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National
House Judiciary Committee passes 2 articles of impeachment
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House Judiciary Committee passes 2 articles of impeachment

House Judiciary Committee votes to send articles of impeachment to House

House Judiciary Committee passes 2 articles of impeachment

Update 10:05 a.m. ET Dec. 13, 2019: Nadler begins the hearing by saying that the committee will separate the articles of impeachment into two votes.

The vote to send both articles of impeachment to the full House was 23 yes to 17 no.

Here is how they voted on both articles:

Democrats:

  • Jerrold Nadler, New York - Yes

  • Mary Scanlon, Pennsylvania - Yes

  • Zoe Lofgren, California - Yes

  • Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas - Yes

  • Steve Cohen, Tennessee - Yes

  • Henry Johnson, Georgia - Yes

  • Theodore Deutch, Florida - Yes

  • Karen Bass, California - Yes

  • Cedric Richmond, Louisiana - Yes

  • Hakeem Jeffries, New York - Yes

  • David Cicilline, Rhode Island - Yes

  • Eric Swalwell, California - Yes

  • Ted Lieu, California – absent

  • Jamie Raskin, Maryland - Yes

  • Pramila Jayapal, Washington - Yes

  • Val Demings, Florida - Yes

  • J. Correa, California - Yes

  • Sylvia Garcia, Texas - Yes

  • Joe Neguse, Colorado - Yes

  • Lucy McBath, Georgia - Yes

  • Greg Stanton, Arizona - Yes

  • Madeleine Dean, Pennsylvania - Yes

  • Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Florida - Yes

  • Veronica Escobar, Texas - Yes

Republicans

  • Doug Collins, Georgia - No

  • James Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin - No

  • Steve Chabot, Ohio – No

  • Louie Gohmert, Texas – No

  • Jim Jordan, Ohio - No

  • Ken Buck, Colorado - No

  • John Ratcliffe, Texas - No

  • Martha Roby, Alabama - No

  • Matt Gaetz, Florida - No

  • Mike Johnson, Louisiana - No

  • Andy Biggs, Arizona - No

  • Tom McClintock, California - No

  • Debbie Lesko, Arizona - No

  • Guy Reschenthaler, Pennsylvania - No

  • Ben Cline, Virginia - No

  • Kelly Armstrong, North Dakota - No

  • Gregory Steube, Florida – No

Update 9:59 a.m. ET Dec. 13, 2019: As the Judiciary Committee reconvenes in moments, here is what will happen:

There will be two votes in the committee – a vote on each article of impeachment. The first article of impeachment addresses abuse of power and the second is obstruction of Congress.

Republicans can slow down today’s proceedings, but not to the extent they did on Thursday when they introduced several amendments.

There will be no opening statements.

Update 8:14 a.m. ET Dec. 13, 2019: After more than 14 hours of debate on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerry Nadler, abruptly adjourned the hearing, saying the historic vote would be taken on Friday morning.

The decision to adjourn before voting to send the articles of impeachment to the full House for a vote next week came just shy of midnight.

Republican committee members were shocked and angered at Nadler’s actions, with Rep. Doug Collins, R-Georgia, the committee’s ranking member, shouting as the gavel fell.

"Words cannot describe how inappropriate this was," Collins said. He and other Republicans said the move was a complete surprise.

The committee adjourned after five amendments to the articles of impeachment were introduced. Each amendment was debated and all were voted down.

The committee is scheduled to reconvene at 10 a.m. for the votes on the articles. Each article will be voted on separately. Democrats have 24 members on the committee and Republicans have 17.

Update 11:15 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Nadler stunned Republican members of the committee late Thursday by calling a recess to let members take time to make a “sober decision” on the matter of impeachment.

Throughout the day it had seemed that the committee was headed toward a late-night vote on both articles.

Ranking Member Collins strongly objected to the recess saying Nadler had not consulted with minority leadership about recessing Thursday night. Collins asked Nadler why he was ok with “blowing up everyone’s schedule.”

One Republican committee member said the move smacked of “Stalinism.”

Nadler said the hearing would reconvene Friday morning at 10 a.m. ET to cast the votes on the two separate articles of impeachment against Trump.

Live updates will continue Friday morning to cover the votes.

Update 10:35 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told Fox’s Sean Hannity, that there is no way that Trump will be removed from office if he is impeached by the House next week.

