On Air Now

Listen Now


H 65° L 64°
  • cloudy-day
    Current Conditions
    Thunderstorms. H 65° L 64°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    Thunderstorms. H 65° L 64°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 72° L 63°

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00


The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00


The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

3 Indiana judges suspended for drunken brawl at White Castle in which 2 were shot

3 Indiana judges suspended for drunken brawl at White Castle in which 2 were shot

3 judges suspended for drunken brawl at White Castle, 2 were shot

3 Indiana judges suspended for drunken brawl at White Castle in which 2 were shot

Three Indiana circuit judges who were involved in a drunken fight outside an Indianapolis White Castle restaurant in April -- which ended with two of the judges being shot -- have been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court.

Two Clark County Circuit Court judges, Andrew Adams and Bradley Jacobs, and Crawford County Circuit Judge Sabrina Bell were disciplined in the ruling handed down Tuesday. Adams was suspended without pay for 60 days, while Jacobs and Bell were each suspended without pay for 30 days.

The judges engaged in judicial misconduct that was “not merely embarrassing on a personal level; they discredited the entire Indiana judiciary,” the unanimous ruling states.

Indiana Supreme Court
Clark County, Indiana, Circuit Judge Andrew Adams, left, and a colleague, Circuit Judge Bradley Jacobs are pictured. The men were shot early May 1, 2019, during a drunken brawl outside a downtown Indianapolis White Castle restaurant.

3 Indiana judges suspended for drunken brawl at White Castle in which 2 were shot

Photo Credit: Indiana Supreme Court
Clark County, Indiana, Circuit Judge Andrew Adams, left, and a colleague, Circuit Judge Bradley Jacobs are pictured. The men were shot early May 1, 2019, during a drunken brawl outside a downtown Indianapolis White Castle restaurant.

“All three respondents joined in a profane verbal altercation that quickly turned into physical violence and ended in gunfire, and in doing so, gravely undermined public trust in the dignity and decency of Indiana’s judiciary,” the justices ruled.

The suspensions are serious black marks on the judges’ records.

“A suspension from office without pay, regardless of duration, is not a minor sanction,” the ruling states. “Even more than a public reprimand, any such suspension is a significant blemish on a sitting judge’s reputation.”

>> Read more trending news 

The near-deadly incident took place on the night of April 30 after all three judges traveled to Indianapolis to attend the Spring Judicial College the next day, the high court’s opinion states. The Spring Judicial College, initiated in 2000, is a professional development conference for judicial officers from across the state.

After checking into their hotel rooms, Adams, Jacobs and Bell spent the evening socializing and drinking with others attending the conference.

Indiana Courts
Crawford County, Indiana, Circuit Judge Sabrina Bell is pictured. Bell came under fire for her role in a drunken brawl May 1, 2019, outside a downtown Indianapolis White Castle restaurant during which two of her colleagues were shot.

3 Indiana judges suspended for drunken brawl at White Castle in which 2 were shot

Photo Credit: Indiana Courts
Crawford County, Indiana, Circuit Judge Sabrina Bell is pictured. Bell came under fire for her role in a drunken brawl May 1, 2019, outside a downtown Indianapolis White Castle restaurant during which two of her colleagues were shot.

Around 12:30 a.m. on May 1, the trio met up with Clark Circuit Court Magistrate William Dawkins at a local bar, where they kept drinking, the opinion states. They attempted to go to a strip club, identified in charging documents as the Red Garter Gentleman’s Club, around 3 a.m. but found it to be closed, the document says.

That’s when the four judges walked to a nearby White Castle.

As Dawkins went inside the restaurant, Adams, Jacobs and Bell remained in the parking lot, where two strangers, Alfredo Vazquez and Brandon Kaiser, drove by, the ruling says. The men, both of Indianapolis, shouted something out the car window at the group.

“Judge Bell extended her middle finger to Vazquez and Kaiser, who pulled into the White Castle parking lot and exited the vehicle,” the opinion states. “Judge Bell, who was intoxicated, has no memory of the incident but concedes that the security camera video shows her making this gesture.”

The two groups began a heated argument, “making dismissive, mocking, or insolent gestures” toward one another, the document says. At no time did the judges try to leave to avoid the confrontation or de-escalate the situation.

