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House Judiciary Committee approves impeachment of President Trump and sends to House

Articles of impeachment head to full House
Articles of impeachment head to a full House vote 02:28

The House Judiciary Committee voted to approve the articles of impeachment against President Trump Friday morning, after more than 14 hours of heated debate on Thursday. It is now nearly certain that Mr. Trump will become the third U.S. president in history to be impeached. 

Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler postponed the final votes on the articles late on Thursday evening, sparking immediate condemnation from Republicans on the committee.

After gaveling in on Friday morning, the committee immediately began voting on the first article, abuse of power. It passed along party lines, 23 to 17. The committee then moved to the second article, obstruction of justice, which also passed 23 to 17. The proceedings took about seven minutes to complete.

The articles will now move to the floor for a full House vote next week. 

"Today is a solemn and sad day. For the third time in a little over a century and a half, the House Judiciary Committee has voted articles of impeachment against the president — for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The House will act expeditiously," Nadler said in a brief statement to reporters after the vote.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham condemned the "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," Grisham said in a statement.

Shortly before midnight Thursday, the committee had passed the procedural amendment that precedes the final vote on the two articles by a voice vote. Nadler's sudden announcement that the final votes would be delayed until Friday took Republicans by surprise. 

Ranking Member Doug Collins called the postponement "inappropriate" on Thursday evening, and argued that Democrats had only moved the vote to get greater media attention.

"The chairman's integrity is gone," a furious Collins told reporters after the meeting. "Words cannot describe how inappropriate this was."

However, a senior House Judiciary committee staffer argued to CBS News that a vote on Friday would be in the interest of greater transparency.

"Republican Judiciary members have complained about process and transparency, yet apparently wanted to force the Committee to vote on Articles of Impeachment in the dark of night. In the interests of doing our constitutional duty in a transparent way for the American public, the Chairman scheduled the vote of the Articles for 10 a.m. Friday morning," the staffer said.

Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who is a member of the Judiciary Committee, also made that argument, tweeting on Friday morning that "the American people deserve an impeachment vote in the light of day."

Republicans on the committee introduced several amendments on Thursday, all of which failed along party lines.

Mr. Trump praised Republicans' performance on Thursday with several tweets on Friday morning.

"The Republicans House members were fantastic yesterday. It always helps to have a much better case, in fact the Dems have no case at all, but the unity & sheer brilliance of these Republican warriors, all of them, was a beautiful sight to see. Dems had no answers and wanted out!" Mr. Trump wrote in one tweet.

Rebecca Kaplan and Victoria Albert contributed to this report

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