“We all know how it’s going to end. There is no chance the president is going to be removed from office,” McConnell told Hannity Thursday night.

Update 9:48 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The debate has resumed. Rep. Sensenbrenner is speaking. He commends Nadler for the way he ran the hearing, then says he and the other Democrats are “dead wrong.”

Update 8:59 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The amendment to remove the words “impeachment of Donald J. Trump” from the articles of impeachment is defeated 23-17 vote on party lines.

Chairman Nadler has called for a 30-minute recess.

Update 8:57 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: From Jamie Dupree:

Update 8:52 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Ranking Member Collins and Rep. Eric Swalwell get testy after nearly 12 hours of debate.

Update 7:48 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Trump is hosting a congressional holiday ball at the White House tonight. He said it was a “very exciting month in Washington, DC,” and that "We’re going to have a fantastic year.

Update 7:12 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Reschenthaler’s amendment to strike the second article of impeachment fails. The vote was 23-17 along party lines.

A fifth amendment is offered by Rep. Jordan. The amendment takes the words “Donald Trump should be impeached” out of both of the articles.

Update 7:06 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: CNN is reporting that the Justice Department has published on its website internal legal opinions that could help Trump block congressional requests.

According to CNN, the Justice Department said the release of the opinions was connected to a recent opinion by the Office of Legal concerning former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn. Some of the opinions date back to the 1970s.

Update 6:54 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The debate over the articles of impeachment has been going on for around 10 hours now. Soon, there should be a vote on the fourth suggested amendment to the articles of impeachment.

Update 6:01 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Lisa Desjardins, a correspondent with PBS Newshour, is reporting that the vote whether or not to impeach Trump will likely be held on Wednesday.

Update 5:58 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pennsylvania, breaks it down for you.

Update 5:20 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Biggs’ amendment about an OMB report that explained the withholding of military aid to Ukraine is defeated along party lines.

Another amendment has been proposed. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pennsylvania, is moving to strike (kill) the second of the two articles of impeachment. The second article alleges Trump obstructed Congress.

Update 5 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, says the timing of the vote on articles of impeachment in the full House will be announced tonight.

"Today, the House Judiciary Committee is continuing its mark up of two articles of impeachment. Following Committee action on these articles, the Judiciary Committee will make a recommendation to the full House of Representatives. A path forward on the Floor will be announced following the Committee’s mark up.

Update 4:16 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, D-Louisiana, compared the Republicans to Judas for their support of Trump.

“Today I’m reminded of Judas — because Judas for 30 pieces of silver betrayed Jesus; for 30 positive tweets for easy reelection, the other side is willing to betray the American people … the future of our great country,” Richmond said.

Update 4:12 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Gaetz suggests that Democrats who represent Republican majority districts in their states will not be coming back to serve in the House. “Rent, don’t buy, here in Washington,” Gaetz said.

Update 3:39 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The committee has voted down Gaetz’s amendment to remove Joe Biden’s name from the articles of impeachment and insert Hunter Biden’s in its place. The vote was along party lines.

Another Republican amendment has been proposed. The amendment from Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Arizona calls for the inclusion of a statement from the Office of Management and Budget explaining why the military aid to Ukraine was held up.

Update 3:26 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: According to a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday, 45% of Americans surveyed said Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 50% said he should not be impeached and removed.

Update 3:16 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: White House counsel Pat Cipollone is meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, ahead of the expected impeachment of Trump next week, according to the Washington Post.

Should Trump be impeached in the House, a trial will be held in the Senate to determine if he is guilty of wrongdoing and if he will be removed from office.

White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland accompanied Cipollone to the meeting.

Update: 2:51 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: President Trump has tweeted again.

 

Update 2:40 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The hearing has resumed.

Update 1 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The hearing is in recess for members to take votes on the House floor.

Update 12:12 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Matt Gaetz puts forth an amendment to drop former Vice President Joe Biden’s name in the articles of impeachment, leaving only Biden’s son Hunter in the document. Gaetz introduces the amendment then describes Hunter Biden’s struggle with drug addiction by reading from a New Yorker Magazine story that described a car wreck Hunter Biden was in and a description of how he allegedly asked a homeless man where he could buy crack cocaine.

 

Update 11:58 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: A vote is called on Jordan’s amendment to strike the first article of impeachment. All the Democrats present, 23, vote no, all the Republicans present, 17, vote yes. The amendment fails.

