WASHINGTON — The next steps will be procedural before the impeachment trial in the Senate and it is in those details a political fight could be brewing that will have Democrats trying to hold Senate Republicans hostage over the rules of the trial.
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House speaker Nancy Pelosi and the majority of Democrats impeached President Donald Trump on the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Pelosi said that after the impeachment vote on Wednesday night, she might delay the articles of impeachment being sent to the Senate.
The speaker says she wants a fair Senate trial and she issued a veiled threat to stall the articles until she is in agreement with how the republican majority in the senate will handle the trial.
At the same time Trump was being impeached in the House Wednesday evening, the president was in Battle Creek, Michigan, for a campaign stop where thousands greeted him with support.
"Through their actions today, the crazy Nancy Pelosi's House Democrats have branded themselves with an eternal mark of shame. It really is. It's a disgrace. Democrat lawmakers do not believe you have the right to select your own president," he said.
U.S. representatives from Florida who voted in the impeachment spoke out after the vote.
"Impeaching a duly elected president on a purely partisan (basis) with no crimes to show for it, not one element of a crime defined, disgraces the integrity of our democracy," said Republican Rep. John Rutherford of Jacksonville.
However, his Democratic colleague felt differently.
U.S. Rep Al Lawson of Tallahassee said, "His continued abuse of power compelled us to take action. This is a responsibility that we could not avoid in light of the oath we made to protect and preserve the constitution and our democracy."
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell says he should have dates scheduled for the Senate trial by next week as some Republicans say the trial could be done in as few as a couple of weeks.
This all stems from a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
In the phone conversation, Trump asked for a "favor," according to an account provided by the White House. He wanted an investigation into both Democrats and Biden, a possible 2020 rival. Later it was revealed that the administration was also withholding $400 million in military aid from Ukraine.
Republicans argue the money was given to Ukraine without any investigation, and there was no quid pro quo, or favor for a favor.
Trump also wanted Hunter Biden, the former vice president's son, looked into. Hunter Biden sat on the board of the Ukrainian gas company called Burisma while his father was vice president.