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  1. #286

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Impeachment live updates: House Judiciary panel passes two articles of impeachment against Trump

    By
    John Wagner and
    Colby Itkowitz
    Dec. 13, 2019 at 11:57 a.m. EST


    The House Judiciary Committee on Friday quickly approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump on party-line votes accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

    The panel’s businesslike deliberations, which lasted less than 10 minutes, followed an abrupt halt late Thursday night. The full House is expected to vote to impeach Trump next week, though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said there is “no chance” his chamber will vote to remove him from office.

    At the heart of the Democrats’ case is the allegation that Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine to combat Russian military aggression, to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a probe of an unfounded theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

    ●McConnell indicates he’ll let Trump’s lawyers dictate Trump’s impeachment trial.

    ●Name-calling, insults and scandals dominate all-day impeachment proceeding.

    ●The latest guessing game is figuring out Pelosi’s picks to prosecute impeachment trial.

    How impeachment works | House resolution impeaching Trump | House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment inquiry report | Key figures on the House Judiciary Committee

    7:30 a.m.
    Judiciary Committee to resume deliberations after abrupt halt late Thursday night

    The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to reconvene at 10 a.m. on Friday to vote on two articles of impeachment against Trump alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

    The committee had planned to vote on Thursday night, but after more than 14 hours of debate, Democrats made an abrupt decision before midnight to hold off on the history-making vote until the light of day.

    Thursday’s all-day debate ended as it began, with angry exchanges, personal insults and recycled arguments about process and propriety as the committee moved toward voting to impeach Trump for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

    Congress has impeached only two presidents: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before the House could vote on articles of impeachment in the Watergate scandal. Lawmakers drafted three articles against Nixon, including charges of “high crimes and misdemeanors” that mirror the abuse-of-power and obstruction allegations Trump now faces.

    By John Wagner

    7:45 a.m.
    Collins calls decision to delay committee votes ‘bush league’

    Rep. Douglas A. Collins (Ga.), the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, continued Friday morning to complain about the decision of Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) to delay votes on the articles of impeachment until Friday morning.

    “They’re hijacking your weekend because they just want this to be on television,” Ainsley Earhardt, a co-host of Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” said to Collins as he appeared on the program.

    “Right,” Collins replied, indicating that he and even some Democrats on the panel were caught off guard by the delay.

    “This was simply a stunt by my chairman. It’s bush league,” Collins said. “Normally, the chairman and the ranking member at least talk about scheduling issues. We can disagree about the color of the sun but we always talk about scheduling.”

    By John Wagner

    8:10 a.m.
    Deutch says impeachment votes ‘ought to take place in the light of day’

    Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), an outspoken member of the House Judiciary Committee, defended the decision by the panel’s chairman to put off final votes on impeachment until Friday morning.

    “The American people deserve to see it,” Deutch said during an appearance on CNN. “It ought to take place in the light of day.”

    Deutch said it was hard to understand why Republicans were so upset by the delay, since they have accused Democrats of rushing the impeachment process.

    He said he suspects if the panel had proceeded at midnight Republicans would have asked “how we could cast a vote like that in the dead of the night.”


    By John Wagner

    8:45 a.m.
    Trump insists again that he has done nothing wrong

    Trump returned to Twitter a little more than an hour before the Judiciary Committee was scheduled to reconvene to make the case that he doesn’t deserve impeachment.

    Among his now-familiar claims: There was nothing wrong with the July call in which he pressed Zelensky for investigations that could benefit him politically.

    “How do you get Impeached when you have done NOTHING wrong (a perfect call), have created the best economy in the history of our Country, rebuilt our Military, fixed the V.A. (Choice!), cut Taxes & Regs, protected your 2nd A, created Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, and soooo much more? Crazy!” Trump tweeted.

    By John Wagner

    10:00 a.m.
    Bondi says White House working ‘hand in hand’ with McConnell ahead of trial

    Shortly before the impeachment votes, Trump spokeswoman Pam Bondi said that the White House been working “hand in hand” with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to prepare for an expected Senate trial.

    “We have been in very close contact with Leader McConnell and all of Republican leadership in the Senate. We are all united. We are on the same side,” Bondi, a former Florida state attorney general said during an appearance on Fox News. “We’re working hand in hand, and we will be well prepared if and when this gets to the Senate.”

