The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to transmit two articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate, sending the president and his party into uncharted territory in a deeply divisive trial fraught with history and political risk.
In a choreographed ritual, the House formally appointed seven Democrats to serve as impeachment managers prosecuting the case before the Republican-controlled Senate. The group silently marched two charges of high crimes and misdemeanors, encased in slim blue folders, across the Capitol to set in motion the third presidential impeachment trial in American history.
The proceedings commencing on Thursday will play out in a Capitol already rived by politics during a contentious election year. Among the senators who will be sitting in judgment of Mr. Trump will be four Democrats who are running for president, juggling their campaigns to defeat him with their duties as jurors.
The trial is laden with peril for Mr. Trump. He will face weeks of public discussion of the allegations that he solicited foreign help in the 2020 presidential election, abusing the power of his office and obstructing a congressional inquiry in the process. But the president is almost certain to cast his likely acquittal as a complete exoneration and turn the considerable apparatus of his campaign to stoke public outrage.