That’s when the fight turned violent, authorities said. Charging documents indicate the judges moved toward Kaiser and Vazquez prior to the fight turning physical.

Adams and Vazquez began punching and kicking one another, while Jacobs and Kaiser wrestled one another on the ground, according to the charging documents.

“At one point, Judge Jacobs had Kaiser contained on the ground. With his fist raised back, Judge Jacobs said, ‘Okay, okay, we’re done, we’re done,’ or ‘This is over. Tell me this is over,’ or words to that effect,” the court ruling states.

Vazquez tried to get Jacobs off of Kaiser, at which point he and Jacobs began tussling, the charging documents say. As Kaiser began to sit up, Adams kicked him in the back.

Kaiser pulled out a gun and opened fire, shooting Adams once in the abdomen and Jacobs twice in the chest, the ruling states.

Indianapolis Metro PD
Three Indiana circuit judges have been suspended without pay in connection with a May 1, 2019, brawl with Brandon Kaiser, left, and Alfredo Vazquez outside an Indianapolis White Castle restaurant that led to two of the judges being shot.

3 Indiana judges suspended for drunken brawl at White Castle in which 2 were shot

Photo Credit: Indianapolis Metro PD
Three Indiana circuit judges have been suspended without pay in connection with a May 1, 2019, brawl with Brandon Kaiser, left, and Alfredo Vazquez outside an Indianapolis White Castle restaurant that led to two of the judges being shot.

Bell immediately called 911, the document says. It states she also attempted to stop the fight prior to the gunfire and sought help from people inside the White Castle by banging on the door.

Adams and Jacobs were rushed to different hospitals, where Adams underwent two emergency surgeries, including a colon resection, the ruling says. Jacobs also underwent two surgeries and remained hospitalized for two weeks.

Adams’ serum blood alcohol level upon admission to the hospital was 0.213, or about 0.157 using whole blood, the justices wrote. Jacob’s serum blood alcohol level was 0.177, or 0.13 using whole blood. Blood serum is the fluid left behind after blood coagulates, or clots.

The legal limit for intoxication in Indiana, like most states, is 0.08.

Bell’s blood alcohol level was not tested, but she was “intoxicated enough that she lacks any memory of the incident,” the ruling states. The judge, who was taken to the police station to give a statement, told investigators she did not remember what she said to Kaiser and Vazquez, or what started the physical fight.

“However, while on the scene, the media videotaped Judge Bell telling police detectives, in an excited state, ‘I feel like this is all my fault’ or words to that effect. Judge Bell does not remember making this statement,” the ruling states.

Footage from RTV6 in Indianapolis appears to show a tearful, obviously distraught Bell telling an investigator, “I feel like this is my fault.” The video shows her pacing and repeatedly running her hands through her hair.

After being told that detectives had video of the incident, Bell told them in a recorded statement that she was afraid she instigated the incident that left her fellow judges seriously injured.

“We’re all very good friends, and they’re very protective of me,” Bell told detectives. “And I don’t know, and I’m afraid that I said something to those two strange men at first, and then they said something back to me. And then I said something and then (Adams and Jacobs) went to defend me.”

She acknowledged getting “mouthy” when she drinks, the documents says.

“I mean, I fully acknowledge that I drink and get mouthy, and I’m fiery and I’m feisty but, if I would have ever thought for a second that they were gonna fight or that that guy had a gun on him, I would never, never,” she said, according to the court.

On May 3, two days after the shooting, police released surveillance footage of the two then-unidentified men with whom the judges had brawled. The footage, broadcast by multiple news stations, shows Bell, Adams and Jacobs standing outside the White Castle as Kaiser and Vazquez pull up in an SUV.

As the two men walk toward the door of the burger restaurant, they appear to stop and turn toward the judges as the verbal sparring begins.

Kaiser, 41, and Vazquez, 23, were arrested four days later, according to The Associated Press. Kaiser initially faced charges of attempted murder, battery, aggravated battery and carrying a handgun without a license.

Vazquez initially faced a charge of assisting a criminal, the AP reported.

A special grand jury on June 28 indicted Adams on two counts of felony battery resulting in moderate injury, four counts of misdemeanor battery and one count of disorderly conduct.