    Bondi said reports that White House counsel White House counsel Pat Cipollone will take the lead in defending Trump before the Senate are premature.

    “No decisions have been made,” Bondi said, adding that she considers Cipollone to be “a genius.”

    By John Wagner

    Joyce Alene @JoyceWhiteVance

    ICYMI, Late yesterday, Mitch McConnell went on record saying that as the foreman of the impeachment jury, he'd fix the case with the defendant's lawyer. An acquittal under these circumstance is not an exoneration, to say the least.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  2. #287

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Updates Part 2

    10:03 a.m.
    Nadler gavels the proceedings to order

    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) has gaveled the proceedings to order and the panel is resuming deliberations over two articles of impeachment against Trump.

    By John Wagner

    10:07 a.m.
    House Judiciary panel approves first article of impeachment against Trump, ‘abuse of power’

    The House Judiciary Committee approved a first article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with “abuse of power” for his conduct toward Ukraine.

    The article, which was approved along party lines, 23 to 17, accuses the president of using the powers of his office to solicit “the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election.”

    The committee is expected to vote shortly on a second article accusing Trump of “obstruction of Congress.”

    By John Wagner

    10:09 a.m.
    House Judiciary panel passes second article of impeachment against Trump

    The House Judiciary Committee approved a second article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with “obstruction of Congress” for response to the impeachment inquiry.

    The article, which was approved along party lines, 23 to 17, accused the president of using the powers of his office to direct “the unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives pursuant to its ‘sole Power of Impeachment.’ ”

    The full House is expected to vote on both articles of impeachment next week. If passed, a trial in the Senate would begin in early January.

    Congress has impeached only two presidents: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before the House could vote on articles of impeachment in the Watergate scandal. Lawmakers drafted three articles against Nixon, including charges of “high crimes and misdemeanors” that mirror the abuse-of-power and obstruction allegations Trump now faces.

    By John Wagner

    10:10 a.m.
    Nadler gavels the proceedings closed

    After two votes in short order, House Judiciary Committe Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) has gaveled the proceedings closed. A full House vote is expected next week.

    By John Wagner

    10:15 a.m.
    A businesslike vote after two days of high drama

    It took less than 10 minutes for the House Judiciary Committee to make history.

    Unlike the rancor and emotion of the previous two days, the vote to impeach the president was formal and businesslike. Republicans offered curt “nos.” Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) cast her votes with her son sitting on her lap.

    Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) said, “My vote is no.” Then, after the Article 1 roll call, Gohmert asked the clerk to confirm he was recorded as “no,” as if there was any doubt.

    When Democrats voted “aye” or “yes,” they did so without joy or fanfare. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) held up a pocket-size copy of the Constitution while she voted.

    By Colby Itkowitz

    10:30 a.m.
    Republicans accuse Democrats of ‘political hit-job,’ ‘abuse of power’

    Republican House leaders were quick to condemn the House Judiciary Committee vote along party lines.

    Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) “just jammed through impeachment in the Judiciary Committee without a single Republican vote,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in a tweet. “This sham is nothing more than a political hit-job against the President.”

    Rep. Douglas A. Collins (Ga.), the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, accused Democrats of “an abuse of power.”

    “Democrats are attempting to knee-cap our democracy,” Collins said in a statement. “They’re telling millions of voters that Democrats will work to overturn the will of the people whenever it conflicts with the will of liberal elites.”

    By John Wagner

    10:40 a.m.
    Leading Democrats say vote marks a ‘solemn and sad’ day

    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) made brief remarks after the vote, calling it a “solemn and sad day.”

    “For the third time in a little over a century and a half, the House Judiciary Committee has voted articles of impeachment against the president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The House will act expeditiously,” Nadler told reporters.

    He walked away without taking any questions.

    House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) struck a similar chord in a statement.

    “This is a solemn and somber day for our country,” Hoyer said.

    “Next week, these two articles of impeachment – on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – will come to the House Floor for consideration,” he added. “The representatives of the American people will then vote on whether to send this case against the President to the Senate for trial.”


    By Colby Itkowitz and John Wagner

    10:45 a.m.
    Grisham says Trump is looking forward to Senate trial

    White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement saying Trump is looking forward to a trial in the Republican-led Senate.

