Lawmakers debate impeachment ahead of committee vote on articles

Henrietta Brewer
December 12, 2019

In the end, rather than setting in motion a far-reaching impeachment trial seeking to encompass the myriad misdeeds the Democrats believe - with considerable evidentiary backing - Mr. Trump has perpetrated during his 3½ years in office, the decision was taken to limit the articles to the aforementioned two charges, which focus only on the president's alleged effort to influence the upcoming 2020 US election.

Democrats in the House of Representatives this week formally called for the removal of Donald J. Trump from the office of the USA presidency, laying out in a succinct nine-page document the articles of impeachment on grounds he committed high crimes and misdemeanours in the form of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Democrats and Republicans on the panel used a prime-time hearing on Wednesday to make final arguments for and against impeachment. Both sides appealed to Americans' sense of history - Democrats describing a strong sense of duty to stop what one called the president's "constitutional crime spree" and Republicans decrying the "hot garbage" impeachment and what it means for the future of the country. That is expected to change Thursday when the House Judiciary Committee meets again to vote to send the two articles to the floor for a full House vote, possibly next week. According to another survey released by Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, two more incumbent Democrats could face backlash if they choose to back their party's impeachment efforts.

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of OH said Democrats are impeaching because "they don't like us", and read out a long list of Trump's accomplishments.

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., later turned to Republicans, and said, "Wake up".

"Based on what you know, do you favor or oppose Congress impeaching Trump?" the survey asked. "And it's not just because they don't like the president", he said. "They don't like the president's supporters, and they dislike us so much they're willing to weaponise the government".

Jim Jordan said Democrats were simply refighting their 2016 election loss and hated Trump. He said that the articles of impeachment don't allege that any crimes like bribery, treason or extortion were committed by the president.

The House Intelligence Committee announces it will hold its first open hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry, hosting William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, and George Kent, a top State Department official, as well as Marie Yovanovitch, who served as former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine until May, when she was dismissed.

Pence's power, which applies to legislation and nominations, isn't in effect when the Senate is weighing removing his boss, an obvious conflict of interest since he would replace Trump if he were removed.

"I think as an American the best thing we can do is deep-six this thing", a staunch Trump ally, Senator Lindsey Graham, told reporters on Wednesday.

Trump tweeted that to impeach a president "who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness".

Trump says House Democrats will vote to impeach him, but he will prevail in the Senate.

The Judiciary Committee is expected to take up the articles later this week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he would be "totally surprised" if there were the necessary 67 votes in the chamber to convict Trump, and signaled options for a swift trial. "No decisions have been made yet".

Other reports by iNewsToday