Update 11:46 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, has come up several times during the hearing. Republicans have slammed him as unreliable as a witness because he revised his original testimony.

Jordan said that Sondland had repeatedly said during his deposition that he did not recall key facts.

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colorado, chided Democrats saying, “Ambassador Sondland is your star witness? Really? You’re basing an impeachment on Ambassador Sondland’s testimony?”

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, answered Buck saying, “They don’t like him now because he clarified his testimony to say that yes, there was definitely a quid pro quo at the heart of this whole thing,” Raskin said.

Update 11:30 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, indicated in her weekly press conference Thursday morning that the House will wrap up the impeachment inquiry next week.

“Next week we’ll take up something” in the full House, Pelosi said, after being asked about the timetable for the impeachment inquiry.

 

Update 11:20 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The committee has now spent two hours debating the amendment by Jim Jordan to delete the first article of impeachment.

Update 11 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: President Trump weighs-in.

 

Update 10:20 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-California, accuses the Republicans of hypocrisy. She references former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, asking, why “lying about a sexual affair is an abuse of presidential power but the misuse of presidential power to get a benefit doesn’t matter?

“If it’s lying about sex, we could put Stormy Daniels’ case ahead of us,” she said.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, answers Lofgren, saying Clinton was impeached because he lied to a grand jury. That, Sensenbrenner says, is something Trump has never done.

Update 10 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Democrats introduced an amendment to spell out Trump's middle name. The articles of impeachment reference Donald J. Trump. Nadler introduces an amendment to change the article to read Donald John Trump, the president’s full name. Rep. Collins responds to the amendment saying it shows the “absurdity” of the whole process.

The debate takes off from there with several members arguing about the articles and what has been testified to.

Rep. Joe Neguse, D, Colorado, wants Republicans to “dispense with these process arguments” and "stay true to the facts.” “I understand that we’re going to have a robust debate about the legal standards that govern the inquiry that is before us, the decision we make on these articles,” Rep. Neguse said, “but let’s stay true to the facts, and let’s dispense with these process arguments and get to the substance of why we’re here today.”

 

Update 9:33 a.m. ET Dec. 12: Rep. Jim Jordan introduces an amendment to the articles of impeachment. The amendment is to strike the first article. He is explaining why Article One “ignores the facts.”

Rep. David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island, speaks in opposition to Jordan’s amendment. He lays out why the article was drafted saying, “There is direct evidence” of Trump being involved in a "scheme to corrupt the American elections and withhold military aid” from Ukraine.

 

Update 9:05 a.m. ET Dec. 12: The hearing has resumed and been called to order. The clerk of the Judiciary Committee is now reading the two articles of impeachment.

Original story:

The House Judiciary Committee is set to vote Thursday on two articles of impeachment charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

>> Read more trending news 

The vote will mark only the third time in the country’s 243-year history that Congress will consider impeachment charges against a sitting president.

The charges allege Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s connections with a Ukrainian energy company in exchange for military aid and a White House meeting for the newly-elected president.

In a second charge, House Democrats say Trump obstructed Congress by blocking testimony from witnesses and refusing requests for documents during the impeachment inquiry that was launched in September.

The decision to open the inquiry came after a whistleblower filed a complaint alleging that a phone call made by Trump to Zelensky on July 25 tied military aid and a White House meeting to personal political favors.

On Tuesday, House Democratic leaders introduced the two articles of impeachment saying Trump presented a “clear and present” danger to not only the 2020 presidential election but to the nation’s security.

In an unusual evening session on Wednesday, the committee began debate on the articles. The session saw the two parties argue over the charges against Trump, the Constitution’s meaning when it comes to impeachment and why the inquiry was undertaken instead of leaving Trump’s fate to the voters in next year’s election.

What happens next?

The committee is expected to reconvene at 9 a.m. ET Thursday.

If the committee passes the resolution Thursday to send the articles of impeachment to the full House, a vote to impeach Trump will likely take place next week.

It takes a simple majority vote of members of the Judiciary Committee to move the articles to the House floor for a full vote.

The Democrats have a 24-17 majority in the committee. The vote is expected to fall along party lines.

Follow us here for live updates on Thursday as the committee debates the articles of impeachment and moves to a vote.

