questions to the White House press office. Trump is expected to attend the annual event in Davos, Switzerland, early next week.

Democrats have been pressing former national security adviser John Bolton to testify, and Bolton has said he would be open to doing so. But the White House suggested Wednesday that such a scenario would be unlikely, with the senior administration official saying it would be “extraordinary” for Bolton to testify about his communications with the president on national security issues.

6:32 p.m.
Link copied

House members vote to send articles of impeachment against Trump to Senate, approve seven Democrats to serve as prosecutors in trial

The House voted Wednesday to send the Senate two articles of impeachment against Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — and approved seven Democrats to serve as prosecutors in the third trial of a U.S. president.

The resolution was approved 228 to 193, breaking largely along party lines.

Pelosi plans to hold an engrossment ceremony at 5 p.m., and then the managers are scheduled to begin a procession across the Capitol Rotunda to present the articles of impeachment to the secretary of the Senate.

After an initial phase, the Senate trial on the charges against Trump will begin in earnest next week, according to McConnell.

6:15 p.m.
Link copied

Pelosi says Trump guilty of ‘an assault on the Constitution’

Pelosi closed the debate on the resolution by declaring that Trump was guilty of “an assault on the Constitution of the United States” and pushing back on Republican criticism that the effort to remove Trump from office was politically motivated.

“We take it very seriously,” the speaker said. “It’s not personal. It’s not political. It’s not partisan. It’s patriotic.”

Pelosi also addressed Republican complaints about the delay in transmitting the articles, noting that she had resisted calls by Democrats to impeach Trump based on his conduct during the investigation of Russian election interference.

“Don’t talk to me about my timing,” Pelosi said. “Recognizing the divisiveness of impeachment, I held back. … But when he acted the way he did [regarding Ukraine], he cross a threshold. He gave us no choice.”

Pelosi also reiterated that Trump’s impeachment is permanent, regardless of what happens in a Senate trial.

“It is fact,” she said. “When someone is impeached, they are always impeached. It cannot be erased.”

In earlier remarks, McCarthy cited similar comments previously made by Pelosi in arguing that Trump’s impeachment was politically motivated.

“This was always an exercise in raw partisan politics,” said McCarthy, who asserted that the House proceedings led to “the fastest, thinnest and weakest impeachment in American history.”

5:40 p.m.
Link copied

Nadler says Trump ‘strong-armed a foreign government’ as debate begins on resolution

Nadler opened debate on the resolution by saying a Senate trial is needed “because President Trump gravely abused the power of his office when he strong-armed a foreign government to announce investigations into his domestic political rival.”

“He betrayed our country when he used the powers of his office — including withholding vital U.S. military assistance — to pressure that government to help him win reelection. He invited foreign interference into our elections — again,” Nadler said. “He jeopardized our national security. He did it all for his personal, political gain. And then he violated the Constitution by stonewalling Congress’s efforts to investigate, ordering an absolute blockade of evidence.”

Republicans countered by arguing that Democrats were motivated by their dislike of Trump.

“This has always been a political impeachment,” said Rep. Douglas A. Collins (Ga.), the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

Collins also chided Democrats for pressing the Senate to call witnesses who declined to appear during House impeachment proceedings.

“The problem is they want the Senate to do their job for them,” Collins said.

He was followed by Schiff, who argued Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine left lawmakers no choice.

“The appropriate remedy, indeed the only remedy, is the conviction and removal of office of President Trump,” Schiff said.