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House impeaches Trump for abuse of power and obstruction in historic rebuke

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House votes to impeach Trump
  • The House of Representatives voted to approve both articles of impeachment against President Trump.
  • Mr. Trump, who was on stage at a rally in Michigan as the votes were counted, is just the third president in American history to be impeached.
  • Download the free CBS News app to stream live coverage of the impeachment proceedings.

Washington — The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors, accusing him of betraying the country for his own political benefit and obstructing a congressional investigation into his actions.

Democratic lawmakers handed down the severest form of punishment available to the House under the Constitution, approving two articles of impeachment after a marathon debate on Wednesday. Article I passed by a vote of 230-197-1, with one member voting "present." The second article passed by a margin of 229-198-1.

Mr. Trump becomes just the third president in the 231-year history of the republic to be impeached, joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, both of whom were acquitted in subsequent Senate trials. Mr. Trump appears headed for the same fate, with Republicans in the upper chamber eager to clear him of wrongdoing when Congress returns in the new year.

The impeachment votes are the culmination of months of investigation by House Democrats into the president's efforts to pressure the government of Ukraine to pursue investigations that would benefit him politically, including a probe into a company that employed the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the president's chief potential rivals in his 2020 reelection bid. 

The White House refused to cooperate with the inquiry in any capacity, a position that formed the basis for the second article of impeachment.

The process has laid bare deep divisions between the parties and among the American electorate as a whole, with the president and Republicans staunchly defending his actions and accusing the Democrats of a partisan witch hunt to remove him from office. Democrats have portrayed the president as an urgent threat who is actively seeking foreign assistance to benefit his own reelection.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened the day of debate by saying the president brought impeachment on himself, describing him as a threat to the Constitution whose conduct must not go unpunished.

"It is tragic that the president's reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice," she said on the House floor. — Stefan Becket

  Updated 9:29 PM / December 18, 2019

Pelosi unclear on when she'll send articles of impeachment to Senate

The speaker said she would not select impeachment managers for the Senate trial until she sees a "fair" Senate trial process. But it's unclear when that might be. 

"So far, we have not seen anything that looks fair to us," Pelosi told reporters in a news conference after the vote. 

Pelosi sidestepped the question when a reporter asked if she might never send the articles to the Senate. 

"That would have been our intention, but we'll see," Pelosi said, asked if she will guarantee that she will send the articles to the Senate. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham have said they don't consider themselves to be impartial in any Senate trial. — Rebecca Kaplan and Kathryn Watson 

  Updated 9:24 PM / December 18, 2019

Trump responds to impeachment vote at rally

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President Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Kellogg Arena on Wednesday, December 18, 2019, in Battle Creek, Michigan. Evan Vucci / AP

Responding to his impeachment for the first time, Mr. Trump pointed to Republican unity on both articles of impeachment, given that no Republicans broke with their party.

"Every single Republican voted for us," the president said on stage at his rally in Michigan. "So we had 198, 229, 198. We didn't lose one Republican vote." 

Mr. Trump added that the Republican Party "has never been so affronted" but has "never been so united." 

The president called it "unheard of" that three moderate Democrats voted against impeachment.

By Kathryn Watson
  Updated 9:20 PM / December 18, 2019

White House says Trump is "confident that he will be fully exonerated"

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham decried the impeachment vote, but said the president is ready for the next steps and confident he will be exonerated. Mr. Trump was still speaking in Michigan when the votes to impeach him concluded. 

"The American people are not fooled by this disgraceful behavior," Grisham said in a statement. "They understand fairness, due process, and substantial, reliable evidence are required before any American should be charged with wrongdoing—and certainly before impeaching a duly elected president. The president is confident the Senate will restore regular order, fairness, and due process, all of which were ignored in the House proceedings."

By Kathryn Watson
  Updated 9:14 PM / December 18, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard explains "present" votes

Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii explained in an email to supporters that she decided to vote "present" on the two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump because she "could not in good conscience vote either yes or no" after reviewing House Judiciary Committee's impeachment report.

"I am standing in the center and have decided to vote present," Gabbard said in a statement released after she cast her votes. "I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing. I also could not in good conscience vote for impeachment because removal of a sitting president must not be the culmination of a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country."
 
Gabbard, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, voted in support of the House's resolution formalizing the steps in the impeachment inquiry in late October, but decried that in the weeks since then, the process has become a "partisan endeavor."
 
