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.

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Anything new? McClintock says what many are thinking

As we approach the 12th hour of this debate, a frustrated Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., had somewhat of a breaking-the-fourth-wall moment and said what many are thinking: Does anyone have anything new to say? 

“The same talking points have been repeated over and over again ad nauseam by both sides,” he said. "Repeating a fact over and over doesn't make it true and denying a fact over and over doesn't make it false - everybody knows this, everybody watching knows this."

He added: "This hearing's been enough of an institutional embarrassment without putting it on an endless loop so if I could if could just offer a modest suggestion — if no one has anything new to add that they resist the temptation to inflict what we already heard over and over again." 


At White House congressional ball, Trump predicts: 'We’re going to have a fantastic year'

At the congressional ball mentioned earlier, President Trump made brief remarks while the Judiciary Committee members continued to debate the articles of impeachment.

He began by calling it a “very exciting month in Washington, D.C.,” to laughter.

“Our country is doing really great,” he said, while touting the stock market records and thanking the Pences and the first lady. 

He said his family calls the White House a home, but some presidents called it a house — and some called it much worse.

'We’re going to have a fantastic year,” he said. “The best year in decades.”

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. 

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.