The House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment against President Trump on Friday, voting along party lines to uphold the “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” counts the Democrat-controlled committee submitted earlier this week. The articles’ passage sets the stage for a House-wide vote on whether to officially impeach the president, which is expected to take place next week.
Friday morning’s vote followed two days of tense deliberation in the committee, with Democrats continuing to cite evidence collected over weeks of testimony over the Ukraine scandal to paint a portrait of a president who has abused the power of the office, and Republicans largely making procedural arguments while unsuccessfully attempting to amend the articles. A vote was expected to take place at the end of Thursday’s proceedings, but Judiciary Committee Chairman (D-N.Y.) called a recess around 11:00 p.m. ET.
Trump will almost certainly become the third president in U.S. history to be impeached, but not every House Democrat is expected to vote in favor of the articles. Two of them — Reps. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) — voted against authorizing the inquiry, and Van Drew has already said he will not support impeachment. On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that party leaders are expect additional moderate Democrats in swing districts to formally oppose the effort to remove the president from office. Every House Republicans is expected to vote against impeachment.
If and when Trump is impeached, the articles will move to the Senate, which will conduct a trial to determine whether to remove him from office. To do so would require a two-thirds vote. Considering the Senate’s Republican majority has shown few — if any — signs of defying the president, he’ll almost certainly be acquitted of the charges and remain in office.