•   
  •   
  •   

Politics House begins historic impeachment debate over President Trump – live updates

18:15  18 december  2019
18:15  18 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

House Democrats Unveil Articles of Impeachment Against Trump

  House Democrats Unveil Articles of Impeachment Against Trump House Democrats announced on Tuesday that they would move ahead this week with two articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, as they accused him of violating the Constitution by pressure Ukraine for help in the 2020 election. Speaking from a wood-paneled reception room just off the floor of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and leaders of six key committees said that Mr. Trump’s actions toward Ukraine, and his efforts to block Congress’s attempt to investigate, had left them no choice but to pursue one of the Constitution’s gravest remedies.

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the impeachment of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, when debate over articles of impeachment against a U.S. president begins for only the third time in history.

The House will debate the articles – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – for six hours and then vote separately on each of them, under parameters that the House Rules Committee recommended Tuesday. The rules for floor debate must still be adopted by the full House after an hour of debate Wednesday morning. If the House approves the articles, lawmakers will immediately take up a resolution naming managers who will serve essentially as prosecutors in the Senate trial, which is expected to begin in January.

Trump Undecided on Role in Trial, Aide Says: Impeachment Update

  Trump Undecided on Role in Trial, Aide Says: Impeachment Update House Democrats leading the panels running the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump announced their next steps.Republican staff attorney Steve Castor testifies as the House Judiciary Committee hears investigative findings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, on Dec. 9, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Follow along for live updates of the proceedings:

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Protesters descend on Capitol

Outside the Capitol, a hearty crowd of about 200 demonstrators – bundled up in hats and scarves to brave the 33-degree winter day – waved homemade signs labeling Trump a “criminal-in-chief” and a “fake president.”

“What a beautiful day … A beautiful day for our democracy,” declared Nathaly Arriola, executive director of Need to Impeach, whose mission is self-explanatory. The organization was founded and is funded by Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer.

“This has never been about the politics,” she said. “This has always been about the American people, and about protecting the democracy that allows us to live freely as Americans in this nation.”

Impeachment needle not moving as majority of voters oppose removing Trump: polls

  Impeachment needle not moving as majority of voters oppose removing Trump: polls As the House of Representatives begins drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump, two new national polls indicate a slight majority of Americans still oppose impeaching and removing him.“American voters signal they are slightly more inclined not to impeach than to impeach," Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy noted.

But she quickly pivoted to politics, declaring that her group would be delivering hand-held mirrors to vulnerable Republican senators – such as Colorado’s Cory Gardner and Maine’s Susan Collins – adorned with the message: “Senator, how corrupt is too corrupt for you?”

The purpose of the mirrors was obvious, but she spelled it out for anyone who might need elaboration.

“Soon they will have to look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves” whether they convict or acquit Trump. A failure to convict, she said, would amount to a betrayal of the U.S. Constitution.

“And Americans will hold them accountable,” she added.

Slideshow by photo services

How Trump's impeachment could trip up 2020 Democrats as they sprint toward Iowa

  How Trump's impeachment could trip up 2020 Democrats as they sprint toward Iowa Donald Trump is set to become the first president to be impeached and go on to pursue a second term after Wednesday's vote in the U.S. House. But the aftermath of the historic congressional rebuke may ultimately bear a bigger impact on the immediate state of the Democratic primary than a general election that's more than 10 months away.WASHINGTON — Donald Trump is set to become the first president to be impeached and go on to pursue a second term after Wednesday’s vote in the U.S. House.

Debate begins on how to proceed

Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, the chairman of the House Rules Committee, introduced the rules for the debate, calling the proceedings a “Democracy defining moment.”

“We are being tested on something greater than our ability to toe the party line,” McGovern said.

Dismissing as “absurd” the GOP charge that Democrats are trying to overturn the results of the 2016 election, McGovern said failing to rebuke Trump would set a dangerous precedent.

Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, the Rules Committee’s top Republican, countered that the premise of the impeachment articles is based on a “pause of 55 days” on military assistance to Ukraine. Cole argued there’s no evidence that the aid was a “quid pro quo” to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

“I oppose this limited and unfair process,” Cole said, “and I certainly oppose impeaching the president of the United States.”

