Law & the Courts

House Judiciary Committee Approves Articles of Impeachment, Setting Up Vote on House Floor

Rep. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, gavels out after announcing a recess as ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, listens during a hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., December 12, 2019 (Andrew Harrer/Reuters)

The House Judiciary Committee voted Friday to refer articles of impeachment to the House for a floor vote next week, after chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) abruptly ended Thursday’s session just before midnight after 14 hours of debate without a vote.

The Committee voted and passed each article — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — by a party-line 23-17 vote.

On Thursday, Republicans attempted to alter he articles with five amendments, all of which were voted down by the Democratic majority. The efforts earned praise from President Trump.

Representative Jim Jordan (R., Oh.) introduced an amendment to abolish the first article of impeachment leveling “abuse of power” at President Trump, saying the article “ignores the truth,” while another amendment wanted to replace the mention of former Vice President Joe Biden with his son Hunter Biden and Burisma in Article I. Another would have added to the articles that US aid was released to Ukraine.

Following the vote, Judiciary Republicans slammed the decision.

“Democrats promised after public hearings that there would be some newfound animated public support for impeachment,” Matt Gaetz of Florida said. “The reality is, they failed to meet their burden. And so now, with no bipartisanship — as a matter of fact the only bipartisan vote will be a bipartisan vote against impeachment — with no direct evidence, with no enhanced public support for impeachment, Democrats will continue to visit the opportunity costs.”

“ . . . For Democrats, impeachment is their drug, is their obsession, it is their total focus, and it is deeply disappointing that they failed to meet the standard that they set for themselves.”

Louie Gohmert of Texas added that he hoped the Senate would call witnesses in their trial — despite previous reporting indicating it would not.

“I really hope and pray the Senate will not just pick it up and dismiss it. America needs to hear from the witnesses, and we didn’t get to hear from them here. This was a kangaroo court,” Gohmert said.

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was definitive in his verdict.

“We all know how it’s going to end. There is no chance the President is going to be removed from office,” the Kentucky Republican said.

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