House Judiciary approves articles of impeachment, paving way for floor vote

Source: Politico | December 13, 2019 | Kyle Cheney and Andrew Desiderio

The vote sets up just the third presidential impeachment in U.S. history, which is expected Wednesday.

Articles of impeachment are headed to the House floor.

It took three days of meetings, marked by inflamed rhetoric and increasingly personal disputes, but the Judiciary Committee on Friday voted along party lines to approve charges that President Donald Trump abused his power and obstructed a congressional investigation.

The move marks the first vote at any level of the House on articles of impeachment since 1998. And it sets up just the third presidential impeachment in U.S. history — expected Wednesday, according to Democratic aides.

The articles allege that Trump put his personal interests above U.S. national security by pressuring Ukraine to open investigations into his Democratic adversaries. Then, the articles state, Trump waged an unprecedented campaign to block impeachment investigators from obtaining witness testimony and documents as they sought to probe the allegations.

Next week’s impeachment vote will then lead to a Senate trial, presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, in January. Trump’s allies expect the GOP-controlled chamber will acquit him swiftly — it takes a two-thirds vote of the 100-member body to remove a sitting president — but Republican senators are still deciding whether to ultimately allow Trump to call witnesses.

The committee abruptly paused its proceedings just after 11 p.m. Thursday night, after a 14-hour session during which Republicans offered several amendments aimed at chipping away at the articles — all rejected by Democrats. Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) postponed the final votes until Friday morning, a move that aides said reflected a preference to vote during the light of day.

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