Nancy Pelosi wearing a suit and tie standing next to a woman: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 18, 2019.© Susan Walsh, AP House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 18, 2019.

Another GOP protest fails

After failing to stop the proceedings, House Republicans sought a vote on a resolution accusing the Democrats who led the impeachment inquiry of abusing their power.

The resolution included a litany of complaints against Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who ran the impeachment hearings, and Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., who oversaw debate over the impeachment articles.

The House voted 226 to 191 to block the resolution.

An hour into the proceedings, the spectator galleries overlooking the floor were not full.

A day after a historic impeachment vote, Congress reconvenes amid impeachment uncertainty

  A day after a historic impeachment vote, Congress reconvenes amid impeachment uncertainty Nancy Pelosi suggested a delay in the transmission of articles of impeachment is possible if Senate Republicans could not agree to a “fair” process.Speaking at a press conference following the House's vote on Wednesday evening, Pelosi seemed to suggest managers would not be named until Senate Republicans agreed to a “fair” process — which could result in a delay in the transmission of articles of impeachment to the Senate.

Outside the Capitol, journalists with large cameras patrolled the entrances while a handful of protesters held signs, one reading, "too much corruption to fit on one sign!"

- Maureen Groppe, Bart Jansen and Christal Hayes

GOP motion to adjourn fails

Shortly after the House gaveled in, Republicans unsuccessfully tried to stop the proceedings.

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., asked that the House adjourn "so we can stop wasting America's time for impeachment."

The motion was dismissed on a party-line vote of 226 to 188.

It was just the first of many procedural votes Republicans could force throughout the all-day impeachment debate.

A vote on both articles of impeachment isn't expected until later this evening.

"Help them, and help us all," House Chaplain Patrick Conroy said of House members when he opened the day's session with a prayer.

- Maureen Groppe, Christal Hayes and Michael Collins

Pelosi: 'Join me on the floor'

Expect a full House when the chamber convenes at 9 a.m.

In a letter to colleagues Tuesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged everyone to "join me on the floor." The letter also aims to set a tone of solemnity.

"Our constituents look to us to be respectful of the Constitution and Defenders of our Democracy and to proceed in a manner worthy of our oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States," Pelosi wrote.

In other words, no cheering or clapping during the votes.

Trump weighed in early with his usual mode of communication, a tweet.

“Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG!” he tweeted at 7:34 a.m.

House Republicans signaled they are likely to press for a procedural vote even before the House officially begins debate on impeachment.

Among the first to arrive was Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., who took a seat behind the Democratic lectern, preparing to debate the rules for floor debate on the two articles of impeachment.

Inside impeachment: How an 'urgent' tip became 'high crimes'

  Inside impeachment: How an 'urgent' tip became 'high crimes' Not a single Republican voted for President Donald Trump's impeachment, but there were moments when that outcome was less than certainFor Democrats, it was an instant bombshell, a “jaw-hit-the-floor sort of moment,” one lawmaker said. Another described sneaking peeks at Republican colleagues to see whether they were having a similar reaction.

Two Judiciary Committee Democrats who sent the articles to the floor – Reps. Sylvia Garcia of Texas and Steve Cohen of Tennessee – grabbed front-row seats in the chamber, chatting.

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, one of the earliest advocates of an impeachment inquiry, walked over to shake hands with Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., one of the president's most vocal defenders.

- Maureen Groppe and Bart Jansen

Tulsi Gabbard introduces censure resolution

On the day the House of Representatives was to debate and vote on articles of impeachment against Trump, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, introduced a resolution to censure him.

A censure resolution expresses strong disapproval of conduct, whereas impeachment could result in removal from office.

The resolution was referred to the Judiciary Committee and is unlikely to get a vote in the House.

The introduction of the resolution comes as even most moderate Democrats in the House have announced their intention to vote for the articles of impeachment. Nearly a dozen House Democrats had floated censure as an option, as reported by Politico but have since backed away from it.

Gabbard has declined to say whether she will vote for either article of impeachment.