She has instead called for Mr. Trump's censure.

"A house divided cannot stand. And today we are divided," Gabbard said. "Fragmentation and polarity are ripping our country apart. This breaks my heart, and breaks the hearts of all patriotic Americans, whether we are Democrats, Republicans, or Independents."

By Melissa Quinn
  Updated 10:48 PM / December 18, 2019

House approves second article

House impeaches Trump over abuse of power and obstruction of Congress

The House has approved the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress, against Mr. Trump.

The final vote was 229 to 198 to 1.

One more Democrats voted against the second article than did against the first. Representatives Collin Peterson and Jeff Van Drew were joined by Congressman Jared Golden in their opposition to the article. Golden, a freshman Democrat, represents a district in Maine that has typically been a Republican stronghold and said he couldn't justify a vote on obstruction of Congress.

Independent Congressman Justin Amash voted in favor of the article. Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard voted present.

By Grace Segers
  Updated 8:55 PM / December 18, 2019

House now voting on second article of impeachment

The House is now voting on the second article of impeachment, charging Mr. Trump with obstruction of Congress. 

Like Article I, it is almost certain to pass.

By Grace Segers
  Updated 9:01 PM / December 18, 2019

House approves first article of impeachment against Trump

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces the adoption of Article I of impeachment against President Trump on Wednesday, December 18, 2019. House of Representatives

The House has approved the first article of impeachment — abuse of power — against Mr. Trump. The vote fell nearly entirely along party lines, with two Democrats voting against the article of impeachment and no Republicans voting for it. 

The final vote was 230 to 197 to 1.

"Article I is adopted," Pelosi said. 

Only two Democrats — Representatives Collin Peterson and Jeff Van Drew — voted against the articles. Van Drew is expected to switch parties in the near future. Independent Congressman Justin Amash voted for the articles, and Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who is running for president, voted "present."

By Grace Segers
  Updated 10:51 PM / December 18, 2019

Vote on the first article of impeachment begins

What is the lasting impact of impeachment?

The House is vote on the first article of impeachment got underway at 8:09 p.m., just minutes after the president took the stage at a rally in Michigan.

By Grace Segers
  Updated 8:08 PM / December 18, 2019

Lawmakers wrap up hours of debate with closing speeches

Shortly after 7 p.m., members of the House leadership appeared on the floor, signaling that the hours of debate over the impeachment articles was coming to a close.

Minority Whip Steve Scalise spoke for five minutes, at one point sparking outrage from Democrats when he accused them of hating the 63 million people who voted for Mr. Trump. Democrats booed Scalise, but were drowned out by boos from the Republican side.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer spoke at length, urging his Republican colleagues to join Democrats in voting for the articles.

Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader, said Mr. Trump "is president today, he'll be president tomorrow and he will be president when this impeachment over."

Adam Schiff, who has been the public face of the Democratic inquiry since it began, closed the debate with a forceful speech defending impeachment. His speech was punctured by frequent applause from Democrats and boos from Republicans.

By Grace Segers
  Updated 7:19 PM / December 18, 2019

Trump tells reporters he's feeling "good" before impeachment vote and rally

Before getting in his motorcade, the president told reporters in Michigan he's feeling "good."

Mr. Trump is expected to take the stage shortly in Battle Creek, Michigan, and he will likely be speaking while the House votes to impeach him. 

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told CBS News he imagines the president will learn of the vote somehow if it takes place while he's on stage. 

By Kathryn Watson
  Updated 5:59 PM / December 18, 2019

White House "ready to go" ahead of Senate impeachment trial

The White House is "ready to go" for an impeachment trial in the Senate regardless of when it comes, a top White House official told CBS News.

The official said the president has not selected the team to represent him at trial. White House counsel Pat Cipollone is expected to be included, but the president has not made a final decision. It's unclear if an announcement will come this week.

The official said the White House has not heard anything "official" about delaying the articles from heading to Senate.

However, the president's team is "ready to go however, whenever" the articles reach the Senate.

By Paula Reid
  Updated 5:10 PM / December 18, 2019

Trump ignores reporters when leaving for rally

Mr. Trump, normally chatty with reporters, bypassed the media on the White House South Lawn en route to his rally in Michigan. 

Instead, he greeted supporters gathered nearby before giving reporters a thumbs up and boarding Marine One. 

