Jordan introduces fifth GOP amendment
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, introduced a fifth amendment aiming to strike the last eight lines of both articles of impeachment.
Both articles have the same language: "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. 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 other four amendments introduced by Republicans have each failed with a party-line vote.
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.
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.