The House Judiciary Committee took the first steps Wednesday evening toward voting on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, beginning a marathon two-day session to consider the historic charges with a lively prime-time hearing at the Capitol.
Democrats in the House of Representatives this week formally called for the removal of Donald J. Trump from the office of the US presidency, laying out in a succinct nine-page document the articles of impeachment on grounds he committed high crimes and misdemeanours in the form of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Democrats and Republicans used the otherwise procedural meeting to deliver sharp, poignant and, at times, personal arguments for and against impeachment.
Both sides appealed to Americans' sense of history: Democrats described a strong sense of duty to hold the president in check, while Republicans decried the process.
The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin its markup of the articles at 7 p.m. ET and will likely vote in the coming days. According to another survey released by Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, two more incumbent Democrats could face backlash if they choose to back their party's impeachment efforts. The full Democratic-led House is likely to follow suit next week, making Trump the third president in USA history to be impeached.
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., later turned to Republicans, and said, "Wake up". Democrats said that Trump also obstructed Congress by blocking lawmakers from obtaining key documents and testimony.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi asks Democratic lawmakers to draft articles of impeachment against Trump, saying he "leaves us no choice but to act".
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The spokesperson said that the analysis "provided additional context in helping determine the mitigation action". He also said he is considering further actions against Boeing.
"You can't make your case against the president because nothing happened", Collins said.
The House Intelligence Committee announces it will hold its first open hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry, hosting William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, and George Kent, a top State Department official, as well as Marie Yovanovitch, who served as former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine until May, when she was dismissed. They have to agreed to the language, which spans only nine pages and says that Trump acted "corruptly" and "betrayed the nation" when he asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and the 2016 US election. The full House is expected to vote by Christmas.
"I do think that he was assisted by the communications industry, not just Hollywood, but the press as well, because all they do is enable him, and that is really a sad thing", Pelosi told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview.
"The president did not commit any crimes", he said. "They don't like the president's supporters, and they dislike us so much they're willing to weaponise the government".
"The power to impeach is not to punish a president. Stop deflecting and distracting and treating those you represent as if they don't see what's going on, like they're not smart enough to realize that you are willfully ignoring the facts to protect a corrupt and unsafe president".
One of the senators, speaking anonymously, said McConnell would not call a vote on a motion to proceed to the impeachment articles unless he knew he had the 51 votes needed to end the trial, which would then set up a final vote on the articles themselves.
McConnell, a close Trump ally, says no decision has been made over how to conduct the trial.