Senate

News organizations and journalists' advocates are challenging restrictive new ground rules for reporters assigned to cover the Senate impeachment trial.

Correspondents who submit to an official credentialing process are granted broad access throughout the Capitol complex and usually encounter few restrictions in talking with members of Congress or others.

But now Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger has imposed new requirements for the impeachment trial, negotiated in part with Republican leadership:

Updated at 7:28 p.m. ET

The Senate overwhelmingly approved a revised North American trade pact in a rare bipartisan vote Thursday that hands President Trump a victory on a key campaign promise just as lawmakers are preparing his impeachment trial.

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, passed by a vote of 89-10. The trade pact, signed by the president in November 2018, received a similar bipartisan vote in the House last month.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

Amid much pomp and circumstance, the Senate took some of its first steps on Thursday to prepare for next week's impeachment trial of President Trump, just the third such trial in Senate history.

Chief Justice John Roberts, having crossed First Street from the Supreme Court building over to the Capitol, joined senators in the chamber and then was sworn in by Senate President pro tempore Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Roberts will preside over the trial.

A Democratic-led Senate resolution to limit the president's war powers in the wake of escalated tensions with Iran has won support from several key GOP members to potentially gain passage in the Republican-controlled chamber.

Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, Todd Young of Indiana and Susan Collins of Maine have all signed on as co-sponsors to the measure led by Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine.

Updated at 5:53 p.m. ET

The House will vote to send two articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate Wednesday, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says a trial to determine whether to remove the president from office will probably begin next Tuesday.

In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will also name impeachment managers to lead the prosecution against the president Wednesday but did not say who they would be. "The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial," Pelosi said.

Updated on Jan. 17 at 9:30 p.m. ET

President Trump has picked some high-wattage lawyers to round out his defense team for the Senate impeachment trial — a group of attorneys who are as comfortable in front of the television cameras as they are in courtrooms.

Ken Starr, a Fox news commentator whose special counsel investigations led to President Bill Clinton's impeachment, will join the team. Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz also will help deliver opening arguments.

Updated at 3:49 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says she plans to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate next week, despite her ongoing concerns over how Republicans plan to conduct the Senate trial.

Pelosi plans to move ahead by transmitting the articles and naming impeachment managers who will present the House case in the Senate trial. She said in a letter to House Democrats that she would consult with the caucus on Tuesday about next steps.

When the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump opens, the man in the center chair will be Chief Justice John Roberts. His role is spelled out in the Constitution.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she expects to release her hold on the two articles of impeachment against President Trump "soon," but for now, she is still holding out to learn more about how Republicans plan to conduct a Senate trial.

"No, I'm not holding them indefinitely," Pelosi told reporters Thursday at a weekly press conference. "I'll send them over when I'm ready. That will probably be soon."

Updated at 2:11 p.m. ET

Former national security adviser John Bolton in a surprise announcement said Monday he'd be willing to testify in the Senate's impeachment trial of President Trump — if the Senate subpoenas him.

"I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify," Bolton said in a statement posted on his website.

Last month, the House of Representatives voted for only the third time in history to impeach the president. Then something else unusual happened:

Nothing.

President Trump, members of Congress, much of Washington and millions of Americans effectively pushed pause on a once-in-a-generation political saga to take off for the holidays.

So for those just tuning back in for the first full workweek of 2020, nothing substantive has changed in the story — but that also means the coming month may churn into a whirlwind.

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski told a local television affiliate that she's "disturbed" by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plans to use "total coordination" with the White House to set out President Trump's impeachment trial.

Updated at 12:03 p.m. ET Thursday

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she plans to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate once she has more information about the contours of a Senate trial.

"We would like to see a fair process and we will be ready for whatever it is," Pelosi said Thursday, making it clear it was a matter of time.

Updated at 9:27 p.m. ET

House lawmakers voted to impeach President Trump on Wednesday in only the third such rebuke in American history.

The move triggers a trial for Trump in the Senate, expected in January — one in which majority Republicans are likely to permit him to retain his office.

The vote was 230 to 197 on the first of two articles of impeachment — abuse of power — with one member voting present. The House then passed the second article — obstruction of Congress — with a vote of 229 to 198, with one member voting present.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., dismissed the impeachment process against President Trump as a political proceeding rather than a judicial one.

"I'm not an impartial juror. This is a political process. There's not anything judicial about it," McConnell told reporters on Tuesday. "The House made a partisan political decision to impeach. I would anticipate we will have a largely partisan outcome in the Senate. I'm not impartial about this at all."

Pages