[Summary]

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The Latest News Headlines

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The school also denied the allegations that bullying had been reported to administrators by the girl or her family. “We have concluded our internal investigation to the allegations of bullying which led to this senseless death. There have been no findings of any reports of bullying by either the student or family,” a Dec. 11, 2018, statement from the school district said, according to the Tuscaloosa News. “The findings of this internal investigation are consistent with the results of the investigation of the Linden Police Department at this point in time.” McKenzie’s family begged police to reopen the investigation. Her mother and grandmother are adamant that the bullying was reported to school officials multiple times. “Her case deserves a second look,” her weeping mother, Jasmine Adams, said at a news conference last January, according to WBRC in Birmingham. “There are things that could have been missed on the first go-round. And I just feel she deserves a second look at her case.” Hundreds of mourners attended the girl’s funeral, which was held in the gymnasium of her school. According to the News, a wreath of flowers spelling out “You are loved, little one” stood near her white casket. McKenzie, who family members said hoped to be a scientist when she grew up, wore a silver tiara as she was laid to rest. McKenzie’s mother and grandmother, Janice Adams, filed Thursday’s lawsuit on behalf of the girl, whose death made national headlines. Named in the lawsuit are the school, the Demopolis school system, Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff, then-U.S. Jones principal Tori Infinger, then-assistant principal Tracy Stewart and fourth-grade teacher Gloria Mims. Infinger resigned in April 2019, according to the Demopolis Times. It was not immediately clear Friday where Stewart is currently employed, but Mims remains listed as a teacher on the U.S. Jones website. “The Demopolis City Board of Education has only recently learned of a lawsuit filed against them on behalf of McKenzie Adams,” the school system’s attorney, Alex Braswell, said in a statement obtained by WSFA in Montgomery. “While we are not permitted to discuss pending litigation, the Demopolis Board of Education can say that we look forward to defending this case and dispelling the allegations made therein.” ‘Tell it to the wall because I do not want to hear it’ The lawsuit, which seeks compensatory and punitive damages, alleges that McKenzie, who was enrolled at U.S. Jones Elementary for the 2018-2019 school year, was “targeted and taunted” by a white 9-year-old in her class, who called her the N-word and an “ugly a** bit**.” The abuse took place both in the classroom and in the school gym, her family claims. “According to information and belief, on Oct. 24, 2018, (the boy) passed a note to McKenzie in which he called her a “bit**” while in the classroom of defendant Mims,” the lawsuit states. He also used sexually explicit terms in the note. The Adams family believes the abuse stemmed from the fact that McKenzie went to and from school with a white friend and the friend’s mother. McKenzie wrote in her diary Nov. 5, 2018, that two boys at school had been bullying her, the suit alleges. “Upon information and belief, on the date of her death, Dec. 3, 2018, (the boy) told McKenzie to kill herself, told her that she was better off dead, and instructed her on the manner to take her own life,” the lawsuit says. McKenzie’s mother and grandmother say Mims, who was McKenzie’s math teacher at the time of her death, was aware but “deliberately indifferent” to the bullying taking place. Janice Adams, the girl’s grandmother, attempted in August 2018 to set up a meeting with Mims to discuss the ongoing abuse. “Plaintiff Janice Adams never received a return call from Mims,” the suit states. She tried again in September to set up a meeting to discuss the abuse and what it was doing to McKenzie’s “state of mind.” “On Oct. 1, 2018, she received a generic notice that there was no need for a parent-teacher conference,” the lawsuit says. Progress reports came out that month, and McKenzie’s report indicated she was failing math, the class Mims taught. Ordinarily, her family told media outlets, McKenzie excelled in math. “Plaintiff Janice Adams was aware that McKenzie was struggling in the course due to emotional challenges resulting from the bullying and harassment that McKenzie was experiencing in her class,” the complaint said. “Concerned about McKenzie’s state of mind, plaintiff Janice Adams went to Mims’ classroom on Oct. 12, 2018, to request a meeting with Mims. “At that time, Plaintiff Janice Adams identified (the alleged bully), informed Mims that McKenzie was being bullied by him, and asked that the school address the bullying. Plaintiff Janice Adams left her contact information for a follow-up meeting. Mims failed to call her back.” The lawsuit states that Infinger was present for the meeting and was made aware of the supposed bullying going on in Mims’ classroom. Janice Adams claims the principal failed to act. On Oct. 24, Mims obtained the harassing note the boy passed McKenzie in class. Mims contacted the girl’s grandmother and told her that, instead of disciplining the