Latest impeachment updates
- House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Trump, accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
- The Judiciary Committee said it will start debating the articles Wednesday night, setting up a vote in the committee sometime Thursday.
- Download the free CBS News app to stream live coverage.
Washington -- House Democrats are moving forward with two articles of impeachment against President Trump, deploying the most powerful tool Congress has under the Constitution for just the fourth time in U.S. history.
The articles include abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, and were announced by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler on Capitol Hill.
"Today, in service to our duty to the Constitution and to our country, the House Committee on the Judiciary is introducing two articles of impeachment, charging the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, with committing high crimes and misdemeanors," the chairman said, speaking alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other committee chairs.
The articles accuse Mr. Trump of "[using] the powers of the Presidency in a manner that compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process."
The Judiciary Committee will begin marking up the articles Wednesday at 7 p.m. and continue Thursday morning, setting up a vote on referral to the full House sometime later that day.
Democrats allege Mr. Trump abused his power by seeking to leverage a White House meeting and nearly $400 million in security assistance for Ukraine to force the country's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and the 2016 election.
They have also criticized the Trump administration for blocking all subpoenas and documents related to the inquiry across the executive branch, arguing the president is seeking to stonewall legitimate congressional oversight.
Graham predicts zero Republicans will vote to impeach or convict Trump
5:27 p.m.: In an interview airing on "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina predicted no Republicans would vote to impeach the president or convict him in the Senate:
I'm in the camp of, this is not good for the country. It's not good for the Senate. It's doing a lot of damage. We know what's going to happen. The sooner you get it over with, the better. There's not going to be any votes on the Republican side to impeach the president. Let the House managers make their case based on the trial record, let the president argue his point of view, then let's vote, is my position.
Now, some people want to call Hunter Biden, some people want to call Joe Biden. Some people want to call Mike Pence, some people want to call Pompeo. You know what I want to do? I want to get this behind us so we can get on dealing with things that really matter to the American people.
I want to end this based on the record they assembled in the House. I understand there's a lot of emotion here. The sooner we can get this behind us, the better.
Judiciary Committee to begin debate on impeachment articles Wednesday
5 p.m.: The Judiciary Committee said it will begin marking up the articles of impeachment Wednesday night beginning at 7 p.m. The chairman and ranking member will make opening statements and the articles will be read into the record. Members will then get five minutes each to weigh in. It should last a total of 4 to 4.5 hours.
Lawmakers will resume the markup on Thursday morning at 9 a.m., with a final vote in the committee sometime Thursday afternoon. -- Rebecca Kaplan
McConnell says no decision made on witnesses in Senate trial
4:01 p.m.: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the upper chamber would make decisions on the procedures for a trial if and when the House votes to impeach the president.
"All of that will be discussed when we turn to the matter," he said in response to a question about how long he thinks a trial should last.
The procedures for Senate impeachment trials stipulate that the chief justice of the Supreme Court, who presides over the trial, can rule on motions for evidence and witnesses. But those rulings can be appealed and overturned by a simple majority of senators, meaning 51 Republican senators would be able to control the proceedings. There are currently 53 Republicans in the Senate.
"I would anticipate that the chief justice would not actually make any rulings," McConnell said. "He would simply submit motions to the body and we would vote."
"Here's what I would anticipate: the House managers would come over, make their arguments. The president's lawyers would then respond," McConnell continued. "And at that point the Senate has two choices. It could go down the path of calling witnesses and basically having another trial, or it could decide -- and again, 51 members could make that decision -- that they've heard enough and believe they know what would happen, and could move to vote on the two articles of impeachment sent over to us by the House. Those are the options."
The majority leader added that "no decisions have been made yet. They'll be made later." -- Stefan Becket and Nancy Cordes
Barr slams FBI for "inexplicable behavior" and claims Russia probe based on "bogus narrative"
2:55 p.m.: Attorney General Bill Barr chided the FBI for "gross abuses" of counterintelligence tools and "inexplicable behavior" and called the bureau's investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign "completely baseless."
Barr's condemnation of the FBI follows the release of a long-awaited report from the Justice Department's inspector general into the origins of the bureau's Russia probe. The review by Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that while the FBI made several procedural errors and there were "serious performance failures," there was overall no political bias by the agency.
While the inspector general determined the FBI was justified in opening its investigation, called "Crossfire Hurricane," Barr told NBC News in his first interview since the report's release that the probe upended the country for several years and was based on a "bogus narrative."
Read more here.
Pelosi walks tightrope over dueling impeachment and trade announcements
2:26 p.m.: Tuesday was a tale of two press conferences on Capitol Hill, orchestrated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The California Democrat hopscotched from an announcement of articles of impeachment against President Trump to take a victory lap over a deal with the White House on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, or USMCA.
