House Judiciary Approves Impeachment Charges Against Trump
The House Judiciary Committee on Friday approved two articles of impeachment that charge President Trump with high crimes and misdemeanors, setting up a historic House vote next week that all but guarantees Trump will be just the third president to be impeached in U.S. history.
The articles, which charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, were passed out of the committee along strict party lines, with 23 Democrats voting to send the measures to the full House, which is expected to approve them next week. One Democrat, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), was absent after undergoing an unexpected medical procedure earlier in the week.
All 17 panel Republicans voted against the charges.
The votes come two days after the panel began its debate, and the morning after Democrats enraged Republicans by abruptly canceling an expected vote that would have taken place very late Thursday night or early Friday morning.
“That was the most egregious violation of trust between a committee chairman and ranking member I think I’ve ever seen,” said Rep. Doug Collins (Ga.), the top Republican on Judiciary, who said “there was no discussion” about the change of plans.
“We thought we were going to do votes tonight,” said Collins, who called the impeachment markups a “Kangaroo court” and argued that Democrats wanted more television time for the proceedings.
Democrats signaled that they wanted to prevent Republicans from arguing they had approved the articles of impeachment in the dead of night, and when no Americans were watching.
“We felt like they wanted us to pass this in the middle of the night, so we felt the American people deserved to see this historic vote. And it should be passed in the daylight and not in the middle of the night,” a Democratic aide said.
The partisan vote came after more than 14 hours of feisty partisan debate on Thursday over a series of Republican amendments seeking to scrub Democrats’ impeachment articles that raised allegations about Trump’s contacts with Ukraine.