American history is happening in the House of Representatives. The nation's 45th president is on track to become only the third commander in chief to be impeached as the House takes up charges that President Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress in pressuring Ukraine to investigate political rivals and refusing to cooperate with the ensuing congressional probe, reports the AP. Right around noon, the House passed the rule that will govern the six hours of debate scheduled for today; roughly 15 minutes later, Nancy Pelosi opened the debate. A final vote is expected to happen after 8pm. Coverage and standout lines:
- "Say a PRAYER!" tweeted the president early this morning. "Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG! A terrible Thing. Read the Transcripts. This should never happen to another President again."
- Among Pelosi's comments as debate began: "This morning and every morning when we come together, members rise and up and pledge allegiance to the flag. ... Let us recall what that pledge says: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, the republic for which it stands. ... The republic for which it stands is what we are here to talk about today. A republic, if we can keep it."
- One more line from Pelosi: "It is a matter of fact that the President is an ongoing threat to our national security and the integrity of our elections, the basis of our democracy."
- From GOP Rep. Doug Collins, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, per CNN: "I will fight this on process, which has been deplorable to use a word of the majority. It has been awful. We don't care about rules because the chairman gets to determine what is relevant. Wow, that's pretty good, let the accuser determine what is relevant to the one being accused. The people of America see through this. The people of America understand due process and they understand when it is being trampled in the people's house."