Jacobs was also targeted by the grand jury investigation but ultimately faced no charges. Bell was not under investigation.

Adams was suspended from the bench the day the indictment was handed down. He pleaded guilty on Sept. 9 to a single count of misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury, for kicking Kaiser.

The rest of the charges were dismissed, and he was sentenced to a year in jail, with all but two of those days 

suspended, the ruling states. He was given credit for two days served and spent no time behind bars following the sentencing.

The Indianapolis Star reported at the time that Adams showed remorse during his sentencing hearing, apologizing to his wife and children, as well as to the court, the state judiciary and the State Bar Association.

“This was a regretful situation and an incident that will not happen again,” Adams said in court, according to the Star.

See a video on the case by the Star below.

Marion County Judge William Nelson, who presided over Adams’ criminal case, said it was not an easy task, the newspaper said. Nelson was at the judicial conference in Indianapolis when he learned that Adams and Jacobs had been shot.

“Little did I know I would be sitting here (judging) you,” Nelson said.

Marion County court records show that Kaiser, who is scheduled for trial in January, faces a total of 14 charges, including eight felony charges. The charges include aggravated battery, battery by means of a deadly weapon and carrying a handgun without a license.

Vazquez, who was ultimately charged with seven felony and misdemeanor crimes, took a plea deal and was sentenced Nov. 1 to 180 days of home confinement and a year of probation on one misdemeanor battery count and a probation violation, the Star reported. He was on probation at the time of the fight for a drunken driving conviction.

“I am remorseful. I feel bad,” Vazquez said in court, according to the newspaper.

The state Supreme Court took into account several things when handing down the judges’ suspensions, which were agreed upon by all three judges, according to the ruling. It states that none of the judges had prior disciplinary history, and they accepted responsibility and showed remorse.

All three have seen counselors since the incident and have cooperated fully with the probe into their actions, the ruling states. Bell’s attempts to stop the fight and her immediate actions after the shooting were also taken into account, according to the document.

Read the Indiana Supreme Court decision in its entirety below.

Indiana Supreme Court Ruling by National Content Desk on Scribd

“The purpose of judicial discipline is not primarily to punish a judge, but rather to preserve the integrity of and public confidence in the judicial system and, when necessary, safeguard the bench and public from those who are unfit,” the ruling states.

The News and Tribune in Clark County reported that Adams admitted in a written statement that he had failed to live up to the standards of his position.

“I am fully aware of the embarrassment I have brought to the Indiana judiciary, my family and specifically my community,” Adams said in the statement obtained by the newspaper. “There is not a minute in the day that I don’t think about the significant repercussions my actions have caused.

“I take full responsibility for my actions as they neither met my expectations or the expectations placed upon me as a judicial officer.”

He apologized to both his family and the community.

“I am thankful this matter has come to a resolution and for all the prayers and support as I continue to recover from this incident,” he said. “With God’s grace, I look forward to returning to work and continuing to serve our community. I hope that the community can accept my sincere apology and remorse for my actions.”

Jacobs’ attorney, Larry Wilder, expressed similar sentiments on behalf of his client, stating in a news conference that Jacobs nearly lost everything on May 1.

“Today I submit myself to my family and my community and ask forgiveness for my choices on that day,” Jacobs said in a statement read by Wilder. “I wholeheartedly apologize for my behavior that evening that has embarrassed the Indiana Supreme Court, my fellow judges and all the members of my chosen profession. I cannot offer any excuse for the events of that evening nor do I attempt to offer any excuses for those choices.”

Bell, who the News and Tribune reported represented herself in the proceedings, could not be reached for comment by the newspaper.

Bell, who has served as a circuit judge since 2017, will begin her suspension on Nov. 22 and return to the bench on Dec. 23, the ruling says.

Adams, who took the bench in 2015, has been on interim suspension since his criminal charges were filed. He will return to his position Jan. 13. Jacobs, who was sworn in on the same day as Adams in 2015, will, like Bell, begin his suspension on Nov. 22 and return to the bench on Dec. 23.

Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • The Nassau County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help solving a burglary that ended with 58 firearms being stolen.  Nassau County deputies say on November 8th at around 3:00 AM, the suspects entered the TNT Firearms on SR 200 in Fernandina Beach and then left with 58 firearms.  If you have any information about who these burglary suspects are or where the stolen firearms have ended up, you're urged to call the sheriff's office at (904) 225-5174.  If you want to remain anonymous, you can call First Coast Crimestoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).
  • Virginia prison officials are under fire and the governor has suspended a state policy after a guard overstepped his authority last month and ordered an 8-year-old girl to be strip searched during a visit to her imprisoned father. The Hampton girl’s ordeal took place Nov. 24 when she accompanied her father’s girlfriend on an hourslong trip to Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn, where her father is serving time. The girlfriend, Diamond Peerman, told The Virginian-Pilot that a drug-sniffing dog focused its attention on her and the girl as they entered the prison. Peerman was told she would have to be strip searched, but prison guards initially said the girl would not, Peerman told the Pilot. After consulting with a captain, however, the guards told her the girl would also have to undergo a search. Department of Corrections policy allowed guards to deny visitation to anyone who refused to be searched, the newspaper reported. Peerman said she began crying when she realized refusal to comply would mean the girl could not see her father. She told the girl she would have to be searched as well, she said. The girl asked what a strip search meant. “I told her, ‘That means you have to take all of your clothes off or you’re not going to be able to see your dad,’” Peerman said. “That’s when she started crying.” >> Read more trending news  Prison officials have admitted that the search violated state policy. The guard who ordered the search did not have the authority to do so and is subsequently facing disciplinary action, according to CNN. “The incident is deeply troubling and represents a breach in our protocol,” Lisa Kinney, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Corrections, said in a statement to CNN. “We sincerely apologize to this child and her family.” The violation of policy occurred when the captain required that Peerman sign a consent form allowing the search. Peerman said she explained to prison officials that she was not the girl’s legal guardian, but they demanded she sign the consent form anyway, the Pilot reported. DOC policy requires that a parent or legal guardian sign the consent form, CNN reported. “Our procedure states that only a parent or legal guardian can approve the strip search of a minor; in this case the adult visitor who signed the consent for the minor to be strip searched wasn’t the minor’s parent or legal guardian,” Kinney said in an email to the Pilot. “The staff member who authorized the search of the minor following a K-9 alert didn’t have the authority to do so. We take this matter very seriously and, as mentioned above, will be taking immediate disciplinary action against the person responsible.” Gov. Ralph Northam responded to the incident last week by putting a halt to the strip search of minors visiting state prisons. “I am deeply disturbed by these reports, not just as governor but as a pediatrician and a dad,” Northam wrote. “I’ve directed the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to suspend this policy while the department conducts an immediate investigation and review of their procedures.” Virginia Del. Lee Carter, D-Manassas, also tweeted Friday that he is drafting legislation barring strip searches of anyone under 14 and requiring parental consent for searches of children ages 14 to 17. Northam said Monday that he hasn’t made a final judgment about the outcome for the policy, according to WTVR in Richmond. “I suspect it will be in the area that no minor will be strip-searched in Virginia,' the governor told the news station. Critics, including officials with the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, characterized prison officials’ actions as draconian. “We would characterize that as a highly coercive policy,” Bill Farrar, director of strategic communications for ACLU of Virginia, told the Pilot. The organization said in a statement on its Facebook page that DOC officials’ apology to the girl and her family was insufficient. “No apology could undo the damage done to a child being subjected to the humiliation and trauma of unnecessary strip searches,” the statement said. “No child should ever be subjected to invasive, humiliating, traumatizing strip searches carried out by strangers in order to see their loved one in a state prison,” ACLU officials said. “Those responsible must be held accountable, and the Virginia Department of Corrections' policy must be changed to ensure this never happens again.” Martin F. Horn, executive director of the New York State Sentencing Commission and a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, agreed. “It seems to me the prison had options available to them that were less intrusive and that those would be preferable,” Horn told the newspaper. “Policy or not, there is never a circumstance where a child should be subjected to invasive, traumatizing, humiliating searches by a