By Kathryn Watson
  Updated 5:05 PM / December 18, 2019

Ex-GOP Representative Justin Amash: "It is our duty to impeach"

Michigan Representative Justin Amash, an Independent who left the GOP earlier this year, declared his support for the two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump in a floor speech.

"President Donald J. Trump has abused and violated the public trust by using his high office to solicit the aid of a foreign power not for the benefit of the United States of America, but instead for this personal and political gain," said Amash, after an introduction by Schiff. "His actions reflect precisely the type of conduct the framers of the Constitution intended to remedy through the power of impeachment, and it is our duty to impeach him."

Amash said he was speaking "not as a Democrat, not as a Republican, but as an American who cares deeply about the Constitution, the rule of law and the rights of the people."

Amash was the first and only congressional Republican to say Mr. Trump "engaged in impeachable conduct" following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The Michigan representative said the conduct examined by Mueller "met the threshold for impeachment." The special counsel identified 10 instances of possible obstruction of justice by Mr. Trump.

On July 4, Amash announced he would be leaving the Republican Party.

Some Democrats have lobbied House leadership to name Amash one of the impeachment managers who will present the House's case at a Senate trial.

By Melissa Quinn
  Updated 4:25 PM / December 18, 2019

Schiff takes over for Democrats, says GOP will "rue the day" it backed Trump

In a lengthy speech on the floor, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff took over from Nadler to control the final hour and a half of Democrats' time. He accused House Republicans of siding with Mr. Trump instead of protecting national security.

"They have made their choice knowing that to allow this president to obstruct Congress will empower him ... to be as corrupt, as negligent or as abusive of the power of the presidency as they choose," Schiff said about House Republicans. "They have made their choice, and I believe they will rue the day that they did."

Schiff also outlined "three consecutive days" in July that ultimately led to the whistleblower complaint that sparked the impeachment inquiry.

On July 24, former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress. The next day, Mr. Trump had his infamous call with the Ukrainian president where he asked Ukraine to open investigations into a debunked theory about the 2016 election and the Bidens. On July 26, Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland spoke with Mr. Trump on the phone from Ukraine, and told the president that Ukraine would do anything he asked.

By Grace Segers
  Updated 4:13 PM / December 18, 2019

Sparks fly after Nadler accuses Gohmert of promoting "Russian propaganda"

Republican Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas and Nadler sparred on the floor after Gohmert delivered a fiery speech claiming the Democrats' impeachment inquiry was meant to stop a Justice Department investigation into Ukraine's purported interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"This country's end is now in sight," Gohmert said. "I hope I don't live to see it. This is an outrage."

After Gohmert finished his remarks, Nadler said he is "deeply concerned that any member of the House would spout Russian propaganda on the floor."

Gohmert, who had begun walking away, turned around and approached the lectern again to refute Nadler's charges.

Mr. Trump and his allies have claimed that when the president asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his Democratic opponents, he was concerned about corruption in Ukraine and its alleged meddling in the election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

Republicans cite as evidence a 2016 op-ed written by a former Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. and social media posts from a Ukrainian official that were critical of then-candidate Trump. But several national security officials have said there is no evidence Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Fiona Hill, the former top Russia official on the National Security Council, testified before Congress in November that allegations of Ukrainian interference were part of "a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves."

By Melissa Quinn
  3:15 PM / December 18, 2019

Cornyn: "We don't care" if Democrats withhold impeachment articles

Republican Senator John Cornyn responded to reports that Democrats might withhold the articles of impeachment to negotiate for more favorable terms in a Senate trial, a strategy advocated by some House Democrats.

"I mean, Speaker Pelosi was saying something weird like we're not going to send the Articles of Impeachment over until there's an agreement, which is kind of like, you know — we don't care whether they never come," Cornyn told reporters at the Capitol. "It just seemed like a phony threat."

The articles cannot be delivered to the Senate until the House votes on a resolution designating impeachment managers, which is unlikely to happen today. — Grace Segers and Alan He

By Stefan Becket
  Updated 3:17 PM / December 18, 2019

Scalise predicts no GOP defections on impeachment votes

Scalise predicts no Republicans will vote to impeach

Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise, the Republicans' chief vote counter, told CBS News that all 197 House Republicans and a handful of Democrats will vote against the two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump.

