WASHINGTON (AP) — The House will vote on the impeachment of President Donald Trump this week after spending the past three months investigating the president’s dealings in Ukraine and deciding whether his behavior was grave enough to qualify as high crimes and misdemeanors.
The House Judiciary Committee on Friday approved two articles of impeachment against Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The vote came after a bitter two-day debate in which Democrats said it
was their duty to impeach and furious Republicans defended the president
and battled over process.
The articles charge that Trump abused
his power and betrayed the nation as he urged Ukraine to investigate his
political rivals and withheld military aid to that allied country, as well as a White House meeting for its president.
What’s next in impeachment:
leaders are preparing for the final impeachment vote just as lawmakers
are about to leave for the holiday break. Approval would set up a 2020 trial in the Senate.
on the two articles could come as soon as Wednesday, with a meeting to
set debate rules already scheduled for Tuesday. Floor consideration is
expected to be much like that of a regular bill.
Judiciary Committee vote was strictly along party lines, and the floor
vote is expected to be similar, with a few exceptions. No Republicans
have so far signaled that they will support the articles of impeachment,
but a small handful of Democrats who represent GOP-leaning districts
have said they may join Republicans in voting against them.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to name, as soon as this week, a
handful of members to argue the Democrats’ case in the Senate trial.
It’s still unclear who these impeachment managers will be, but they are
likely to be members of the Judiciary and intelligence committees that
took the lead on the case.
Pelosi has kept quiet on potential
names. But the managers are expected to be from safe Democratic
districts, diverse in race and gender and from all parts of the country.
It is also likely that the number of impeachment managers will be fewer
than 13, the number of GOP managers in President Bill Clinton’s 1998
Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Judiciary
Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler are front-runners for two of the
THE SENATE TRIAL
If the House approves the
charges, as expected, impeachment would then move to a weekslong Senate
trial, where senators are jurors and the impeachment managers act as
prosecutors. The chief justice of the United States presides over the
If the Senate approves an article of impeachment with a
two-thirds vote of “guilty,” the president is convicted and removed from
office. If all the articles are rejected – as expected – the president
It is unclear how long the trial will last or
exactly how it will be structured. On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader
Chuck Schumer proposed that four witnesses be called, including acting
chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John
Bolton. Schumer proposed that the trial begin the week of Jan. 6 and
allow for as many as 126 hours of statements, testimony, questions and
deliberations, suggesting a trial that could run three weeks or more.
Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t comment Sunday night on the particulars
of Schumer’s proposal, which came in a letter to McConnell. Recently he
has indicated a preference for a speedy trial without references but has
also suggested he would follow the will of the White House.
is the fourth time in history Congress has moved to impeach a
president. If he were convicted by the Senate, Trump would be the first
to be removed.