The U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines on Friday morning in support of two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, sending the issue to the House floor for a historic vote next week.
After Democrats had recessed the hearing late on Thursday night, lawmakers reconvened for two quick votes on impeachment articles dealing with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
“Mr. Chairman, there are 23 ayes and 17 noes,” the committee clerk said twice, as Democrats moved in rapid fire fashion to report the impeachment articles to the full House.
Republicans denounced the outcome.
You don't get to remove a President because you don't like him,” said Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA). “They did not produce a scintilla of evidence to support a charge of impeachment.”
“This is really a travesty for America and it’s really tearing America apart,” said Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), who called the effort a 'railroad job.'
“It was a witch hunt,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).
The President used his office for his private benefit. He jeopardized our national security, and elections. He covered it up.
Democrats said the case for action was simple.
“The President used his office for his private benefit. He jeopardized our national security, and elections. He covered it up,” said Rep. Val Demings (D-FL).
“Today is a solemn and said day,” said House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY). “The House will act expeditiously.”
The committee vote sends the issue to the full House, where a vote is expected next week.
If the House votes to impeach, the Senate would be required to hold a historic impeachment trial, which is expected to start in January.
President Trump would be the third President subjected to such a trial under the Constitution, joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
As for the President, his Press Secretary joined GOP lawmakers in ridiculing the impeachment effort.
“This desperate charade of an impeachment inquiry in the House Judiciary Committee has reached its shameful end,” Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a written statement.
“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,” she added.
A Senate impeachment trial is expected to start in January.