After weeks of rhetorical fire and fury, a handful of U.S. House members walked quietly across a hushed Capitol on Wednesday to deliver articles of impeachment to the Senate, paving the way for the trial of President Donald Trump.
(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: "Today, we will make history.
When we walk... when the managers walk down the hall, we will cross a threshold in history, delivering articles of impeachment against the president of the United States for abuse of power and obstruction of the House." After withholding them for almost a month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday signed the two formal charges against President Donald Trump... and handed them to her team of seven Democratic managers, who then marched over the articles of impeachment in a rare, ceremonial procession to the Senate, where only the third impeachment trial of a president in U.S. history will begin in earnest next week.
(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. HOUSE CLERK CHERYL JOHNSON, SAYING: "I have been directed by the House of Representatives to inform the Senate the House has passed H.
Res 798, a resolution appointing and authorizing managers for the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, President of the United States." (SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY, SAYING: "The message will be received." Trump’s fellow Republicans in the upper chamber are now tasked with putting him on trial on charges of abuse of power - for asking Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden - and obstruction of Congress - for blocking testimony and documents sought by House Democrats.
(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, SAYING: "The House of Representatives is finally ready to proceed with their articles of impeachment... This is a difficult time for our country but this is precisely the kind of time for which the framers created the Senate.
I'm confident this body can rise above short-termism and factional fever, and serve the long-term best interests of our nation.
We can do this and we must." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the articles will be exhibited on Thursday at noon, and that Chief Justice John Roberts will arrive at the Senate at 2 p.m.
To be sworn in... and then administer an oath to do “impartial justice” to all 100 senators.
(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, SAYING: "We will pledge to rise above the petty factionalism and do justice for our institutions, for our states and for the nation." The 100-seat chamber is expected to acquit Trump, keeping him in office, given that none of its 53 Republicans has voiced support for removing him, a step that under the U.S. Constitution would require a two-thirds majority.
(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "It's on the impeachment hoax." Earlier on Wednesday, during a White House signing ceremony for a China trade deal, Trump praised every Republican senator in the audience, whose support he'll need at his trial.
(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "There's nobody sharper, smarter.