    “This desperate charade of an impeachment inquiry in the House Judiciary Committee has reached its shameful end,” Grisham said. “The President looks forward to receiving in the Senate the fair treatment and due process which continues to be disgracefully denied to him by the House.”

    Trump declined an invitation to have his lawyers participate in the the impeachment inquiry by the Democratic-led House.

    By John Wagner



    Acyn Torabi
    @Acyn
    Mitch McConnell: Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with White House Counsel. There will be no difference between the President’s position and our position as to how to handle this

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1205311801212190727
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  3. #288

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Updates Part 3

    11:00 a.m.
    Trump campaign dismisses impeachment votes as ‘political theater’

    Brad Parscale, Trump’s reelection campaign manager, dismissed the House Judiciary Committee impeachment votes as “political theater.”

    “The baseless, sham impeachment is just out-of-control politics and the American people are rejecting it,” Parscale said in a statement.

    By John Wagner

    11:25 a.m.
    House Rules Committee to consider resolution on Tuesday

    The House Rules Committee announced that it will meet on Tuesday morning to consider the resolution impeaching Trump “for high crimes and misdemeanors.”

    That panel’s action would clear the way for a vote by the full House, expected on Wednesday.

    By John Wagner

    11:35 a.m.
    Trump greets president of Paraguay

    About 90 minutes after a House panel voted to impeach him, Trump welcomed Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez for a visit to the White House.

    “Lovely weather,” Trump said as he greeted Abdo Benítez in light rain. The two paused for photographs before heading to the Oval Office.

    By John Wagner

    12:00 p.m.
    Trump says Democrats are ‘trivializing impeachment’

    Trump told reporters that Democrats are “trivializing impeachment” after the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Friday morning for two articles of impeachment against him.

    “It’s a very sad thing for our country, but it seems to be very good for me politically,” Trump said as reporters looked on during an Oval Office visit by Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez. “The people are absolutely disgusted. Nobody’s ever seen anything like this.”

    Trump also ticked off several now-familiar terms he’s used to describe the process, including “witch hunt,” “hoax” and “sham.”

    He asserted once again that the July phone call during which he pressed Zelensky to conduct investigations that could benefit him politically was “perfect.”

    “To use the power of impeachment on this nonsense is an embarrassment to this country,” Trump said.

    Asked if he would prefer a long or short trial in the Senate, Trump said, “I’ll do whatever I want. Look, there is — we did nothing wrong. So I’ll do long or short.”

    “I wouldn’t mind the long process, because I’d like to see the whistleblower, who’s a fraud,” he added, referring to the anonymous U.S. intelligence official whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry.

    Much of what was in the complaint has been corroborated by other U.S. officials who testified during the inquiry.

    By John Wagner

    Adam Klasfeld @KlasfeldReports

    "We need an engaged public to deal with the President's crimes, to confront the reality of the President's misconduct, and that would probably be our best bet for moving Senator McConnell to conduct a fair and exhaustive trial,"
    @RepRaskin told reporters.

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1205542220151099392
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  4. #289

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Updates Part 4

    12:10 p.m.
    Trump derisively refers to Vindman as ‘another beauty’

    Trump derisively referred to Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in the impeachment inquiry, as “another beauty” as he sought to convince reporters Friday that Democrats have a weak case for impeachment.

    Trump did not mention Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, by name, but he alluded to him as he argued that the rough transcript of his July call with Zelensky showed he had done nothing wrong.

    Vindman, who was among those who listened in on the call, raised concerns about the call to an NSC lawyer, saying he did not think it was appropriate for Trump to have asked Zelensky to investigate a political rival.

    “Now, had I not had a transcript — I’m lucky we had this transcript — which by the way has now been verified by the lieutenant colonel, lieutenant colonel — okay, he’s another beauty …” Trump said, before moving on to another thought.

    Vindman, in fact, testified that he suggested several edits to the call transcript, not all of which were made.

    By John Wagner

    12:50 p.m.
    Pence spokeswoman calls impeachment proceedings ‘complete waste of time’

    A spokeswoman for Vice President Pence dismissed the impeachment proceedings against Trump as “a complete waste of time” hours after the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to impeach Trump.

    “Never in our country’s history has a president been treated so unfairly by a sham investigation with one-sided testimony meant to undermine the will of the American people,” said Pence press secretary Katie Waldman. “The American people have the facts, they can read the transcript, no quid pro quo, and the aide to Ukraine was released. Democrats in Congress should heed the voice of the American people and reject this partisan impeachment that has been a complete waste of time. Democrats in Congress need to get back to work for the American people!”