boy, McKenzie would be disciplined for responding to the bullying, the lawsuit states. Talking to law enforcement officials later, Mims admitted that there were two boys, including the one indicated in the lawsuit, who “bothered” everyone in the class, the court document says. Mims told police the boy was “often jumping around and striking other children.” She called him a “clown” and said the boy was always in trouble. Despite his behavior, the lawsuit alleges, no action was taken to discipline the boy for his harassment of McKenzie. McKenzie complained to the teacher multiple times about the bullying. “Upon information and belief, on numerous occasions, Mims instructed McKenzie to ‘tell it to the wall because I do not want to hear it,’” the lawsuit states. Read the entire federal lawsuit filed on behalf of McKenzie Adams below.  The lawsuit alleges that Mims admitted to law enforcement that she was aware that the boy was engaged in conduct defined as bullying by Demopolis City Schools, that he specifically targeted McKenzie and that McKenzie’s family was concerned about the emotional impact the bullying had on the girl. “Upon information and belief, Mims was aware that one risk factor for suicidal ideation was bullying,” the suit says. The complaint states that Mims violated school and district policy by failing to notify Infinger, the principal, or the central office of the first instance of bullying. She also failed to inform them of the continual bullying and failed to take action on her own to stop the harassment, the document says. “Defendant’s deliberate indifference created a dangerous environment and barred McKenzie’s access to a safe learning environment. As the direct result of Mims’ conduct, McKenzie committed suicide,” the lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit also blames Infinger’s lack of action for the girl’s death. It states she had actual knowledge of the behavior toward McKenzie and failed to train teachers and administrators on gender- and race-specific bullying. Stewart is named in the lawsuit because McKenzie’s family alleges that Mims gave the harassing note of Oct. 24, 2018, to the assistant principal and she did nothing to stop the bullying. “Stewart contacted McKenzie’s family on Oct. 25, 2018, regarding the note,” the lawsuit states. “At that time, plaintiff Janice Adams informed Stewart that McKenzie was being bullied and had been bullied since the commencement of the school year.” Stewart informed Adams that McKenzie would be punished for responding to the note. It was not clear in the filing what the girl’s response was. “Following the phone call with plaintiff Janice Adams, Stewart spoke on a three-way phone call with plaintiff Janice Adams and McKenzie’s mother, plaintiff Jasmine Adams, to discuss McKenzie’s discipline regarding the note,” according to the lawsuit. “Plaintiff Jasmine Adams expressed concern about the bullying, the harassment and the fact that McKenzie was being disciplined by U.S. Jones.” The distraught mother informed Stewart that she planned to contact the State Department about the persistent bullying and harassment. “Stewart asked plaintiff Jasmine Adams not to contact the State Department and stated that U.S. Jones would handle the matter,” the suit says. “However, U.S. Jones did not handle the matter.” The lawsuit alleges that the school system did not adhere to state and federal anti-bullying measures. It claims that all the defendants named in the complaint had participated in the Jason Flatt Suicide Prevention Program, a program by The Jason Foundation designed to provide professional development for teachers and youth workers so they can better identify children at risk for suicide. The foundation was created in 1997 by Clark Flatt after his 16-year-old son, Jason Flatt, died by suicide. The lawsuit also claims the school and district failed to comply with the Jamari Terrell Williams Bullying Prevention Act, which AL.com reported was enacted to strengthen the state’s 2009 anti-harassment law. The act requires schools to define, control, report and stop bullying. The act is named after 10-year-old Jamari Williams, a gifted Montgomery dancer and honor roll student who took his own life Oct. 11, 2017, after being bullied for “being different,” according to the website for a foundation set up in his name. The federal lawsuit in McKenzie’s death accuses the district of violating Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits harassment based on gender, as well as Title VI, which prohibits discrimination based on race. The lawsuit also accuses the school system of denying Adams equal protection under the 14th Amendment. It asks for compensatory damages “in an amount that will fully compensate McKenzie and her family for all they suffered” and such punitive damages that would “properly punish them for the constitutional, statutory and common law violations perpetrated upon McKenzie as alleged herein, in an amount that will serve as a deterrent to defendants and others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.” Since McKenzie’s death, her aunt, Eddwina Harris, has been working to kickstart an anti-bullying organization called the McKenzie Foundation. A GoFundMe page set up to collect donations has raised $12,830 of its $20,000 goal. 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