Judiciary Committee makes impeachment a reality
After nearly a month of hearings and contentious debate, the Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee moved to approve articles impeachment of President Trump, moving the impeachment process into full gear. The votes Friday fell along party lines, passing 23 to 17.
“Today is a solemn and sad day. For the third time in a little over a century and a half, the House Judiciary Committee has voted articles of impeachment against the president — for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The House will act expeditiously,” Nadler said in a brief statement to reporters after the vote.
The full House of Representatives will move to vote on the articles — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — sometime next week, making it all but certain that Mr. Trump will become the third U.S. president in history to be impeached.
The White House slammed the move by the House panel, calling it a “desperate charade of an impeachment inquiry.”
“The President looks forward to receiving in the Senate the fair treatment and due process which continues to be disgracefully denied to him by the House,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
The committee passed the procedural amendment that precedes the final vote on the two articles shortly before midnight on Thursday by a voice vote.
Ranking Member Doug Collins condemned the postponement as inappropriate” on Thursday evening, and argued that Democrats only moved the vote to get greater media attention.
“The chairman’s integrity is gone,” Collins told reporters after the meeting. “Words cannot describe how inappropriate this was.”
Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who is a member of the Judiciary Committee, argued Friday morning that “the American people deserve an impeachment vote in the light of day.”
While the White House continues to play defense against the Democratic caucus, they appeared to give him a small win this week with the announcement of a tentative deal on the United States Mexico Canada (USMCA) trade agreement.
The trade agreement, signed by the leaders of those countries last year but not yet approved by Congress, is a revamp of NAFTA and a fulfillment of a key campaign promise by the president who has vowed to take down the long-held trade pact during his tenure in office.
On top of the achievement for Mr. Trump and the Democrats — the White Housethat the United States and China have agreed on a trade agreement in principle after months of back-and-forth retaliatory tariffs. The “Phase One” trade deal requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange, according to White House negotiators.
And as part of the U.S.-China trade deal, the White House will leave 25% tariffs on $250 billion in imports in place, while cutting some existing tariff rates to 7.5%. The pact still requires a final signature from key administration officials.
While it’s yet to be seen if the administration will comply with Congressional budget negotiators in order to avert a government shutdown next week, the trade successes signal another win for the administration that Mr. Trump will hail victory on just weeks before the holiday break.
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CBS News’ Richard Escobedo contributed