House prepares to vote on impeachment
The impeachment inquiry into President Trump continues after the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment last week.
Here's where things stand now:
- The articles: After a lengthy day of debating the two articles of impeachment against Trump, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the House Judiciary Committee voted to approve both articles Friday. The vote fell on partisan lines: Democrats voted yes and Republicans voted no, with the exception of Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat who was absent because of illness.
- McConnell's position: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was appropriate to coordinate with the White House ahead of a likely Senate impeachment trial of Trump. "It was done during the Clinton impeachment as well. Not surprisingly, President Clinton and the Democrats in the Senate were coordinating their strategy. We're all on the same side," he said.
- Schiff wants witnesses: House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said Sunday he would like for some witnesses to be called during the expected Senate impeachment trial as well to have administration documents so far not turned over to be introduced as evidence. Schiff, who has been mentioned as a possible House impeachment manager, said the witnesses he has in mind are ones who so far have refused to talk to House negotiators. They include acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
- New poll: A new poll from Fox News finds 50% of voters nationwide want President Trump impeached and removed from office, unchanged since a late-October poll. Another 4% say Trump should be impeached but not removed, and 41% oppose impeachment altogether. Regardless of their views on impeachment, 53% of voters say Trump abused his power, 48% say he obstructed Congress and 45% say he committed bribery.
- Graham's prediction: Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a close ally of Trump, said he will do everything in his power to quickly end an expected impeachment trial in the Republican-led Senate. Asked if it was appropriate for him to be voicing his opinion before impeachment reaches the Senate, Graham replied, "Well, I must think so because I'm doing it."
- What the articles say: The first article of impeachment accuses Trump of abusing his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals and withholding US security aid and a White House meeting. The second accuses him of obstructing the investigation into his misconduct by blocking witnesses and disobeying subpoenas.
- What's next: The two articles of impeachment will now go to the House floor for a vote. If a simple majority of the House votes to approve either article, Trump will become the third president ever formally impeached — President Nixon resigned after the votes passed the House Judiciary Committee but before they could make it to the full House. The House has yet to set a specific date for the full impeachment vote, but two Democratic leadership aides said it could happen on Wednesday.
- Possible trial: Then the Republican-led Senate will hold a trial presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The White House is still planning its trial strategy and considering whether or not it will call witnesses, which may lengthen the trial.