Articles of impeachment vote delayed until Friday following marathon markup debate
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A vote in the House Judiciary Committee on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump has been delayed until Friday morning following more than 14 hours of debate Thursday.
The House Judiciary Committee was expected to approve two articles -- one for abuse of power and another on obstruction of Congress -- on a party-line vote following Thursday's debate, which began at 9a.m. ET. However, House Judiciary Comm. Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) abruptly called for a recess shortly after 11p.m. ET. Nadler announced consideration of the articles and subsequent votes would began Friday at 10a.m.
In the articles, Democrats on the committee are accusing Trump of abuse of power as it relates to foreign aid with Ukraine and allegations he threatened to withhold the funds in exchange for an investigation of his political rivals, notably former vice president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; and obstruction of Congress for not allowing top White House and administration officials to testify in the impeachment inquiry and Congressional hearings on the matter.
The late-night recess caps a two-day marathon markup in the Judiciary Committee as members on both sides made their final arguments. Republicans tried to add some extra amendments in the articles, including those that would eliminate select articles, but the Democrat majority rejected those requests.
As we reported earlier this week, the articles are narrowly tailored. Democrats are focusing solely on the Ukraine scandal and are not tying in findings from the Russia probe and the Mueller report from earlier this year. That is likely a way to get more moderate Democrats – including those in swing districts or districts the president won in 2016 – on-board when the full house votes.
Locally, U.S. Reps. Mike Kelly and Glenn Thompson, both of whom are allies of the President and have spoken out against the articles, say Democrats let the American people decide the president’s fate.
“Quit worrying about trying to get this president impeached,” Kelly said. “There is an election coming up and he will be on the ballot and so will somebody else. Let the American people choose who they want to run the country.”
“To me, this is a political stunt that continues,” Thompson said. “The fact is that the American people will decide who the next president is in November of 2020.”
Should the Judiciary Committee approve the articles Friday, a full House vote is expected next week. However, a date has not yet been scheduled.