House Judiciary Committee votes to impeach Trump, capping damaging testimony
WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee, voting along party lines, on Friday approved articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, charging he abused his power and obstructed Congress.
Both measures will be voted on by the full House, likely on Wednesday, and come after weeks of damaging testimony against Trump.
The votes follow 14 hours on Thursday debating the articles and amendments offered by Republicans that sought to gut resolutions. There was no further discussion of the impeachment articles on Friday morning before the two quick historic roll call votes lasting only a few minutes.
Lawmakers had expected to cast votes on the measures lat Thursday night, but Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., abruptly recessed committee meeting shortly after 11 p.m. ET, catching Republicans off-guard, who expressed outrage at the surprise move.
"Sad day," Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said after the impeachment vote Friday. "This is an outrage. It sets the bar for any president, in any party for the future to go through three years of hell like this president has. It's really unfortunate."
Instead, Nadler said that the committee would vote Friday morning in an effort to give lawmakers time overnight to contemplate how they plan to vote on such an important measure. Democrats also said the vote was so significant that it should take place during daylight hours when more people are likely to be watching.
"A vote on Articles of Impeachment is one of the most consequential and historic votes any member will cast. It should only take place in the light of day — not at 11:30 at night," Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., tweeted.
In the next step, a Senate trial about whether to convict Trump and remove him from office will be held, most likely beginning in early January. It is unclear how long the trial will last.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Sean Hannity on Fox News on Thursday night that there was "no chance" Trump would be convicted in the Senate, which would require a two thirds vote.
"The case is so darn weak coming from the House. We know how it's going to end," McConnell said. "There's no chance the president's going to be removed from office. My hope is that there won't be a single Republican who votes for either of these articles of impeachment, and, Sean, it wouldn't surprise me if we got one or two Democrats."