- Nicholas Wu

Colorado lawmaker to preside over floor debate

Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., will preside over much of the impeachment proceedings on the House floor Wednesday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tapped the 12-term legislator from Denver for the prestigious task of what’s known as “speaker pro tempore,” which includes ruling on the points of order that guide floor debate.

“None of us came to Congress to impeach a president, but every one of us – when we assumed office – took an oath to uphold the constitution,” DeGette said. “This is a sad and somber moment in our nation’s history and the responsibility to preside over this important debate is something I will not take lightly.”

- Ledyard King

How the vote will happen

Democrats hold a 233-197 majority in the House, with one independent and four vacancies, and the votes on the articles are expected to largely follow party lines. Republican leaders have said they expect all of their members to oppose impeachment.

Rep. Justin Amash, an independent from Michigan, is expected to vote with Democrats in favor of impeachment. One Democrat, Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, announced he would vote against it and he might switch parties. Another Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, told the Bangor Daily News he would support impeachment for abuse of power, but not obstruction of Congress. And a few Democrats, including Reps. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Ron Kind of Wisconsin and Collin Peterson of Minnesota, haven't announced how they will vote.

The Judiciary Committee recommended by party-line vote the articles that accused Trump of pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. The committee also accused Trump of obstructing their work by directing aides and agencies to defy congressional subpoenas for documents and testimony.

"He acted in a way that rises to the level of impeachment," said House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., whose panel set the rules Tuesday for floor debate.

But Trump attacked the investigation Tuesday as an attempted partisan coup and urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to call off the vote. Congressional Republicans called the Intelligence Committee investigation "flawed" and "defective," in the words of Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma.

The three committees investigating Ukraine – Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight and Reform – didn't allow Trump or his representatives to participate in their closed-door depositions or public hearings, but the time for Democratic and Republican questions was equally divided. The Judiciary Committee invited Trump to participate in its hearings, but White House counsel Pat Cipollone declined, calling the inquiry partisan and biased.

“The entire circus has been politically motivated from the very beginning," said Cole, the top Republican on the Rules Committee.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable with governors on government regulations in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) ORG XMIT: DCEV115© Evan Vucci, AP President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable with governors on government regulations in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) ORG XMIT: DCEV115

If the House approves one or both of the articles, the Senate will hold a trial to decide whether to convict Trump and remove him from office. A two-thirds majority of the Senate is required for removal, which is considered unlikely with Republicans holding a 53-47 majority in the chamber.

Only two other presidents have faced Senate impeachment trials – Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999 – and neither was removed from office. Former President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before a House vote on articles of impeachment.

Anti-impeachment ad blitz: Donald Trump's allies target Democrats in swing districts

Trump sent Pelosi a six-page letter expressing his “most powerful protest against the partisan impeachment crusade” and urging her not to hold a vote on "this impeachment fantasy."

“This impeachment represents an unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power by Democrat Lawmakers, unequaled in nearly two and a half centuries of American legislative history,” Trump said.

The president said more due process was provided during the Salem witch trials than during this inquiry, which he called “nothing more than an illegal, partisan attempted coup.”

“They include no crimes, no misdemeanors, and no offenses whatsoever,” Trump said. “You have cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!”

But Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., who presented the Judiciary Committee's report to the Rules Committee, said the investigation by the Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight and Reform panels gathered overwhelming evidence against Trump from thousands of pages of documents and 100 hours of depositions with 17 sworn witnesses.

"These articles charge that President Trump has engaged in systematic abuse of his powers, obstructed Congress, and realized the worst fears of the Framers by subordinating our national security and dragging foreign powers into American politics to corrupt our elections, all for the greater cause of his own personal gain and ambition," Raskin said.

USA TODAY Poll: Impeached or not, Trump leads his Democratic rivals for another term

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: House begins historic impeachment debate over President Trump – live updates

Inside impeachment: How an 'urgent' tip became 'high crimes' .
Not a single Republican voted for President Donald Trump's impeachment, but there were moments when that outcome was less than certainFor Democrats, it was an instant bombshell, a “jaw-hit-the-floor sort of moment,” one lawmaker said. Another described sneaking peeks at Republican colleagues to see whether they were having a similar reaction.

Topical videos:

usr: 1
This is interesting!