Dec 7, 2019

House updates its guide for impeachment

President Trump at the 97th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec. 05. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee reassessed what the Constitution considers impeachable offenses on Saturday, two days after Speaker Nancy Pelosi publicly pushed the impeachment inquiry forward.

Why it matters: The committee is in charge of drafting articles of impeachment against the president, unless another specially selected committee is chosen. House rules on impeachment are largely based on precedent — and President Trump's impeachment is the new model.

In its report released Saturday, the committee says the Constitution's framers intended impeachment to be invoked for (1) abuse of power, (2) betrayal of the nation through foreign entanglements, and (3) corruption of office and elections.

  • House Democrats are also taking the position that "attempted" presidential wrongdoing is impeachable. This is notable in light of the House's investigation into why Trump withheld Ukraine's military aid — considering aid did ultimately reach Ukraine.

Between the lines: The Constitution's standards for impeachable offenses like "high crimes and misdemeanors" are not defined within the document — leaving them open to legal analysis.

What else they're saying: The Judicial House majority believes that impeachment was seen as especially necessary by the founders for presidential conduct "corrupting" the U.S. "system of political self-government" — and that concern is focused in two contexts:

  1. The risk a president "would be swayed to prioritize foreign over domestic interests."
  2. The risk that they "would place their personal interest in re-election above our abiding commitment to democracy."

Read the full report:

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Key takeaways from the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment report

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee released its full, 658-page impeachment report early Monday outlining the reasons behind the two articles of impeachment against President Trump to be considered in the House ahead of a vote, expected Wednesday.

He has engaged in a pattern of misconduct that will continue if left unchecked. Accordingly, President Trump should be impeached and removed from office."
— Excerpt from House Judiciary Committee report
Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 16, 2019

House Democrats unveil articles of impeachment against Trump

Nancy Pelosi and top House Democratic committee chairs, Dec. 10. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

What's next: The House Judiciary Committee will mark up the articles on Wednesday and will formally vote on them by the end of this week, setting up a full House vote on impeachment next week before Congress breaks for Christmas recess.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 10, 2019

House Judiciary Committee hears impeachment evidence

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee heard the evidence behind the impeachment inquiry on Monday in a marathon nine-and-a-half hour hearing.

Why it matters: The committee is likely only days away from drafting formal articles of impeachment against President Trump — and this hearing was one of House Democrats' last chances to summarize their case against the president to the public.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 9, 2019