At the first appearance in the Capitol's stately Rayburn Room shortly after 9 a.m., Pelosi spoke of Congress's "solemn" duty to act as a check on the president before ceding the floor to the Judiciary Committee chairman to announce impeachment articles accusing the president of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. At the second press conference, Pelosi was flanked by about two dozen Democratic lawmakers, the atmosphere joyful as she touted the newly forged deal on USMCA.
If she experienced any cognitive dissonance over slapping the president with impeachment articles before handing him a bipartisan legislative victory, Pelosi did not betray it to reporters. When asked by CBS News' Nancy Cordes if it was a "coincidence" that the two announcements were made on the same day, Pelosi swiftly responded that it was not. Congress only has one more week before a long recess, and that means multitasking, she said.
Read more here.
White House thought there would be "four or five" articles of impeachment
1:10 p.m.: White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, appearing on Fox News, said the White House was anticipating "four or five" articles of impeachment, including counts of bribery, the Mueller investigation and the Emoluments Clause.
The press secretary, who has not held a formal White House briefing since starting in the job over the summer, told the network the articles that the House did introduce had a "low threshold." Obstruction of Congress just means the president didn't want to "play nice" with House Democrats, she said.
The president isn't relieved by the articles, but the White House was expecting this, she said. -- Kathryn Watson
McCarthy: Trump "did nothing that is impeachable"
11:51 a.m.: Republican leaders held their own press conference after the announcements on impeachment and the USMCA deal.
Asked whether defending the president is made more difficult by the continued actions of Mr. Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who continues to travel overseas and meet with Ukrainians, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the evidence remains on the president's side.
"It is not hard to defend the president sheerly on the facts of what's out there," McCarthy responded. "I think it's hard for the Democrats to move forward when they started with a quid pro quo, to bribery, to every other element they go."
He said the Democrats' handling of the investigation, including their selection of witnesses to testify about impeachment, has been "an embarrassment."
"So no, it is not difficult to defend this president because this president did nothing that's impeachable," McCarthy said. -- Nancy Cordes
House releases text of articles of impeachment
11:10 a.m.: The Judiciary Committee released the text of the articles of impeachment, spanning nine pages. The articles lay out the two charges against the president: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
"Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States presidential election," the article for abuse of power says. "President Trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct for corrupt purposes in pursuit of political benefit."
The article says Mr. Trump "compromised the national security of the United States" by doing so, and "thus ignored and injured the interests of the Nation." The article also accuses the president of withholding $391 million in aid to Ukraine conditioned on announcing investigations, and releasing the assistance only after "the public revelation of his actions."
Read the full text of the articles of impeachment
"Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law," the document says. "President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States."
The second article of obstruction of Congress condemns the "unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas" issued by the House. By directing officials and agencies not to cooperate with the inquiry, "President Trump thus interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the 'sole Power of Impeachment' vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives."
"Through these actions, President Trump sought to arrogate to himself the right to determine the propriety, scope, and nature of an impeachment inquiry into his own conduct, as well as the unilateral prerogative to deny any and all information to the House of Representatives in the exercise of its 'sole Power of Impeachment,'" the article says.
"In all of this, President Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States," it says. -- Grace Segers and Kathryn Watson
White House press secretary says Trump will fight "false charges" in the Senate
10:21 a.m.: White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a lengthy statement addressing Democrats' announced articles of impeachment, noting Mr. Trump will address the "false charges" in the Senate and "expects to be fully exonerated."
Grisham's statement anticipates that the president will be impeached in the House.
"Today, in a baseless and partisan attempt to undermine a sitting president, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats announced the pre-determined outcome of their sham impeachment -- something they have been seeking since before President Trump was inaugurated," Grisham said in a statement.
Grisham said Democrats "have long wanted to overturn the votes of 63 million Americans."
"The announcement of two baseless articles of impeachment does not hurt the president, it hurts the American people, who expect their elected officials to work on their behalf to strengthen our Nation," she said. "The president will address these false charges in the Senate and expects to be fully exonerated, because he did nothing wrong." -- Kathryn Watson
Mulvaney says he'll follow Trump's orders if called to testify at Senate trial
10:10 a.m.: Speaking at a Wall Street Journal event in Washington, Mulvaney said he'll leave it up to the president as to whether he testifies in a po Senate trial.
"Part of me really wants to," Mulvaney said of testifying before the Senate. "Those of you who paid any attention at all, there's no reason for you to do, but I remember when I testified when I was running the CFPB, to the House, to the Senate, it was some of the most fun I ever had when I was on the Hill."
"We'll do whatever the president wants us to do, is what it comes down to. So if the Senate decides to take live witnesses and the president directs us to do it, we will, and if he directs us not to, we won't," Mulvaney continued. "That's how you work when you're, especially when you're at the White House ... You're inside the White House, you do what the president tells you to do."
