House Judiciary approves articles of impeachment, paving way for floor vote
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.
The three-day Judiciary Committee proceedings were largely an exercise in grandstanding, speechifying and at times monotonous repetition — an endurance exercise in which each side appeared to be baiting the other to trip over their arguments or commit procedural offenses that could resonate outside Washington.
But one dynamic was clear throughout the process: Republicans were unmoved by the evidence Democrats arrayed before them — and Democrats showed no signs of second-guessing their impeachment push.
Trump’s request of Ukraine — an ally in an active war with Russian invaders — to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden was an impermissible exercise of power that prioritized the president’s political benefit over the country’s interests, Democrats argued. And his outright refusal to provide documents to Congress would fast-track the nation toward an unaccountable monarchy, they added.
Republicans countered that Democrats overstated their case, relying on hearsay evidence, a thin factual record and a desire to cast ambiguous facts in a light least favorable to Trump. They portrayed the president as genuinely concerned with corruption in Ukraine — an assertion Democrats called “laughable” — and said he was simply protecting the separation of powers by fighting Democrats’ requests and subpoenas.