stranger, whether or not they’re trying to get to a loved one who is incarcerated. That should never happen.” Both Peerman and the girl were required to strip naked, bend over and cough during the search, the Pilot reported. Peerman said afterward, as a female corrections officer handed the girl back her clothes, piece by piece, she asked, “How old are you, sweetheart?” “I just looked at her and I’m like, ‘That’s not even appropriate to be asking her right now,’” Peerman said. “Why would you ask that when she’s naked?” Before they were allowed to visit the girl’s father, Peerman’s car was also searched. No contraband was found either on them or in the vehicle, but prison officials curtailed their visit with the inmate anyway. They were denied a contact visit and were only allowed to visit him through a pane of glass, Peerman told the Pilot. The girl texted her mother immediately after the visit. “Hey, Mom, am so mad. The jail had to strip me with all of my clothes off. This doesn’t make (sense),” the girl wrote in the text, provided to the Pilot by her mother. The woman is not being identified to protect her daughter’s identity. “What? Call me,” the mother wrote back. “OK,” the girl responded. “Did they make you take your pants off?” the woman asked. “Yes. All of my clothes off,” her daughter responded. “Make sure your daddy call my phone,” the mother wrote. “OK.” The woman told the Pilot her daughter was traumatized by the incident. The girl, who suffers from bipolar disorder, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, has missed school since the ordeal. “She’s a minor, she’s a girl. She was traumatized,” her mother told the newspaper. “She gets emotional, she will break down.” The woman said her daughter would no longer be visiting her father at the prison. “Her and her dad have a good relationship because she gets to go see him every weekend,' the mother told the Pilot. 'But, at the same time, she went through something that traumatized her. I’m not sending her back there.” Peerman told the newspaper that the governor’s suspension of the policy is a good thing, but that the search of her boyfriend’s daughter never should have happened. “There’s no reason for them to strip search a child,” she said.
  • As the disappointing season quickly draws to a close, the Jacksonville Jaguars are celebrating DT Calais Campbell by nominating him for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.  The award recognizes the NFL player that best demonstrates outstanding community service and excellence on the field. During Sunday’s game at Oakland, Campbell will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal. “Calais means so much more to the NFL than being a great player on the field each and every Sunday,” said Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone. “He embodies all the traits that make someone a consummate professional, and his passion and love for the game and everything it represents is why he’s a perfect candidate for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. As a tenured veteran, Calais has made an impact everywhere he’s been during his football career, both inside the organizations he’s played for with his teammates, coaches and the staff, as well as in the community with his neighbors. With every second of free time, it seems like he’s always out in the city looking for a way to give back and make a difference. I’m honored to have had the privilege to coach a player and a man like Calais Campbell.”  Campbell and his family formed the CRC Foundation in 2009, named for his late father, Charles. The foundation is committed to the enhancement of the community through the teaching of critical life skills to young people, transforming them into empowered and self-aware leaders of the future.  In NE Florida, Campbell has hosted two editions of Christmas with Calais, a holiday shopping spree for local kids who have completed extra lessons in financial literacy. He has also made semi-weekly visits to Northwestern Middle School as part of his CRC Book Club.  And he is a frequent speaker in schools across NE Florida. To date, Campbell has contributed $20,000 each to Feeding Northeast Florida, the Clara White Mission and the Wounded Warrior Project. The United Way of Northeast Florida will be the recipient of his December gift. 
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation is offering up to $5,000 in reward money as they search for a man accused of sexually assaulting a girl in California. >> Read more trending news  According to an FBI “most wanted” poster, authorities in August issued a federal warrant for Jose Arturo Navarrete Jr., 23, alleging he fled Sacramento County to avoid prosecution for multiple child sex charges, including “four counts of lewd or lascivious act with a child under 14, three counts of sex act with a child 10 years old or younger, and four counts of oral sex with a child 10 years old or younger.” Navarrete stands 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs 172 pounds, the agency said in a Friday news release. The Midland, Texas, native is Hispanic and has black hair and hazel eyes, officials said. Although he was last spotted in Texas, authorities believe Navarrete also might have fled to Arizona, New Mexico or Mexico, the news release said. If you know where Navarrete is, call the FBI’s Sacramento office at 916-746-7000 or submit an anonymous tip online at tips.fbi.gov. Read more here or here.
  • 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]

The Latest News Videos