It was another big day in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump as the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment.
Here’s where things stand today:
- What happened: After a lengthy day of debating the two articles of impeachment against Trump, abuse of power and obstruction of congress, the House Judiciary Committee voted to approve both articles. The vote fell on partisan lines: Democrats voted yes and Republicans voted no, with the exception of Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat who was absent because of illness.
- Yesterday: The vote was supposed to be held yesterday but was unexpectedly delayed by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, a decision that underscored the partisan tensions throughout the impeachment inquiry.
- What’s in the articles: The first article of impeachment accuses Trump of abusing his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals and withholding US security aid and a White House meeting. The second accuses him of obstructing the investigation into his misconduct by blocking witnesses and disobeying subpoenas.
- What’s next: The two articles of impeachment will now go to the House floor for a vote. If a simple majority of the House votes to approve either article, Trump will become the third president ever formally impeached — President Nixon resigned after the votes passed the House Judiciary Committee but before they could make it to the full House. The House has yet to set a specific date for the full impeachment vote, but two Democratic leadership aides said it could happen on Wednesday.
- Possible trial: Then the Republican-led Senate will hold a trial presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The White House is still planning its trial strategy and considering whether or not it will call witnesses, which may lengthen the trial. Trump said earlier today that “I wouldn’t mind the long process because I’d like to see the whistleblower — who is a fraud.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement following this morning’s vote in the House Judiciary committee on the article of impeachment:
“If articles of impeachment are sent to the Senate, every single senator will take an oath to render ‘impartial justice.’ Making sure the Senate conducts a fair and honest trial that allows all the facts to come out is paramount.”
President Trump was just asked if he prefers a long or short trial in the Senate.
“I’ll do whatever I want. Look — we did nothing wrong, so I’ll do long or short,” Trump said.
If the House approves the articles of impeachment against Trump as they are expected to do next week, the Senate will then hold a trial to decide if he should be removed from office. It’s not clear how long the Senate trial might last.
The President added he “wouldn’t mind” a longer trial if it meant more witnesses.
“I wouldn’t mind the long process because I’d like to see the whistleblower — who is a fraud,” he said.
Some context: Throughout the House impeachment inquiry, Republicans have demanded to hear from the whistleblower whose complaint against Trump was at the heart of the inquiry.
The legal team for the whistleblower is preparing for the possibility that lawmakers will call their client to testify in the Senate, two people familiar told CNN.
Rep. Jamie Raskin called Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s comments that he will coordinate with closely with the White House on the looming Senate impeachment trial “a complete surrender of the constitutional duties and prerogatives of the Senate, essentially turning them over to the White House.”
“Well, let’s hope that there’s sufficient clamor within the Senate and within the country to make him rethink this idea of coordinating strategy with the defendant in the case. The President is essentially a constitutional defendant, and he’s a defendant because we have voted to send an indictment, articles of Impeachment, to the Senate, because of the high crimes and misdemeanors he’s committed,” Raskin said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, spoke about the possibility of House Democrats voting against the articles of impeachment on the floor.
“I think that you should always put your oath first, but you also have to consider your district,” he said.
President Trump said Democrats are “trivializing” impeachment following a vote in the House Judiciary Committee on articles of impeachment.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump repeated his claims the impeachment amounts to a “witch hunt” and a “sham.”
He again said his phone call with Ukraine’s president was “perfect” and he noted it’s been a “wild week.”
Trump is still speaking from the Oval Office.
The House Judiciary Committee voted 23-17 this morning to advance articles of impeachment against President Trump. It was a party-line vote, with Democrats voting yes and Republicans voting no.
Democrats who voted yes:
- Jerrold Nadler, New York
- Mary Gay Scanlon, Pennsylvania
- Zoe Lofgren, California
- Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas
- Steve Cohen, Tennessee
- Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Georgia
- Theodore E. Deutch, Florida
- Karen Bass, California
- Cedric L. Richmond, Louisiana
- Hakeem S. Jeffries, New York
- David N. Cicilline, Rhode Island
- Eric Swalwell, California
- Jamie Raskin, Maryland
- Pramila Jayapal, Washington
- Val Butler Demings, Florida
- J. Luis Correa, California
- Sylvia R. Garcia, Texas
- Joe Neguse, Colorado
- Lucy McBath, Georgia
- Greg Stanton, Arizona
- Madeleine Dean, Pennsylvania
- Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Florida
- Veronica Escobar,Texas
Republicans who voted no:
- Doug Collins, Georgia
- F. James Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin
- Steve Chabot, Ohio
- Louie Gohmert, Texas
- Jim Jordan, Ohio
- Ken Buck, Colorado
- John Ratcliffe, Texas
- Martha Roby, Alabama
- Matt Gaetz, Florida
- Mike Johnson, Louisiana
- Andy Biggs, Arizona
- Tom McClintock, California
- Debbie Lesko, Arizona
- Guy Reschenthaler, Pennsylvania
- Ben Cline, Virginia
- Kelly Armstrong, North Dakota
- W. Gregory Steube, Florida
Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California, was not present and did not vote. He’s recovering from a heart procedure.
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee raised concerns about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comments that he will coordinate closely with the White House on the looming Senate impeachment trial.
Rep. Val Demings, a Florida Democrat, said the Kentucky Republican should recuse himself entirely.
“He’s working hand in hand with the White House, with the president’s attorney, and yet we’re supposed to expect him to manage a fair and impartial trial?” Demings said when asked about McConnell’s remarks. “I think he should recuse himself.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal called the coordination “ridiculous.”
“I think it is outrageous for the chief juror who is organizing the trial to be coordinating with the defendant,” Jayapal, a Washington Democrat, told reporters.
Some context: If a simple majority of the House votes to impeach the President — which is expected to happen next week — the Senate will hold a trial overseen by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
McConnell held a closed-door meeting with the President’s top lawyer, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, on Thursday to coordinate plans for the trial.
The House Judiciary Committee this morning voted to advance articles of impeachment against President Trump to the full House.
This marks the fourth time in US history the House will consider impeaching a President.
Here’s a look at the three other Presidents who have faced impeachment:
- Andrew Johnson: The House of Representatives voted in 1868 to impeach Johnson. After a trial in the Senate, Johnson was acquitted with a vote of 35-19 — one vote shy of the two thirds majority needed to remove the president.
- Richard Nixon: The House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against Nixon in 1974. He resigned from office before the full House could vote to impeach him.
- Bill Clinton: The House Judiciary Committee approved four articles of impeachment against Clinton in December 1998. After the House voted to impeach him, the Senate acquitted him in a 1999 trial.
Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, called today’s vote “political theater” after the House Judiciary Committee advanced both articles of impeachment against President Trump.
Read his full statement:
“This committee vote is just another act in the Democrats’ political theater. The baseless, sham impeachment is just out-of-control partisan politics and the American people are rejecting it.”