US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has sent a letter to her Democratic colleagues indicating that the Democrats will soon move to start the next step in the impeachment proceedings, namely a Senate trial.
The House Democrats will finally send their impeachment articles against President Trump to the upper chamber of Congress after withholding them since the House vote on 18 December. They will also start appointing impeachment managers who will make the case against the POTUS during the hearings in the Senate.
"I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate", Pelosi wrote.
The speaker added that the next course of action will be discussed during a House Democratic Caucus meeting that will take place on 14 January, meaning that the trial in the Senate is unlikely to start earlier than on 15 January.
Democrats have been withholding the impeachment articles ever since they won the impeachment vote in the House of Representatives on 18 December, with Pelosi refusing to proceed to the Senate until her party receives assurances of a fair trial, namely the ability to call witnesses.
Her recent letter, however, came hot on the heels after Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Republican Party has enough votes to start the trial even without the impeachment articles, which are expected to include allegations of Trump committing abuse of power and obstruction of justice.
The impeachment proceedings started in September after House Democrats got hold of a whistleblower complaint claiming that Trump had used his position to pressure his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to meddle in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. The Democrats believe Trump demanded that Zelensky start a criminal case into his possible opponent, Democratic candidate Joe Biden, over alleged misconduct during his tenure as US vice president.
Both Trump and Zelensky deny that there was any pressure, with the US presidential administration releasing transcripts of the two last telephone talks between the presidents to prove POTUS' innocence. When the Democrats continued with the impeachment process, disregarding this evidence, Trump repeatedly blasted it for being "witch hunt" that was preventing him from fulfilling his duties.