'Sad Day for the Country': House Judiciary Committee Votes to Impeach Trump
On Friday, the House Judiciary Committee voted to approve articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. The articles — for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — both passed on partisan lines, 23-17.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) angrily insisted, "My vote is no." He later asked to check how his vote was recorded. "Mr. Gohmert, you are recorded as no."
"There was an abuse of power at the Department of Justice, there was an abuse of power at the FBI," Gohmert said in remarks after the vote. "This is a sad day for the country."
He added, "America needs to hear from the witnesses and we didn't get to hear from them here. This was a kangaroo court."
The two articles, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, focus on President Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, charging that Trump pressured Zelensky to publicly announce investigations into Hunter Biden — the son of Vice President Joe Biden, who secured a cushy job at a notoriously corrupt Ukrainian gas firm despite having no experience — and into potential Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Democrats have insisted that Trump withheld military funding to Ukraine on the condition of these investigations.
Republicans have countered with many arguments. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) presented a more plausible explanation for the temporary withholding of funds, which were released to Ukraine without an announcement of any investigation. Republicans have warned that impeaching Trump for "abuse of power" with regard to Ukraine would create an extremely broad standard for impeachment, allowing any Congress to impeach any president on what essentially amounts to a policy dispute.
After the vote, Republicans noted that the Founders warned against partisan impeachments focused more on politics than on wrongdoing.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) was the only member of the committee not to vote, and he is absent due to a medical procedure.
The articles of impeachment will move to the full House, with two days to consider them. The House of Representatives is likely to impeach Trump on partisan lines next week.
Before the vote, President Donald Trump again insisted he had done nothing wrong, calling the call with Zelensky "perfect" and touting his administration's accomplishments.
"How do you get Impeached when you have done NOTHING wrong (a perfect call), have created the best economy in the history of our Country, rebuilt our Military, fixed the V.A. (Choice!), cut Taxes & Regs, protected your 2nd A, created Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, and soooo much more? Crazy!" he tweeted.
Watch the video here.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.