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Analysis after House Judiciary Committee votes to impeach President Trump

Lawmakers act against Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

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The House Judiciary Committee voted Friday to impeach President Donald Trump on two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstructing Congress. The historic vote lasted just a few minutes following a marathon, 14-hour public discussion about amendments to the articles.

Follow us here for all of the latest breaking news and analysis from NBC News' political reporters, as well as our teams on Capitol Hill and at the White House.

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Fourth GOP amendment killed ahead of committee vote on articles of impeachment

The fourth GOP amendment was killed in another party-line 23-17 vote. The three other amendments introduced by Republicans were also killed after lengthy debates. 

The fourth amendment was introduced by Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Penn., to strike the entire second article of impeachment: obstruction of Congress.

Floor vote scheduling... if things stay on schedule

If things continue to come together on schedule, we are looking at votes Tuesday on appropriations, Wednesday on impeachment, and Thursday on USMCA. With again, a caveat this could all change. 

An energy boost?

 

Fourth amendment introduced to strike entire second article of impeachment

The fourth GOP amendment has been introduced by Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Penn., to strike the entire second article of impeachment: obstruction of Congress.

The three other amendments introduced by Republicans have been killed along party lines by a vote of 23-17.

  • Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, introduced the first amendment to strike the entire first article of impeachment, which deals with abuse of power.
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., introduced the second amendment to strike reference of Joe Biden with his son Hunter Biden and Burisma, the Ukraine gas company for which he worked.
  • Rep Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., introduced the third amendment arguing that military aid was released after the Ukrainian president showed he was serious about reform when he signed two major anti-corruption measures into law. 

Democrats vote down GOP amendment on aid to Ukraine

The committee voted 23-17 along party lines against the third GOP amendment, which was offered by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. 

The amendment would have inserted language into the articles for impeachment that says the U.S. aid to Ukraine that was held up over the summer was eventually released.

Cliché away! Lawmakers use quips in impeachment hearing

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., whipped out a yoga reference to make her case for impeaching Trump when she excoriated Republicans for twisting the record.  

"My sister's a yoga teacher. She doesn't contort the way the Republicans do on the facts," she said. 

Throughout the markup, there has been a long list of clichés, similes, metaphors and allusions — some good, some not so good — as lawmakers trudge ahead with a marathon debate on the two articles of impeachment. 

 

Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., went biblical and compared Republicans to Judas "because Judas for 30 pieces of silver betrayed Jesus; for 30 positive tweets for easy re-election, the other side is willing to betray the American people."

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon. D-Va., also had a cliché, arguing that if it "smells like a duck" then it's a duck in explaining Trump's call to Ukraine to ask them to open an investigation into the Bidens. 

Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., compared Republican lawmakers to Judas, saying they "would betray the American people" for "30 positive tweets" from President Trump.

 

White House counsel meets with McConnell during markup

White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Eric Ueland, the legislative affairs director, met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for over an hour on Capitol Hill on Thursday afternoon. 

“This is one of a regular set of conversations we’ve been having with Senate Republicans on the issue of impeachment, and we’re going to keep having good conversations about it," Ueland said.

When asked if he has a preference for how long the hearing will be, Ueland said, “Look, I’m not in the prognostication business, I don’t have a crystal ball in terms of timing. The president deserves to have his case heard. Unfortunately, the process in the House was fatally flawed and based on facts that were not all correct since the president did nothing wrong. So we continue to make our case to the American public.”

Cipollone did not answer questions from reporters.

Biggs introduces amendment arguing administration did nothing wrong freezing aid to Ukraine

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., introduced the third amendment of the day, which would insert language into the articles for impeachment that says the U.S. aid to Ukraine that was held up over the summer was eventually released

“The aid was released within days of Ukrainian President Zelenskiy signing two major anti-corruption measures into law, convincing President Trump that the new Ukrainian administration was serious about reform measures and consistent with Administration policy to ensure foreign aid is not used for corrupt purposes,” the amendment says. 

In explaining his amendment, Biggs brought up a letter from the Office of Management and Budget, which oversees the distribution of U.S. aid to foreign countries, that he said walks through the entire process.

Biggs said that the Trump administration “never intended to or actually violated the law” and that it “always intended to release the funds.” 

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., however, then questioned why Biggs was tying the release of the aid to anti-corruption efforts when she said that acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney himself said at a White House press conference that the aid was clearly being withheld as leverage to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations demanded by Trump. 

The aid was frozen by July 18 and the hold wasn’t lifted until September 11.

Folks, we could really be in for a long night

After three-and-a-half hours of debate, members voted down Gaetz's amendment to replace Biden's name in the articles of impeachment with his son's name and the name of a Ukrainian company he sat on the board of.

Three-and-a-half hours (which did include an hour-and-a-half recess) over an amendment to alter one line of the articles of impeachment.

The committee is just now debating its third proposed amendment of the day. The hearing started nearly seven hours ago. On top of this, Collins suggested the committee could be in session "all night" as part of this process. And there will likely be more breaks. 

If you're planning on sticking with this all the way through, find a comfortable seat if you haven't already. 

Gaetz amendment to articles of impeachment fails

An amendment introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz failed to pass during the House Judiciary Committee's debate to bring the articles of impeachment against Trump into final form. 

Gaetz had introduced an amendment to strike a reference of former Vice President Joe Biden from the articles of impeachment and put in Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, and Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of that company while his father was in office. 

It failed to pass with 23 Democrats voting against and 17 Republicans voting in favor.