    By John Wagner

    1:20 p.m.
    Schumer says a fair trial is ‘paramount’

    Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) issued a statement Friday noting that “[i]f 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,” Schumer said.

    His statement came a day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a Fox News interview that he is in “total coordination” with Trump’s legal team ahead of an anticipated trial and that he sees “no chance” Trump will be removed from office.

    By John Wagner

    1:30 p.m.
    McConnell’s vow of ‘total coordination’ with White House on Senate impeachment trial angers Democrats

    Members of the House Judiciary Committee spent barely seven minutes Friday forwarding articles of impeachment for a floor vote next week. But many of panel’s members already had their minds on the Senate trial ahead — and the man who holds immense sway over how it will proceed: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

    In a late Thursday interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, McConnell (R-Ky.) all but guaranteed a Trump acquittal, saying there was “zero chance” the president would be removed from office, and promised “total coordination” with the White House and Trump’s defense team.

    “The case is so darn weak coming over from the House,” he said. “We all know how it’s going to end.”

    Those remarks infuriated House Democrats as they voted to advance the fourth-ever set of presidential impeachment articles toward a Senate trial where, they said, the fix appeared to be in.

    Read more here.

    By Mike DeBonis
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  5. #290

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Updates Part 5

    2:00 p.m.
    Moderate Democratic freshman from Nevada says she’ll vote to impeach

    Rep. Susie Lee (Nev.), a moderate Democratic freshman who won last year in a district that Trump carried in 2016, announced Friday that she would vote in support of impeachment next week on the House floor.

    “This is a grave decision that requires thorough and solemn deliberation,” Lee said in a statement. “After weighing all of the facts, I will be voting in support of impeachment of the president.”

    Lee said that it was clear to her that Trump had abused the power of his office and “blatantly obstructed” Congress.

    “This is a solemn decision,” she said. “I end with this: democracies live and die by the integrity of our elections. We have lived in relative peace on our soil for over two centuries in the strongest democracy on earth. It is my constitutional duty to ensure that it remains that way.”

    By John Wagner

    2:30 p.m.
    Buttigieg compares Trump to tiger who will eventually devour the GOP

    Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, in an interview with Post Live Friday afternoon, said Trump’s behavior was an “affront to basic American values.”

    “There were documented abuses of power, things we watched the president do in plain daylight,” Buttigieg told The Post’s Robert Costa. “It is tragic that unlike what we’ve seen for example in the run-up to the resignation of Nixon that the Republican Party decided to continue riding this tiger until it finally devours them.”

    Costa asked Buttigieg about moderate Democrats who are still on the fence about next week’s vote and whether they should feel an obligation to support impeachment.

    “Well, they’d certainly get my vote, and I think the broader issue right now is we have to draw the line on what kind of conduct is acceptable. And I think it’s important for the future as well as for the present that we draw that line.”

    By Colby Itkowitz

    3:00 p.m.
    Giuliani spends morning at White House, tweeting defense of Trump

    Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney who has been waging his own investigation against the Bidens in Ukraine, was spotted entering the White House shortly before the House Judiciary vote this morning.

    He also tweeted several times, deriding the impeachment inquiry and repeating his claim that he has dirt on Biden.

    “The American people have already made up their mind on this #ImpeachmentScam,” he tweeted. “This is a SMOKESCREEN for the Obama-Biden administration’s corruption. It will soon be proven.”

    In a later tweet, he pushed the Republican line that Trump didn’t obstruct Congress by not allowing White House and administration officials to participate in the impeachment inquiry because the Democrats could have asked the courts to compel him.

    “Disputes between Presidents & Congress are to be decided by the 3rd branch, the courts. NOT dictatorially by Congress,” Giuliani tweeted.

    No other administration has instructed its officials to defy congressional subpoenas.

    By Colby Itkowitz
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  6. #291

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Josh Marshall
    @joshtpm
    This makes a point I've been trying to make in other contexts. Trump's guilt is obvious and obvious to anyone looking at the evidence. 100% of Democrats aim at trial should be to put Republicans on trial, illustrating their willingness to back any criminal conduct Trump commits.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





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