Thursday morning, President Trump challenged House Democrats to impeach him quickly so he could be cleared in the Senate. Soon after, Nancy Pelosi obliged by shifting the proceedings into an important new phase—the House will begin drafting articles of impeachment. Trump responded by saying Democrats want to "impeach me over NOTHING," and warned of the precedent: "This will mean that the beyond important and seldom used act of Impeachment will be used routinely to attack future Presidents," he wrote. "That is not what our Founders had in mind. The good thing is that the Republicans have NEVER been more united. We will win!" Coverage:
- Timeline: Democrats want a vote before Congress breaks for Christmas. A rough guideline, then, suggests the Judiciary Committee will be debating and voting on the articles late next week, reports the New York Times. That would set the stage for a full House vote during the third week of December, per the Washington Post. If the vote goes against Trump, the Senate would begin its trial in the new year.
- Pelosi: Read the full text of her morning announcement via the AP. Later, at her weekly news conference, a reporter asked, "Do you hate the president, Madame Speaker?" per the AP. Pelosi bristled at the question. "Don't mess with me when it comes to words like that," she said, adding that "I don't hate anybody." She said this was all about the Constitution. "As a Catholic, I resent your using the word hate in a sentence that addresses me." But she also made clear she's no admirer of Trump, calling him a "coward" on gun violence, "cruel" in regard to immigrants, and "in denial" about climate change.
- More on that: The reporter was James Rosen from Trump-friendly Sinclair Broadcasting, reports Mediaite. Rosen maintained the question was legit because Republicans have said Democrats' animosity toward Trump is the real driver of impeachment. After the incident, Trump tweeted that Pelosi "just had a nervous fit." Watch the Pelosi-Rosen exchange here.
- Next step: The Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for Monday during which it will hear from Democratic and Republican lawyers for the judiciary and intelligence committees, reports Politico.
- The articles: Democrats are considering articles of impeachment on abuse of power, obstruction of Congress, and obstruction of justice. One big question is whether Democrats will include charges not just from the Ukraine controversy but from the Mueller report.
- No sure thing? At the conservative Hot Air blog, Ed Morrissey writes that while Trump surely doesn't want to be impeached, this development "does finally get Republicans into a place where they can control the narrative and make Democrats pay a steep political price for it." And he's not so sure Pelosi will get the necessary votes: First-term Democrats in Trump-friendly or swing states might not go along, especially because impeachment won't go anywhere in the Senate.
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