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Still waiting for Judiciary Committee's final impeachment votes

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler paused his committee's debate on articles of impeachment before final votes until the following morning, prompting howls of protest from Republicans after a session that had stretched more than 14 hours.

Posted: Dec 13, 2019 8:30 AM
Updated: Dec 13, 2019 8:30 AM

The House Judiciary Committee is now expected to vote Friday, likely on party lines, to send two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the House floor for consideration next week.

The committee had been expected to approve the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress late Thursday, after a 14-hour debate. Instead, Republicans erupted when Chairman Jerry Nadler announced that the vote wouldn't happen until 10 a.m. ET Friday. And Democrats were angry at Republicans, believing they had attempted to drag out the proceedings and delay the final votes to the wee hours.

Despite the late-night drama, Thursday's all-day debate -- the "markup" -- yielded no changes to the articles of impeachment introduced by Democrats earlier this week.

Some amendments Republicans proposed Thursday:

  • Removing the entire first article of impeachment, which accuses Trump of abuse of power

  • Stripping mention of Joe Biden and adding Burisma and Hunter Biden as things Trump wanted investigated even though Trump specifically referred to Joe Biden in the July 25 call

  • Adding the line that Trump released the aid after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky convinced the US President he was a reformer, even though this is not at all clear from the many hours of witness testimony

Preview of next week's floor debate

Republicans mounted an assault on the impeachment process during the hearing, suggesting potential lines of attack for next week's full House debate. The arguments have included (and these are my paraphases):

  • Democrats have been trying to get rid of Trump from Day One of his presidency

  • Abuse of power? That's not a thing. Democrats just made that up.

  • Two articles of impeachment? That's all?

  • There's nothing wrong with what Trump did

The argument against Trump in one tweet

This tweet from a Judiciary Committee member, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania, sums up the Democrats' position in one line:

Two Democrats now oppose impeachment

At lest two Democratic congressmen -- Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Collin Peterson of Minnesota -- have said they will vote against the articles of impeachment. That means Democrats won't be unanimously in favor of impeaching Trump. But it does not yet suggest Trump will be anything but impeached next week.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is not lobbying moderates on the fence to vote for impeachment.

"People have to come to their own conclusions," the California Democrat said.

Read more from CNN's Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb.

Impeachment Watch podcast

Will the impeachment saga ultimately benefit Trump? The President's campaign manager said the impeachment effort has helped "ignite a flame" under Trump's base and led to more fundraising and better attendance at rallies. CNN political director David Chalian dives into the latest developments with CNN producer and reporter Marshall Cohen and CNN political analyst April Ryan.

What's not in the articles

One major issue that has been held out of the impeachment proceeding is whether Trump is violating the Constitution's clause banning presidents from accepting gifts -- or "emoluments," in Constitution-speak -- while in office.

But Trump's finances have been repeatedly challenged in court. As debate continued in Congress, judges on the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond on Thursday spent three hours showing how deeply divided they are on whether they can curtail the President's business interests, writes CNN's Katelyn Polantz.

At times, the judges took over from the arguing attorneys, the Justice Department, Trump's personal legal team and the DC and Maryland state attorneys general offices to argue for or against the President themselves.

History corner

It's important to note that the Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton impeachment efforts both had some bipartisan support. Nixon's would have been successful, which is why he resigned. Despite some Democrats voting that he was guilty, Clinton had numerous Republicans who voted to keep him in office. In the end, neither article of impeachment against Clinton got even a majority in the Senate, much less the two-thirds necessary to convict.

In the case of Andrew Johnson, who just barely stayed in office, it was seven Republicans breaking ranks and voting not to convict that allowed him to finish the term he took over from the assassinated Abraham Lincoln.

More on those previous efforts. 

What are we doing here?

The President has invited foreign powers to interfere in the US presidential election. Democrats want to impeach him for it. It is a crossroads for the American system of government as the President tries to change what's acceptable for US politicians. This newsletter will focus on this consequential moment in US history.

Keep track of congressional action with CNN's Impeachment Tracker. See a timeline of events. And get your full refresher on who's who in this drama.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 7119
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20784248
Hinds19894408
Harrison17493302
Rankin13316275
Jackson13099243
Madison9896210
Lee9859169
Jones8293160
Forrest7523146
Lauderdale7189237
Lowndes6265144
Lamar610784
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Washington5280132
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Oktibbeha455297
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Marshall4273100
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Union403775
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Hancock372185
Leflore3468124
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Tate322781
Pike3181104
Scott310572
Yazoo304368
Alcorn297764
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Copiah293065
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
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Prentiss275659
Marion265979
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Leake261173
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Adams245982
Newton244859
George237847
Winston225981
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Attala213373
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Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158634
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126323
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120141
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81923
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 519071

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754131487
Mobile37774798
Madison33868494
Tuscaloosa25283443
Montgomery23969565
Shelby23112238
Baldwin20638300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14286311
Morgan14140268
Etowah13664345
Marshall11957219
Houston10383278
Elmore9994200
Limestone9814147
Cullman9475188
St. Clair9429234
Lauderdale9218227
DeKalb8747181
Talladega8060171
Walker7092275
Jackson6755110
Autauga6727103
Blount6488135
Colbert6205130
Coffee5401112
Dale4768110
Russell428938
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia388074
Dallas3527149
Chambers3500122
Clarke346360
Marion3066100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256458
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224955
Hale218775
Butler212366
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171540
Washington164038
Macon154848
Clay149454
Crenshaw149357
Cleburne146041
Lamar139334
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
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Sumter102932
Coosa99328
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Choctaw58724
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