The vote in the lower chamber, expected to occur later this evening, will be historic, Scalise told "CBS Evening News" anchor Norah O'Donnell.

"It will be the first time in the history of our country that there will be a partisan impeachment of a president," the Republican whip said. "Every other one was bipartisan. The only bipartisan vote today will be against impeachment."

Two Democrats in the House are expected to oppose both articles of impeachment against the president: Representatives Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, who is believed to be switching parties.

Scalise called the effort by House Democrats to impeach Mr. Trump a "personal vendetta against" him that has "nothing to do with impeachable offenses."

By Melissa Quinn
  Updated 3:03 PM / December 18, 2019

GOP rep: "Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus" than Democrats gave Trump

Republican Representative Barry Loudermilk compared Mr. Trump's treatment to the Biblical account of Jesus being sentenced to death, claiming the president had been afforded fewer rights than Jesus was by Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea who condemned him to death.

"Before you take this historic vote today, one week before Christmas, I want you to keep this in mind. When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers. During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than Democrats have afforded this president in this process," Loudermilk said. 

In the Bible, Pilate initially opted to spare Jesus' life after his arrest for allegedly claiming to be king of the Jews. But Pilate succumbed to pressure from an angry crowd who demanded Jesus be executed and a known criminal set free. Jesus was nailed to a cross and killed.

  Updated 2:13 PM / December 18, 2019

House unlikely to vote on impeachment managers tonight

House Democrats are increasingly likely to delay a resolution naming impeachment managers until an unspecified later date and adjourn after votes on the articles of impeachment tonight.

A senior Democratic aide told CBS News the rule governing the impeachment articles "will allow the speaker to name managers at any point after the articles pass." The resolution naming the managers would be subject to debate and a vote, after which the managers would transmit the articles to the Senate.

A few House members have publicly stated their belief that Pelosi should delay sending the articles to the Senate in a bid to pressure McConnell into making concessions about the trial format. But Democrats would gain little leverage over Senate Republicans by withholding the articles and delaying a trial.

A Democratic leadership aide told CBS News the idea has been discussed. The speaker's office wouldn't comment on a possible delay.

By Rebecca Kaplan
  Updated 1:30 PM / December 18, 2019

Trump angered by impeachment's impact on his legacy, officials say

Reaction from the West Wing to the ongoing House impeachment debate is marked by a mixture of resignation and indignation.

What upsets the president the most, one senior administration official told CBS News, is the impact impeachment will have on his legacy. It was that anger the drove Mr. Trump's six-page letter to Pelosi. The president, the official said, "hates the fact that his name and Bill Clinton's will forever be used in the same sentence."

Shortly after debate on the articles began, Mr. Trump tweeted:

Another senior administration official said that "watching these Democrats wrap themselves in the Constitution and founding fathers makes me want to throw up in my mouth."

The White House is very focused on how many Democrats vote against impeachment. If they get even one Democrat to cross over, they plan to argue there was "bipartisan opposition" to impeaching Mr. Trump.

Campaign officials, for their part, were energized by the timing of the vote, which should take place roughly when Mr. Trump takes the stage for a rally in Michigan Wednesday night.

"This will be a remarkable split-screen moment, and we will use it to great effect," a senior campaign official said.

By Ben Tracy
  Updated 12:40 PM / December 18, 2019

Republican Doug Collins: "The president did nothing wrong"

Congressman Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, opened the floor debate on impeachment for GOP lawmakers by asserting Mr. Trump "did nothing wrong" and claiming House Democrats have been hell bent on impeaching the president since he was elected in 2016.

"From the very moment that the majority party in this House won, the inevitability that we would be here today was only a matter of what date they would schedule it," Collins said during remarks on the House floor.

The Georgia Republican cited comments from House Democrats calling for Mr. Trump's impeachment long before they officially launched their probe in September and blasted the process throughout the inquiry, saying it was "deplorable."

"Today is going to be a lot of things," Collins said. "What it is not is fair. What it is not is about the truth."

By Melissa Quinn
  Updated 12:54 PM / December 18, 2019

Pelosi opens impeachment debate: "He gave us no choice"

Pelosi opens impeachment debate, calling Trump an "active threat"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened six hours of debate with a short speech on impeachment, which she called "one of the most solemn powers that this body can take."

"Today, as speaker of the House, I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States," Pelosi said.

