President Trump has been impeached

By Fernando Alfonso III, Veronica Rocha, Mike Hayes and Amanda Wills, CNN

Updated 10:31 a.m. ET, December 19, 2019
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11:13 a.m. ET, December 18, 2019

Democratic congressman reads a letter he wrote to his children about the impeachment vote

House TV
House TV

Rep. Joseph Kennedy, a Democrat from Massachusetts, just read a letter he wrote to his children about today's vote.

Here's what Kennedy said:

"This is a moment you will read about in your history books. Today, I will vote to impeach the President of the United States and I want you to know why. 
He broke our laws. He threatened our security. He abused the highest, most sacred office in our land. I want you to know that it does not feel good. 
I can't stop thinking about the cost to our country. Not just the impeachable offenses, but the collateral damage of a President who uses power like a weapon against his own people. A road to our decency, degrades our dignity. 
I don't know how they will tell the story of this era. But I want to tell you the story of this day. Let the record show that today justice won. That we did our job. That we kept our word. That we did our job. That we kept our word. That we stood our sacred ground. 
Let the record show we did not let you down. I love you. Listen to mom. I'm be home soon." 

Watch the moment:

10:58 a.m. ET, December 18, 2019

This congressman's district staff quit after his plans to switch parties

From CNN's Manu Raju

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

At least two more staff members have quit the office of Rep. Jeff Van Drew, a Democrat.

The New Jersey freshman privately informed his staff that he plans to switch parties in the aftermath of the backlash for his position against impeachment, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

The two staff members serve in his New Jersey district office, the source said, contradicting Van Drew’s claims that only his Washington staff had quit.

Van Drew told CNN yesterday: “We actually have all our staff in district, they’ve all stayed and they’re doing great.”

But sources say that is not the case.

With the two district staff members leaving, that brings the total up to at least eight aides leaving in protest over his decision.

Van Drew continued to play coy Tuesday about his decision to switch parties, he informed his staff several days ago that he planned to become a Republican, prompting the exodus.

Van Drew said the staff quit because “They were told to; they were told to… they had to or else they wouldn’t work again.” He refused to offer any evidence or any more specificity to back up they claim. The source also said that accusation is false.

11:13 a.m. ET, December 18, 2019

GOP congressman claims impeachment is based on "hearsay, speculation and presumptions"

House TV
House TV

Rep. Bradley Byrne, a Republican from Alabama, was critical of the impeachment of President Trump, calling the proceedings based on "hearsay, speculation and presumptions."

"When the Framers granted the House the power to impeach, they feared that it would be abused. Today those fears are realized. In record speed this majority has assembled hearsay, speculation and presumptions for the purpose of overturning the 2016 election. We are not here today, days before Christmas, because the majority assembled a case against President Trump. The Democratic majority believes impeachment would provide their members time to distance themselves from their vote," Byrne said.

Watch the moment:

10:55 a.m. ET, December 18, 2019

Republicans want a roll-call vote on articles of impeachment (but won't get it)

From CNN's Haley Byrd 

House TV via AP
House TV via AP

House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney sought unanimous consent to require members to vote on the articles of impeachment by a manual roll call — meaning each member would be named and individually cast their vote vocally instead of through the electronic system the chamber uses for all roll-call votes. 

“Members should be required to stand and identify themselves openly and on camera,” Cheney argued. 

House Rules Committee Chair Jim McGovern shot down the request.

10:49 a.m. ET, December 18, 2019

Democratic congressman thanks rules committee members for their "civility"

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House TV

Democratic Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, a member of the rules committee, thanked the lawmakers from both sides of the aisle for their "civility" during yesterday's contentious discussion about the rules of today's impeachment proceeding.

Addressing the chair and ranking member of the rules committee, DeSaulnier thanked Reps. McGovern and Cole "for our civility last night."

"Although it was a long hearing and we are very much in disagreement, I felt proud to be a part of that hearing," he said.
10:43 a.m. ET, December 18, 2019

Ahead of impeachment vote, McConnell tells Democrats to "pull back from the precipice"

From CNN's Sam Fossum

J. Scott Applewhite/AP
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

As the House moved to debate the rules that will guide today's impeachment debate and votes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, took to the Senate floor to accuse House Democrats of giving into "temptation."

He called on them to "pull back from the precipice" of impeachment.

McConnell also repeated some of his attacks from yesterday against Sen. Chuck Schumer's public call for witnesses in a Senate trial. 

"The country is waiting to see whether these House Democrats will give into the temptation that every House in modern history has managed to resist and misuse the solemn process of impeachment to blow off partisan steam," McConnell said.

McConnell also said the Senate will vote tomorrow on the government funding bills that passed the House.

Government funding runs out on Friday.

10:42 a.m. ET, December 18, 2019

Democratic congressman claims Trump believes "he is a king"

House TV
House TV

Rep. James Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina, justified his support of the impeachment of President Trump today as the only way to fulfill his oath of office that calls for defense of the Constitution against "all enemies foreign and domestic."

"I rise today feeling the full weight of my duty as a member of this body. Reflected upon our oath of office to support and defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. It is my sincere belief that under the circumstances that bring us here today, that it is only one path for us to take to fulfill that oath," Clyburn said.

Clyburn added: "Today, we have a President who seems to believe he is a king or above the law," Clyburn said. "My faith leads me to take very seriously the following word of our oath to faithfully discharge the duties of the office so help me God."

Watch the moment:

10:54 a.m. ET, December 18, 2019

GOP congressman wanted 12 hours of debate (he didn't get it)

House TV
House TV

In his opening statement in the rule debate, Rep. Tom Cole, the ranking member on the rules committee, said he proposed that the amount of debate time about the articles be doubled from 6 to 12 hours.

That amendment was voted down last night, which Cole said was "disappointing."

Watch the moment:

10:24 a.m. ET, December 18, 2019

Pelosi, on way to House floor, says she feels "sad"

From CNN's Phil Mattingly

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

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is on her way to the House floor, where lawmakers will vote on two articles of impeachment against President Trump.

When asked how she was feeling, Pelosi only said, "sad."

Pelosi declined to answer any other questions.

Earlier this morning: Pelosi and her staff have instructed her caucus to show unity and not to gloat at all during the proceedings today, per multiple sources.

Pelosi wants the public to see Democrats as taking this moment seriously and not be seen as cheering the President’s impeachment.