Dec 13, 2019

Trump on House vote: "You're trivializing impeachment"

President Trump reacted to the House committee vote on Friday that solidified two articles of impeachment against him, calling it a "horrible" tool to use politically and that the Democrats are "trivializing impeachment."

The big picture: Axios' Margaret Talev and Alayna Treene write that some lawmakers warn that impeaching presidents could become the new normal. Historians and constitutional experts fear further polarization and that the emergency mechanism could lose its taboo.

What Trump is saying:

  • "I think it's a horrible thing to be using the tool of impeachment which is supposed to be used in an emergency."
  • "It's a scam. It's something that shouldn't be allowed. It's a very bad thing for our country. And you're trivializing impeachment. And I tell you what, someday there will be a Democrat president and there will be a Republican House and I suspect they're going to remember it."
  • "It's a very sad thing for our country. It seems to be very good for me politically."

What to watch: The impeachment vote is expected to happen on Wednesday, but isn't official yet.

Go deeper: Read the articles of impeachment against Trump

Go deeper

The normalization of impeachment

Data: Sources, compiled with the help of the House Historian's Office: “A Petition for Presidential Impeachment”; “The House Impeaches Andrew Johnson”; “Origins and Development of the House: Impeachment”; Hinds Precedents, Volume 3; The Age of Impeachment; Congress.gov; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

If the House votes next week to impeach President Trump, some lawmakers warn that impeaching presidents could become the new normal. Historians and constitutional experts say it won't go that far — but they do concede a drift in that direction.

Why it matters: If impeachment loses its taboo to become just another partisan instrument with implications for elections and fundraising, that would weaken its power as an emergency mechanism and further polarize Republicans and Democrats.

  • This is what's happened to government shutdowns, Supreme Court fights and filibusters.
Go deeperArrowDec 13, 2019

House Judiciary Committee approves articles of impeachment against Trump

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — on Friday.

Why it matters: The party-line 23-17 votes, which were delayed after a marathon markup hearing on Thursday lasted until almost midnight, completes the House committees' impeachment work and advances the articles to the House chamber for a full floor vote next week.

Go deeperArrowDec 13, 2019

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