UPDATE: House panel passes 2 Trump impeachment charges; Full House vote next week
The House Judiciary Committee on Friday approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump, casting the predictable party-line vote that Democrats abruptly delayed the previous night.
The charges — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — both passed 23-17 along party-line votes. They now go to the full House for a historic impeachment vote expected next week.
Story Source — Original story below.
In a surprise move that outraged his Republican colleagues, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler broke up a marathon impeachment hearing shortly before midnight Thursday without allowing members to cast their planned votes on articles of impeachment against President Trump.
After more than 14 hours of brutally partisan debate, Nadler suddenly gaveled out the hearing and told the panel’s 40 members to return at 10 a.m. Friday for a vote on the articles.
“It is now very late at night. I want members on both sides of the aisle to think about what has happened over these last days and to search their consciences before we cast our final votes,” Nadler (D-N.Y.) said before recessing, prompting gasps and shouts from the committee’s Republicans.
Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the panel’s top Republican, told reporters outside the hearing room that Nadler’s “integrity is gone.”
“This committee is more concerned about getting it on TV in the morning than it was finishing its job tonight and letting the members go home,” Collins said. “Words cannot describe how inappropriate this was … I’m just beyond words at this point.”
The first of the two impeachment articles charges Trump with abuse of power over his attempts to shake down Ukraine for investigations that would benefit his 2020 reelection bid. The second article charges Trump with obstruction over his flat-out stonewalling of the House impeachment inquiry.
The committee is expected to approve both articles Friday in a 23-17 party-line vote — the same tally that killed a string of doomed-to-fail amendments that Republicans tried to jam through during Thursday’s hearing, resulting in the extremely lenghty debate.
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump’s most loyal Judiciary Committee allies, introduced the first amendment during the marathon debate. It proposed striking out the entire first impeachment article charging Trump with abuse of power.
“Article I of this resolution ignores the truth, it ignores the facts, it ignores what happened and what has been laid out for the American people,” Jordan said before entering the long-shot amendment, which alone took three hours of intense debate to kill.
The Judiciary Committee’s now-expected Friday thumbs-up on the articles will leave it to the full House of Representatives to take one final vote to officially impeach the president.
That House vote is expected next week — just in time for Christmas recess.
With widespread agreement among Democrats — and 233-197 control of the House — Trump’s impeachment is at this point a matter of when, not if.
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