In her remarks, Pelosi referenced the pledge of allegiance to the "republic for which it stands," saying impeachment is necessary to preserve the Constitution.

"Our founders' vision of the republic is under threat from actions from the White House," she said.

Pelosi said Mr. Trump "gave us no choice" but to impeach, calling him a continuing "threat" to national security. 

"If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty. It is tragic that the president's reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice," Pelosi said. 

Pelosi concluded her remarks by referencing the late Congressman Elijah Cummings, saying he would have been proud of the "courage" of members to vote for impeachment.

Pelosi received a standing ovation from Democratic members after the speech. Republicans did not applaud.

By Grace Segers
  Updated 11:59 AM / December 18, 2019

House adopts rule, kicking off debate on impeachment articles

The House passed the rule for debate over the impeachment articles along party lines, with a vote of 228 to 197. After the clerk reads the articles into the record, lawmakers will begin debate for six hours divided equally between Republicans and Democrats.

By Grace Segers
  Updated 11:02 AM / December 18, 2019

Pence's office calls impeachment a "stain on our democracy"

In an emailed statement, Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary Katie Waldman called Wednesday's impeachment vote a "stain on our democracy."

The vice president's office singled out House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, who on Tuesday reiterated a demand for the declassification of additional testimony from one of Pence's aides who testified in November.

"Adam Schiff has devalued and diminished the House of Representatives by running a sham process rooted in mistruths and falsehoods," Pence's office said. "Today's vote is a culmination of hearsay, suppositions, and pre-conceived ideas perpetuated by Adam Schiff who has shown to be a liar and has proven to be repeatedly discredited by his own statements. This vote is a stain on our democracy and is a desperate politicization of our republic by Democrats who put party before country."

The statement highlighted Schiff's portrayal of the Mr. Trump's call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, and claimed the chairman misled the American people. Schiff has said he could have been more clear about his office's contact with the whistleblower.

By Kathryn Watson
  10:56 AM / December 18, 2019

McConnell says he hasn't read Trump letter to Pelosi

In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, McConnell said he hasn't read the president's six-page letter to Pelosi railing against impeachment.

"Actually, I haven't. I haven't. What did he have to say?" McConnell answered when asked if he had seen it.

McConnell also suggested Democrats are being disingenuous with their criticisms over his comments that he is not an "impartial juror." 

"It's really laughable, isn't it?" the Republican leader said. "And they were lecturing me about not being able to take an oath for impartiality. You think these presidential candidates are impartial? This is a political exercise."

He continued: "The truth of the matter is impeachment is whatever a majority of the House thinks it is at any given moment. Fortunately over the history of the country we have only rarely pulled the trigger on impeachment, and I hope the fact that this weak case for impeachment doesn't mean this is going to become routine in the future."

By Stefan Becket
  Updated 10:13 AM / December 18, 2019

House begins debate over impeachment rule

The motion to table McCarthy's resolution passed by a vote of 226 to 191. The House is now beginning an hour of debate on the rule governing proceedings for the rest of the day, controlled equally between the parties. 

Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern spoke first for the Democrats, and will control their time. Ranking Member Tom Cole will control the Republicans' time.

By Rebecca Kaplan
  Updated 9:53 AM / December 18, 2019

McCarthy introduces resolution rebuking Democratic chairmen

The motion to adjourn failed 188 to 226. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy immediately introduced a resolution to condemn Democrats for their handling of the impeachment inquiry, particularly Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler.

The resolution says Schiff and Nadler "willfully and intentionally violated the Rules of the House of Representatives by abusing and exceeding their powers as Chairmen of Committees."

Democrats responded with a motion to "table" the resolution, or dismiss it. Republicans requested the vote be recorded, delaying debate on the rule by at least another 15 minutes.

By Stefan Becket
  Updated 9:36 AM / December 18, 2019

Pelosi to preside over votes on impeachment

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi arrives at the Capitol as the House readies for a historic vote on December 18, 2019. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi will preside over the eventual votes on both articles of impeachment, an aide tells CBS News. She also plans to speak before debate on the articles themselves.

By Rebecca Kaplan
  Updated 11:03 AM / December 18, 2019

House proceedings get underway with motion to adjourn

The House has convened and gaveled in following an opening prayer and the pledge of allegiance. Republicans immediately introduced a motion to adjourn the House and requested a recorded vote. 

