The House Judiciary Committee voted Friday morning to approve two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, moving the impeachment process to the next step: a vote before the full House.
The committee voted along party lines on both articles of impeachment — one for abuse of power and a second for obstruction of justice. Both articles passed, 23-17.
The vote happened after a marathon hearing, in which Republican lawmakers pulled silly antics, misrepresented or lied about evidence, and tried to introduce unnecessary or irrelevant amendments to defend Trump and score political points.
Even if the amendments passed, which they did not, the GOP lawmakers would not have voted on the articles of impeachment, as they do not plan to break ranks and vote to impeach Trump.
Now that the House Judiciary Committee has finalized the text of the articles of impeachment, the full House is set to vote on them at some point next week, before lawmakers leave for the year for the holiday recess.
House Republicans are advising all of their members to vote against the articles of impeachment through a practice called “whipping” — in which leadership tries to get an accurate count of how their caucus will vote.
Democrats, on the other hand, do not plan to whip the vote on their side, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying her members are free to vote their conscience.
“We are not whipping this legislation, nor do we ever whip something like this. People have to come to their own conclusions,” Pelosi said at a news conference.
If Trump is impeached, as expected, he will be just the third president in history to face the Constitutional punishment.
The Senate, for its part, would then hold a trial, which is not expected to begin until after lawmakers return to the Capitol in the new year.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.