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Here’s What Happened in the Marathon House Impeachment Showdown with GOP and Dems

12-12-2019
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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, and ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., right, both speaking during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump Thursday. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON - House Democrats say President Trump should be impeached because one, he abused his power, and two, he obstructed Congress.

A call by Republicans to strike the first article -- the abuse of power tipped off Thursday's spirited debate.

"We're also hearing today like we just did...' Oh yes, there were crimes.' Well then, why aren't they in this impeachment document?" asked Rep. Louie Gohmert, (R-Texas) "Because they don't exist."

Republicans were fired up not only because they say the proposed articles of impeachment are baseless, but also because they say Democrats are running roughshod with this process.

"This is a travesty and a sham from day one. I could talk until I'm blue in the face but nobody on the majority cares," said Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) "Facts be damned. They don't care."

"Let us stay true to the facts and let's dispense of these process arguments and get to substance of why we're here today," reminded Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO)

Republicans call article one, the abuse of power assertion, weak and frivolous.

"Article one ignores the truth. It ignores the facts. It ignores what has been laid out to the American people over the last three weeks," noted Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)

 "It is not frivolous and without facts that we proceed...we proceed with facts," said Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (D-Texas)

And Democrats say the fact is the President tried to withhold aid to Ukraine to muscle its president into opening an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden's son, who was on the board of directors for the Ukrainian company Burisma Holdings.

But Republicans say four facts refute that. One, there was no evidence of pressure during the infamous July 25 phone call between President Trump and Zelensky.  Two, they say there was no evidence of conditionality or quid pro quo.  Three, Ukraine never opened an investigation yet still received the aid. And four, Ukraine was not aware of aid being withheld.

"While the President claimed that there was no quid pro quo he made it clear that President Zelensky must publicly announce the two investigations that President Trump discussed on July 25 in the call in order for the security assistance to be lifted," said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). "That's direct evidence."

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