House panel approves articles of impeachment against Trump
Rep. Jamie Raskin called Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s comments that he will coordinate with closely with the White House on the looming Senate impeachment trial “a complete surrender of the constitutional duties and prerogatives of the Senate, essentially turning them over to the White House.”
“Well, let's hope that there's sufficient clamor within the Senate and within the country to make him rethink this idea of coordinating strategy with the defendant in the case. The President is essentially a constitutional defendant, and he's a defendant because we have voted to send an indictment, articles of Impeachment, to the Senate, because of the high crimes and misdemeanors he’s committed,” Raskin said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, spoke about the possibility of House Democrats voting against the articles of impeachment on the floor.
“I think that you should always put your oath first, but you also have to consider your district," he said.
President Trump said Democrats are "trivializing" impeachment following a vote in the House Judiciary Committee on articles of impeachment.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump repeated his claims the impeachment amounts to a "witch hunt" and a "sham."
He again said his phone call with Ukraine's president was "perfect" and he noted it's been a "wild week."
Trump is still speaking from the Oval Office.
The House Judiciary Committee voted 23-17 this morning to advance articles of impeachment against President Trump. It was a party-line vote, with Democrats voting yes and Republicans voting no.
Democrats who voted yes:
- Jerrold Nadler, New York
- Mary Gay Scanlon, Pennsylvania
- Zoe Lofgren, California
- Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas
- Steve Cohen, Tennessee
- Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Georgia
- Theodore E. Deutch, Florida
- Karen Bass, California
- Cedric L. Richmond, Louisiana
- Hakeem S. Jeffries, New York
- David N. Cicilline, Rhode Island
- Eric Swalwell, California
- Jamie Raskin, Maryland
- Pramila Jayapal, Washington
- Val Butler Demings, Florida
- J. Luis Correa, California
- Sylvia R. Garcia, Texas
- Joe Neguse, Colorado
- Lucy McBath, Georgia
- Greg Stanton, Arizona
- Madeleine Dean, Pennsylvania
- Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Florida
- Veronica Escobar,Texas
Republicans who voted no:
- Doug Collins, Georgia
- F. James Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin
- Steve Chabot, Ohio
- Louie Gohmert, Texas
- Jim Jordan, Ohio
- Ken Buck, Colorado
- John Ratcliffe, Texas
- Martha Roby, Alabama
- Matt Gaetz, Florida
- Mike Johnson, Louisiana
- Andy Biggs, Arizona
- Tom McClintock, California
- Debbie Lesko, Arizona
- Guy Reschenthaler, Pennsylvania
- Ben Cline, Virginia
- Kelly Armstrong, North Dakota
- W. Gregory Steube, Florida
Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California, was not present and did not vote. He's recovering from a heart procedure.
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee raised concerns about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comments that he will coordinate closely with the White House on the looming Senate impeachment trial.
Rep. Val Demings, a Florida Democrat, said the Kentucky Republican should recuse himself entirely.
“He’s working hand in hand with the White House, with the president’s attorney, and yet we’re supposed to expect him to manage a fair and impartial trial?” Demings said when asked about McConnell’s remarks. “I think he should recuse himself.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal called the coordination “ridiculous.”
“I think it is outrageous for the chief juror who is organizing the trial to be coordinating with the defendant,” Jayapal, a Washington Democrat, told reporters.
Some context: If a simple majority of the House votes to impeach the President — which is expected to happen next week — the Senate will hold a trial overseen by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
McConnell held a closed-door meeting with the President's top lawyer, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, on Thursday to coordinate plans for the trial.
The House Judiciary Committee this morning voted to advance articles of impeachment against President Trump to the full House.
This marks the fourth time in US history the House will consider impeaching a President.
Here's a look at the three other Presidents who have faced impeachment:
- Andrew Johnson: The House of Representatives voted in 1868 to impeach Johnson. After a trial in the Senate, Johnson was acquitted with a vote of 35-19 — one vote shy of the two thirds majority needed to remove the president.
- Richard Nixon: The House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against Nixon in 1974. He resigned from office before the full House could vote to impeach him.
- Bill Clinton: The House Judiciary Committee approved four articles of impeachment against Clinton in December 1998. After the House voted to impeach him, the Senate acquitted him in a 1999 trial.
Brad Parscale, Trump's 2020 campaign manager, called today's vote "political theater" after the House Judiciary Committee advanced both articles of impeachment against President Trump.
Read his full statement:
“This committee vote is just another act in the Democrats’ political theater. The baseless, sham impeachment is just out-of-control partisan politics and the American people are rejecting it.”
In an exchange with CNN’s Manu Raju following the House Judiciary Committee vote on articles of impeachment, Rep. Debbie Lesko, a Republican from Arizona, denied that President Trump asked Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, repeatedly saying “he did not do that.”
When pressed on whether asking Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate was appropriate, Lesko said:
“It’s the responsibility of the President of the United States before he hands over taxpayer dollars to investigate corruption and I believe part of that corruption was with the Bidens.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, argued that Democrats are not living up to the standards that they set for themselves.
“The reality is they failed to meet their burden,” Gaetz said.
The GOP congressman said Republicans would like to work on “policy changes that will actually impact the quality of life for our constituents,” while Democrats keep impeachment as their “total focus.”
“Impeachment is their drug. It is their obsession,” Gaetz told reporters.
It's worth noting that just this week House Democrats and the White House reached a deal to advance President Trump's renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement after months of negotiations for changes on Democratic priorities.
The White House has released a statement on the impeachment vote, calling it a “desperate charade of an impeachment inquiry.”
“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," said Stephanie Grisham, the White House Press Secretary.
Read the full statement below:
This desperate charade of an impeachment inquiry in the House Judiciary Committee has reached its shameful end. 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.