House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) listens next to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler(R), Democrat of New York, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence House Committee on Oversight, speak to announce articles of impeachment for US President Donald Trump during a press conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, December 10, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

House Judiciary Committee approves impeachment of President Trump and sends to House

The House Judiciary Committee voted to approve the articles of impeachment against President Trump Friday morning, after more than 14 hours of heated debate on Thursday. It is now nearly certain that Mr. Trump will become the third U.S. president in history to be impeached.

Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler postponed the final votes on the articles late on Thursday evening, sparking immediate condemnation from Republicans on the committee.

After gaveling in on Friday morning, the committee immediately began voting on the first article, abuse of power. It passed along party lines, 23 to 17. The committee then moved to the second article, obstruction of justice, which also passed 23 to 17.

The articles will now move to the floor for a full House vote next week.

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 called the postponement “inappropriate” on Thursday evening, and argued that Democrats only moved the vote to get greater media attention.

“The chairman’s integrity is gone,” a furious Collins told reporters after the meeting. “Words cannot describe how inappropriate this was.”

However, a senior House Judiciary staffer argued to CBS News that a Friday vote would be in the interest of greater transparency.

Republican Judiciary members have complained about process and transparency, yet apparently wanted to force the Committee to vote on Articles of Impeachment in the dark of night. In the interests of doing our constitutional duty in a transparent way for the American public, the Chairman scheduled the vote of the Articles for 10 a.m. Friday morning,” the staffer said.

Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who is a member of the Judiciary Committee, also made that argument, tweeting on Friday morning that “the American people deserve an impeachment vote in the light of day.”

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