SHOW MORE 

Pelosi sets Wednesday votes to send impeachment to Senate

Full Screen
1 / 5

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - In this Dec. 4, 2019, file photo, fight shines on the U.S. Capitol dome in Washington. The votes are there. The rules and choreography are set, more or less. And now hear ye, hear ye the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is nearly set to begin. Here's what to expect when the Senate puts the impeachment articles against Trump on trial, starting as early as this coming week. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House is set to vote Wednesday to send the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate for a landmark trial on whether the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress are grounds for removal.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the next steps after meeting privately with House Democrats at the Capitol, ending her blockade Tuesday a month after they voted to impeach Trump.

It will be only the third presidential impeachment trial in American history, a serious moment coming amid the backdrop of a politically divided nation and an election year.

“The President and the Senators will be held accountable,” Pelosi said in a statement. “The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial.”

The Senate is expected to transform into an impeachment court as early as Thursday. The Constitution calls for the chief justice to preside over senators, who serve as jurors, to swear an oath to deliver "impartial justice.'' The House managers will walk the articles across the Capitol in a dramatic procession Wednesday evening after the midday vote.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday the chief justice would open the trial this week, but that the significant proceedings would launch next Tuesday, after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Trump was impeached by the Democratic-led House last month on charges of abuse of power over pushing Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden as the president withheld aid from the country, and obstructing Congress' ensuing probe.

McConnell met behind closed doors Tuesday with GOP senators who are under pressure from Democrats to call new witnesses and testimony. He urged them to hold together on the next steps, according to a person unauthorized to discuss the private session and granted anonymity.