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House committee nears vote on impeachment articles

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 13, 2019 - Duration: 02:04s

House committee nears vote on impeachment articles

U.S. lawmakers moved closer on Thursday to impeaching Republican President Donald Trump, as members of a House of Representatives committee neared a vote to approve formal charges and send articles of impeachment to the full House for a final vote next week.

Tamara Lindstrom reports.

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House committee nears vote on impeachment articles

U.S. lawmakers moved closer to impeaching Republican President Donald Trump, as members of a House of Representatives committee debated formal charges in a marathon session that began Wednesday night and lasted all day Thursday.

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to approve two articles of impeachment, setting up a vote by the Democratic-controlled House next week that is expected to make Trump the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.

Trump is charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

If the house votes to impeach, he would then go on trial in the Senate.

The Republican-led chamber is unlikely to vote to find the president guilty and remove him from office.

Republicans on the Judiciary panel repeatedly complained about the procedures followed by Democrats in the impeachment inquiry, and said Democrats had overplayed their hand in a desperate attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Republican Matt Gaetz - (SOUNDBITE)(English) REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE MATT GAETZ, SAYING: "This notion of abuse of power is the lowest of low-energy impeachment theories." Democrats accuse Trump of abusing his power by trying to force Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and of obstructing Congress when lawmakers tried to look into the matter.

Democrat Pramila Jayapal chided Republicans for their loyalty to Trump.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE PRAMILA JAYAPAL.

SAYING: "Is anyone of my colleagues willing to say that it is ever okay for a president of the united states of America to invite foreign interference in our elections?" Trump has denied wrongdoing and condemned the impeachment inquiry as a hoax.

Much of the impeachment focus has been on a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Biden and his son Hunter who was on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

Trump also instructed current and former members of his administration not to testify or produce documents, leading senior officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to defy House subpoenas.

Democrats say that behavior by Trump constitutes obstruction of Congress.

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