The acting White House chief of staff reiterated a comment he made during an unusual press conference at the White House in October -- that politics should influence foreign policy.
"Politics can and should influence foreign policy," Mulvaney said. "You may have one foreign policy you're running on, I may have a different one. Whoever wins gets to set that foreign policy. That was the point I was trying to make in that press conference, was that politics can and should influence foreign policy, and hopefully always will." -- Kathryn Watson
Trump reacts to articles of impeachment: "WITCH HUNT!"
Nadler just said that I "pressured Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 Election." Ridiculous, and he knows that is not true. Both the President & Foreign Minister of Ukraine said, many times, that there "WAS NO PRESSURE." Nadler and the Dems know this, but refuse to acknowledge!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2019
Trump campaign responds to articles of impeachment
9:24 a.m.: In a statement, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale highlighted Pelosi's hesitation to move forward with impeachment until recently.
"For months, Nancy Pelosi said she wouldn't move forward on impeachment because it was too divisive and it needed bipartisan support," Parscale said. "Well, it is divisive and only the Democrats are pushing it, but she's doing it anyway. Americans don't agree with this rank partisanship, but Democrats are putting on this political theater because they don't have a viable candidate for 2020 and they know it."
The campaign is holding a rally Tuesday night in Pennsylvania, where it's almost inevitable that Mr. Trump addresses impeachment. Trump allies hope impeachment will galvanize their base to turn out for him next year. -- Kathryn Watson
Schiff says Democrats can't wait for courts or until 2020 election
9:19 a.m.: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who led the investigation into the president's alleged conduct, argued that they don't have time to wait on the courts to decide if the president's top officials must be compelled to comply with subpoenas, because that could take months.
He also made the case that waiting until next year's election isn't an option.
"The argument, 'Why don't you just wait?' amounts to this: 'Why don't you just let him cheat in one more election? Why not let him cheat just one more time? Why not let him have foreign help just one more time?'" Schiff said.
"The president's oath of office appears to mean very little to him, but the articles put forward today will give us a chance to show that we will defend the Constitution and that our oath means something to us," Schiff said.
Democrats, who are expected to take questions later in the day, took no questions after making their announcement. -- Kathryn Watson
Nadler announces 2 articles of impeachment: Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress
9:12 a.m.: After Pelosi gave a brief introduction, she allowed Nadler to announce the specific articles of impeachment.
Nadler said the president holds the public trust, but has put himself before the Constitution. The framers provided a clear remedy for such a violation, he said.
"Today, in service to our duty to the Constitution and to our country, the House Committee on the Judiciary is introducing two articles of impeachment, charging the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, with committing high crimes and misdemeanors," the chairman said.
Nadler then introduced those two specific articles -- abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
"No one, not even the president, is above the law," Nadler said. -- Kathryn Watson
Pelosi to hold press conference at 10 a.m. on USMCA
8:29 a.m.: Pelosi is set to speak to the press at 10 a.m. about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement shortly after Democratic chairs announce articles of impeachment. She'll speak alongside Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal. -- Stefan Becket
Trump calls impeachment "political madness"
8:05 a.m.: As House Democrats prepare to reveal two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump, he again defended himself from their allegations of wrongdoing and called their efforts "political madness."
"To Impeach a President who has proven through results, including producing perhaps the strongest economy in our country's history, to have one of the most successful presidencies ever, and most importantly, who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness!#2020Election," Mr. Trump tweeted.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham joined the president in knocking House Democrats for pursuing impeachment, warning their efforts will only bring Republicans together ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
"Hardworking Americans know this sham is simply the dems weaponizing impeachment to try & undermine @realDonaldTrump, who has done nothing but fulfill the promises he ran on & fight for our country. Their behavior is shameful, but this will only serve to further unify our party," she tweeted. -- Melissa Quinn
House committee chairs to announce articles of impeachment
6 a.m.: The chairs of five House committees scheduled an announcement about "next steps" in the impeachment inquiry at 9 a.m. in the Capitol's stately Rayburn Room. The announcement will follow a meeting of the Democratic caucus earlier in the morning.
The chairs participating will be Jerry Nadler of the Judiciary Committee; Adam Schiff of the Intelligence Committee; Eliot Engel of Foreign Affairs; Maxine Waters of Financial Services; and Carolyn Maloney of Oversight. -- Rebecca Kaplan
How to watch Tuesday's impeachment announcement
- Date: Tuesday, December 10, 2019
- Time: 9 a.m. ET
- Who: Democratic committee chairs discuss "next steps" on impeachment inquiry
- Online stream: CBSN, in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device
- On TV: Your local CBS station