Pelosi asks House to proceed with articles of impeachment

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes, Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 6:59 a.m. ET, December 6, 2019
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10:06 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Kellyanne Conway: The White House is "very ready" for a Senate trial

From CNN's Betsy Klein

White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, Sen. Mitt Romney and President Donald Trump listen during a listening session on youth vaping on November 22, 2019.
White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, Sen. Mitt Romney and President Donald Trump listen during a listening session on youth vaping on November 22, 2019. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway spoke with reporters at the White House this morning following an appearance on Fox News.

Conway called witnesses at yesterday's House Judiciary impeachment hearing “a bunch of biased professors who aren’t fact witnesses.”

She criticized one Democratic witness, Professor Pamela Karlan, as someone who “looks her nose down on people I grew up with,” mocking her three degrees from Yale (“Yay!”) and said that “in the comfort of her ivory tower” she was “unimpeachably unimpressive.”

The White House, Conway said, is “very ready” for a Senate trial, noting that legislative affairs director Eric Ueland was on the Hill yesterday and that she’s been present for meetings with some senators.

The Senate process, she argued, “would include live witnesses who have visibility and knowledge into facts.”

She said the Senate should call on the Bidens and Adam Schiff to testify, and, interestingly, said she has a list of Burisma board members on her desk that “maybe” will be called.

It’s “more likely” that White House counsel Pat Cipollone will testify in Senate proceedings, per Conway, but she wouldn’t weigh in on whether Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton will testify on the Senate side before the articles of impeachment are known.

10:02 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Democrats are "working as a team" to draft articles of impeachment, Judiciary member says

Rep. Steve Cohen — a Democrat who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which will be responsible for writing the articles of impeachment — spoke with CNN this morning about what happens next now that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has asked the lawmakers to move forward.

Cohen said that he believes the articles of impeachment will include at least two charges against Trump: abuse of power and the obstruction of Congress.

"It's possible we'll get to obstruction of justice, but we are a team," he added.

"The Democratic caucus, the Judiciary Committee, we're all working as a team and we will see what Speaker Pelosi and her team come up with and then we'll support it," Cohen said.

Asked about Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler's comments last November that impeachment should only proceed if its a bipartisan process, Cohen said, "It's a different Republican party than Jerry Nadler was talking about." 

Cohen said, "Chairman Nadler is thinking of a Republican party that had members like Howard Baker, Barry Goldwater, what they call Rockefeller Republicans. They no longer exist."

He continued:

"We should not let this unfortunate demise of the Republican party veto and stymie what is the correct thing to do for America and what the founding fathers dictate. That is impeachment of this president." 
10:00 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Trump campaign: Democrats "want to take the decision of who should be president out of the hands of voters"

President Trump's campaign just released a statement following Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's announcement that the House will move forward with articles of impeachment.

Brad Parscale, Trump's campaign manager, said impeaching Trump has long been a Democratic goal, "so they should just get on with it so we can have a fair trial in the Senate and expose The Swamp for what it is."

Here's the full statement:

“We are less than a year away from Election Day 2020 and Democrats can’t possibly explain to the American people why they want to take the decision of who should be president out of the hands of voters. But impeaching the President has always been their goal, so they should just get on with it so we can have a fair trial in the Senate and expose The Swamp for what it is. Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Schiff, and Hunter Biden should testify, and then we can get back to the business of our country.”
9:53 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Only a few lawmakers will decide on the contents of articles of impeachment

From CNN's Manu Raju

House Speaker Pelosi will continue meeting with members and getting their input on the articles of impeachment in an effort to help her understand where the votes are, according to Democratic sources.

But the reality is that the people who will make the decision on the contents of the articles of impeachment are only a handful — namely Pelosi, with consultation from House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler and House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff.

And it will be a closely held secret until it is unveiled.

They will have to make a decision on the scope of the articles, which some have speculated will encompass the Mueller investigation.

 The articles of impeachment under consideration are:

  • Abuse of power and bribery
  • Obstruction of Congress
  • Obstruction of justice (including evidence from the Mueller investigation)

The possible timeline: Articles could be voted on next week (the week of December 9th) in House Judiciary and the week after (the week of December 16th) on the House floor.

Expect one more hearing in the House Judiciary committee next week, when the House Intelligence Committee attorneys present their findings.

Then, if a simple majority of the House votes in favor of the articles of impeachment, the trial will move to the Senate.

9:27 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Pelosi called for the House to write articles of impeachment. Here's what comes next.

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced at a press conference this morning that she is asking House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler to proceed with articles of impeachment.

Articles of impeachment represent a key next step in the impeachment inquiry.

The Constitution explains that offenses that could prompt impeachment are treason, bribery or "other high crimes and misdemeanors."

A president is not impeached until the full House votes to approve articles of impeachment.

The House Judiciary Committee, which held its first hearings yesterday, will draft one article of impeachment for each alleged offense, and the House will vote on each article separately.

In this case, Democrats are considering multiple articles of impeachment, including charges of abuse of power, bribery and obstruction of Congress for defying subpoenas.

What comes next: In the House, if a simple majority votes in favor of the articles of impeachment, the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over a trial in the Senate. A two-thirds majority is required to convict and remove a president from office.

9:22 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

White House reacts to Pelosi's announcement: "We look forward to a fair trial in the Senate"

From CNN's Betsy Klein

The White House has reacted to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement moments ago that Democrats are moving forward with articles of impeachment against President Trump.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted, “@SpeakerPelosi & the Democrats should be ashamed. @realDonaldTrump has done nothing but lead our country - resulting in a booming economy, more jobs & a stronger military, to name just a few of his major accomplishments. We look forward to a fair trial in the Senate.”

9:15 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Pelosi: Trump has "abused his power" as President

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced moments ago that she is asking House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler to proceed with articles of impeachment.

She began her statement my referencing some of the founders of the US.

"Another founder, Governor Morris, feared that a president may be bribed by a greater interest to betray his trust. He emphasized that this magistrate is not a king. The people are the king. They, therefore, created a constitutional remedy to protect against a dangerous or corrupt leader: Impeachment," Pelosi said.

She added, "In America, no one is above the law."

She then said Trump has "abused his power" as President.

"The President abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security," Pelosi said.

9:12 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

BREAKING: Pelosi asks House to write articles of impeachment

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi just said the House is moving forward with articles of impeachment against President Trump.

"Today, I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment," she said.

8:53 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Pelosi will talk about impeachment any minute now

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is scheduled to deliver a statement about the impeachment inquiry at 9 a.m. ET.

We'll cover it live here.

We're not exactly sure what she'll talk about, but remember: She also gave a statement when she first announced the impeachment inquiry. This could be a sign she is ready to announce the next stage, according to CNN's Manu Raju.