Impeachment Briefing: One Step Closer

This is the Impeachment Briefing, The Times’s newsletter about the impeachment investigation. Sign up here to get it in your inbox every weeknight.

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would “soon” call for a vote to send articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate. Though she didn’t specify a time frame, lawmakers and aides said the House could move toward a vote next week, before Congress takes a weeklong recess.

  • Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, warned his members to be prepared to plunge into the unknown of a proceeding that could tie up the Senate for weeks. And he signed onto a resolution to allow the Senate to dismiss any impeachment articles not delivered within 25 days of House approval — which, in this case, would be Sunday.

  • Ms. Pelosi continued to press for Mr. McConnell to lay out the rules for a Senate trial so she could choose a team of lawmakers, known as impeachment managers, to prosecute the House’s case. “It doesn’t mean we have to agree to the rules or we have to like the rules,” Ms. Pelosi said, “we just want to know what they are.” Mr. McConnell responded this evening, telling reporters at the Capitol, “No, we’re not going to do that.”

While impeachment stalls in the gray area between the House and the Senate, we thought we’d answer some questions from Impeachment Briefing readers. You can send us your questions by email here, and we’ll get our colleagues to answer a few in tomorrow’s newsletter. (Please include your first name and home state, or country if you’re outside the U.S.)

As a preview, I asked Julie Davis, our congressional editor, to answer one that several readers have asked this week.

Abigail in Pennsylvania and Mary in Illinois both sent us a version of this question:

If John Bolton is willing to testify but the Senate refuses to call him, why can’t the House reopen the impeachment inquiry and issue its own subpoena?

JULIE: There’s nothing preventing the House from issuing a subpoena for Mr. Bolton and, based on the statement he released last week, he might well decide to comply.

The top lawyer for the House, Doug Letter, has already made clear in a lawsuit about the testimony of Don McGahn, the former White House counsel, that the House could add to its impeachment case with additional articles. So just because the House has already impeached President Trump, there is nothing stopping lawmakers from doing so again.

Calling Mr. Bolton could be a risky move, though. Democrats are already facing accusations that they have a weak impeachment case and are trying to tack on new evidence after the fact. And nobody knows exactly what Mr. Bolton has to say; there’s a chance he could hurt their case. But for now, Democrats have not ruled it out.

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