Pelosi asks House to proceed with articles of impeachment

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4:48 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

This Democrat says he plans to vote against all articles of impeachment

 

Rep. Jeff Van Drew
Rep. Jeff Van Drew Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Van Drew, one of two Democrats to vote against formalizing the impeachment inquiry, said he plans to vote against all the articles of impeachment "unless there's something that I haven't seen, haven't heard before." 

He warned Democrats to "be careful what you wish for" and he added that impeachment "is tearing the nation apart. … And I want to bring people together."

Van Drew said he would have preferred a censure vote so they could "move on." 

Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, the other Democrat who also opposed the inquiry, was also asked if he'd vote to impeach.

"I don't have an idea what they're doing," Peterson said.

6:19 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Catch up: 5 key developments today in the impeachment inquiry

If you're just tuning in, here are the key developments today in House impeachment inquiry into President Trump:

  • Nancy Pelosi makes an announcement: The Speaker of the House said the House was proceeding with articles of impeachment against Trump. The speaker's announcement is the clearest signal yet that Democrats are moving swiftly to impeach the President before Christmas.
  • "Don't mess with me": Pelosi reacted angrily at the end of her press conference to a shouted question about whether she hated the President, returning to the podium to condemn the implication. She responded, "As a Catholic, I resent your using the word 'hate' in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone." Pelosi added, "So don't mess with me when it comes to words like that."
  • Another hearing has been set: The House Judiciary Committee announced today that its next impeachment hearing will be Monday, Dec. 9, at 9 a.m. ET., where it will hear evidence from the staff counsels of both the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees.
  • Republicans slam Pelosi's decision: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the "nation is weaker" because Democrats have put impeachment ahead of "all the other things that the American people want." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also tweeted that Pelosi is rushing a partisan impeachment process.
  • Trump wants a fair trial: The President tweeted a lot today about the impeachment inquiry and called for a fast and fair trial in the Senate. Trump said, "Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business."

3:43 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Schiff: Pelosi's announcement is a "significant milestone"

Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's announcement today to bring forward articles of impeachment was a "significant milestone."

 "Well, it's obviously a significant milestone, where the decision has been made to bring forward articles before the committee," Schiff said. "And obviously we'll be having a lot of discussions between now and then about what those articles ought to look like."

Schiff would not comment on what those articles might contain or if Democrats should include charges related to the Mueller investigation.

2:25 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

What we're expecting next in the impeachment inquiry

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced today that she's asked the House to move forward with articles of impeachment against President Trump.

Here's what we know will happen next:

  • Tomorrow: Trump must decide whether his attorneys will participate in the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment proceedings, according to deadline set by the committee.
  • Monday: The House Judiciary Committee will hold its next impeachment hearing, where it will hear evidence from the staff counsels of both the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees.

After that timing, it gets a little unclear, but here's a general sense of how the impeachment process will work:

  • Now: The House Judiciary Committee — which has authority to write articles of impeachment — will begin drafting them.
  • Committee vote: After articles are complete, the committee will vote on whether to refer them to the full House. We're not sure when this will happen, but it could happen sometime next week.
  • House vote: If they're approved, the articles will go to the House floor, where a simple majority is needed to formally impeach Trump. This vote could happen the week of Dec. 16.

1:05 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

White House: Pelosi's announcement moves country towards "illegitimate subversion of the Constitution"

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement today criticizing Speaker Pelosi's decision to move forward with articles of impeachment.

Grisham said that Pelosi's announcement “moves this Country toward the most partisan and illegitimate subversion of the Constitution in our history.”

"Speaker Pelosi did exactly what she always does – ignore the needs of the American people and advance her selfish political desires," Grisham said.

Read the full statement below:

12:45 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

GOP senator on Pelosi's impeachment push: "So much for being prayerful and thoughtful"

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

Reacting to Speaker of House House Nancy Pelosi’s announcement today that Democrats will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Trump, Sen. Lindsey Graham said: “So much for being prayerful and thoughtful.”

Graham continued:

“I think it's a bad day for the country. I think this whole thing is a joke. Mueller, I trusted — I don't trust Schiff, I don't trust Nadler to find the truth and the Speaker said it should be bipartisan it should be prayerful it should be thoughtful. So, what happened?”

Graham added he doesn’t plan to subpoena House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff’s phone records, saying “ No, I don't have any desire to subpoena Adam Schiff’s phone records, we're not going to do that,” adding “I wouldn’t want my phone records subpoenaed.”

Asked if Schiff crossed a line subpoenaing phone records, he said, “I think what he's doing is setting a very bad precedent.”

“Now, none of us are above the law so if you had a special counsel or a grand jury...you would be subject like every other citizen, but you can invoke defenses of being a member of Congress, you'll have a certain status there. But when we start looking into each other's phone records and who we talk to that gets to be chaos and I will have no part of it”

Graham was also asked about Rudy Giuliani being in Ukraine, responding “I don't know what he's doing. I don't know who he's meeting with and if he can find something, he certainly can share it with us.”

12:36 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Trump lawyers ask Supreme Court to block House subpoena for financial documents

President Trump asked the Supreme Court today to block a subpoena for his financial documents, arguing that the House exceeded its authority when it ordered Trump’s long time accounting firm to turn over his personal records.

The justices have already put a temporary freeze on the subpoena while they consider in the coming days and weeks whether to take up the appeal from the President’s personal lawyers.

What this means: The fate of Trump’s attempts — on multiple fronts — to shield his financial records, is now squarely before the highest court in the land. 

The justices have already announced they will meet behind closed doors on Dec. 13 to discuss a similar petition concerning a New York grand jury subpoena for Trump’s tax returns. In addition, Trump’s lawyers are likely to appeal a separate case they lost concerning a subpoena to Deutsche Bank for similar documents. Until the court acts one way or another the documents will not be released. 

The request to the Supreme Court comes just after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House was proceeding with articles of impeachment.

12:28 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

McCarthy dodges questions and criticizes Democrats on impeachment

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy holds a press conference on Capitol Hill
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy holds a press conference on Capitol Hill SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said today that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has “weakened” the country after announcing Democrats will proceed with articles of impeachment. 

He reiterated Republican complaints about the impeachment inquiry process and said he expects some Democrats to oppose articles of impeachment, as two Democrats opposed the inquiry procedures resolution. He dodged several questions about the President’s conduct and about White House officials defying subpoenas.

CNN asked if it is ever appropriate for a president to ask a foreign country to investigate a domestic political rival. McCarthy dodged the question.

“The President asked a country to participate in a case that happened in 2016. That’s 100% legal,” said McCarthy, before going off on a tangent and attacking Democrats. CNN tried to follow up specifically on the Bidens, but McCarthy ended the presser and left the room without answering.

12:20 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

What's on Trump's schedule today

US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive to the White House on December 4, 2019.
US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive to the White House on December 4, 2019. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump has two public appearances today — but it's unclear if he will address impeachment.

Earlier today, he urged the House to impeach him "fast" in a tweet. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called for the House to proceed with articles of impeachment in a press conference this morning.

  • At 1 p.m. ET, the President will welcome the Permanent Representatives of the United Nations Security Council to the White House.
  • At 5 p.m. ET, the President and the First Lady will attend the 97th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in President’s Park. This ceremony is one of America’s oldest holiday traditions, dating back to 1923.