After procedural motions, lawmakers will then move on to an hour of debate on the "rule" governing the length and nature of debate over the articles of impeachment. Both parties will control 30 minutes to debate the rule, followed by a vote to move forward.

When the vote on the rule is over, the House will move immediately to six hours of debate equally divided between Democrats and Republicans on the articles themselves. Potential procedural motions from Republicans could stretch this debate to seven or eight hours. 

When debate on the articles has concluded, the House will move directly to votes on Article I (abuse of power) and Article II (obstruction of Congress).

By Rebecca Kaplan
  Updated 8:32 AM / December 18, 2019

White House counsel not involved in drafting Trump letter to Pelosi

White House counsel Pat Cipollone was not involved in drafting Mr. Trump's lengthy letter to Pelosi, sources tell CBS News. The six-page letter, delivered on Tuesday, excoriated Pelosi and the impeachment process.

Eric Ueland, director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, took the lead in the drafting process over the past few days, with input from Stephen Miller and Michael Williams, an adviser to acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. — Sara Cook

  Updated 8:35 AM / December 18, 2019

Colorado Democrat Diana DeGette to preside over impeachment debate

Election 2020 House Colorado
In this May 8, 2018 file photo, Representative Diana DeGette asks a question during a committee hearing in Washington. Alex Brandon / AP

Congresswoman Diana DeGette, a Democrat from Colorado, will serve as speaker pro tempore and preside over Wednesday's debate in the House over two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump, her office announced.

Pelosi asked DeGette to preside over the historic proceedings.

"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 in a statement. "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."

DeGette represents Colorado's 1st Congressional District and is in her 12th term.

By Melissa Quinn
  Updated 8:28 AM / December 18, 2019

Schiff responds to Trump's letter to Pelosi

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, responded to a lengthy letter written by Mr. Trump to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the letter, the president said Schiff "cheated and lied all the way up to the present day" and made up "out of thin air" his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"That's probably about the nicest thing he's had to say about me in quite some time," Schiff told MSNBC during an interview Wednesday.

Mr. Trump, Schiff added, "does nothing but project onto others his lack of morality."

Asked about the upcoming Senate trial and whether lawmakers should hear from former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Schiff said the "only practical way" for lawmakers to hear from him may be during Senate proceedings.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, suggested in a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that Chief Justice John Roberts should subpoena Bolton for testimony, but McConnell rejected that suggestion Monday.

By Melissa Quinn
  Updated 8:07 AM / December 18, 2019

Trump ahead of House impeachment vote: "Say a prayer"

Mr. Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday morning, hours before the House is set to vote on two articles of impeachment against him, to call the upcoming vote a "terrible thing" and urge supporters to "say a prayer" for him.

"Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG! A terrible Thing. Read the Transcripts. This should never happen to another President again. Say a PRAYER!" he tweeted.

The final vote by the House on the two articles, one alleging he abused his power and the second alleging he obstructed Congress, is set to take place later Wednesday. If the articles are approved by the lower chamber, Mr. Trump will become the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. 

By Melissa Quinn
  Updated 12:25 AM / December 18, 2019

Committee passes rule governing floor debate

The House Rules Committee voted along party lines 9 to 4 Tuesday night to adopt the rule governing floor debate for the impeachment articles on Wednesday. Here are some highlights from the rule:

  • There will be no amendments allowed on the floor — this is what's known as a "closed rule."
  • Six hours of debate will be equally divided between the majority and minority and controlled by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler and Ranking Member Doug Collins or those they designate to do so.
  • There will be separate votes on Article I and Article II.
  • After impeachment, the articles will be adopted, and the House can consider a resolution appointing and authorizing the impeachment managers for the Senate trial.
By Rebecca Kaplan
  Updated 12:25 AM / December 18, 2019

Pelosi urges Democrats to vote for impeachment

On the eve of the impeachment vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to Democrats, urging them to vote to impeach.

"No Member came to Congress to impeach a President. But every one of us, as our first act as a Member of Congress, stood on the House Floor, raised our hand and took a sacred oath," she wrote. "That oath makes us Custodians of the Constitution. If we do not act, we will be derelict in our duty."

Last week, before a House committee voted on the articles of impeachment, Pelosi said she wouldn't try to sway Democrats' decisions.

"We're not whipping this legislation, nor do we ever whip something like this. People have to come to their own conclusions," she had said.

By Grace Segers
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