WATCH LIVE: Judiciary panel debates Trump impeachment, moves toward vote

Impeachment Inquiry

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Judiciary Committee opened a marathon session Thursday as the sharply partisan panel took the first steps toward voting on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

Democrats and Republicans launched the two day-session with a lively hearing late Wednesday at the Capitol, delivering sharp, poignant and, at times, personal arguments for and against impeachment. Both sides appealed to Americans’ sense of history — Democrats describing a strong sense of duty to stop what one called the president’s “constitutional crime spree” and Republicans decrying the “hot garbage’’ impeachment and what it means for the future of the country.

The committee is considering two articles of impeachment introduced by Democrats. They charge Trump with abuse of power for asking Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden while withholding aid as leverage and with obstruction of Congress for stonewalling the House’s investigation.

Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island asked Republicans standing by Trump to “wake up” and honor their oath of office. Republican Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana responded with his own request to “put your country over party.” Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., shared his views in English and Spanish.

One Democrat, Rep. Val Demings of Florida, told the panel that, as a descendant of slaves and now a member of Congress, she has faith in America because it is “government of the people” and in this country “nobody is above the law.” Freshman Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia emotionally talked about losing her son to gun violence and said that while impeachment was not why she came to Washington, she wants to “fight for an America that my son Jordan would be proud of.”

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said Democrats are impeaching because “they don’t like us” and read out a long list of Trump’s accomplishments.

“It’s not just because they don’t like the president, they don’t like us,” Jordan added. “They don’t like the 63 million people who voted for this president, all of us in flyover country, all of us common folk in Ohio, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Texas.”

The committee is considering two articles of impeachment introduced by Democrats. They charge Trump with abuse of power for asking Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden while withholding aid as leverage and with obstruction of Congress for stonewalling the House’s investigation.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories