Articles of Impeachment — H. Res. 755 (Agreed to by a Roll Call Vote of 23 Ayes and 17 Nos)

Dec. 12, 2019 - U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) presides over mark up of H. Res. 755.

House Judiciary Committee

Dec. 10, 2019

Wednesday: Judiciary Committee to Markup Articles of Impeachment Against President Donald J. Trump

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) announced that on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 and Thursday, December 12, 2019 the House Judiciary Committee will markup H.Res. 755, Articles of Impeachment Against President Donald J. Trump.

The full text of the markup notice can be found here


Date:               Wednesday, December 11, 2019
                         Thursday, December 12, 2019

Time:              7:00 p.m. EST
                         9:00 a.m. EST

Location:        1100 Longworth House Office Building
                         Washington D.C.

Livestream:    The House Judiciary Committee markup will stream live here.


Chairman Jerrold Nadler

Dec 11, 2019

Chairman Nadler Opening Statement for the Markup of Articles of Impeachment Against President Donald J. Trump

Washington, D.C. –Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) delivered the following opening statement during the markup of H.Res. 755, Articles of Impeachment Against President Donald J. Trump:

"Good evening Ranking Member Collins, and distinguished Members of this Committee.

"Tonight, we begin consideration of two articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump.

"The first article charges that the President used the powers of his public office to demand that a foreign government attack his political rivals. 

"The second article charges that the President obstructed the congressional investigation into his conduct.  Other Presidents have resisted congressional oversight, but President Trump’s stonewall was complete, absolute, and without precedent in American history.

"Taken together, the two articles charge President Trump with placing his private, political interests above our national security, above our free and fair elections, and above our ability to hold public officials accountable.

"This Committee now owes it to the American people to give these articles close attention, and to describe their factual basis, meaning, and importance. 

"I believe that three questions should frame our debate. 

"First, does the evidence show clearly that the President committed these acts? 

"Second, do they rise to the level of impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors?

"Third, what are the consequences for our national security, for the integrity of our elections, and for our country if we fail to act?

"To the first question, there can be no serious debate about what President Trump did. 

"On July 25 of this year, when he spoke by telephone to President Zelensky of Ukraine, President Trump had the upper hand.  Ukraine had been invaded by Russia.  Zelensky had only recently been elected.  He badly needed our help.  He needed it in the form of military aid already appropriated by Congress because of our national security interests in Ukraine.  And he needed help in the form of an Oval Office meeting, so he could show the world that the United States stands with him against Russian aggression.

"President Trump should have been focused on America’s national security and on the interests of the American people on that call.

"Instead, he completely ignored them to push his own personal, political interests.

"President Trump asked for a favor.  He wanted Ukraine to announce two bogus investigations: one into former Vice President Biden, his leading opponent in the 2020 election; and another to advance a conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, attacked our elections in 2016.

"These were not legitimate requests.  Neither was supported by the evidence.  One investigation was designed to help President Trump conceal the truth about the 2016 election.  The other was designed to help him gain an advantage in the 2020 campaign.  Both were divorced from reality—and from official U.S. policy.

"The evidence proves that these requests were not related to any real interest in rooting out corruption.  President Trump eagerly does business with corrupt governments every day. 

"The evidence shows that President Trump did not care if real investigations took place.  A public announcement that the government of Ukraine was investigating his rivals would have been enough for him to release the aid, whether or not an actual investigation ever took place.

"After the call, President Trump ratcheted up the pressure.  He dangled the offer of an Oval Office meeting.  He withheld $391 million in military aid.  His personal lawyer traveled to push the Ukrainians directly.  The President deployed other agents, including outside the official channels of diplomacy, to make his desires clear.

"By September, President Zelensky was ready to comply, and to announce the two fake investigations.  Then the scandal broke into the open.  Caught in the act, the President was forced to release the aid. 

"When the House of Representatives opened an inquiry into the President’s actions, President Trump did everything in his power to obstruct the investigation.  He declared across-the-board resistance.  He ordered every official in the federal government to defy all subpoenas related to the inquiry.  At his command, the Administration also refused to produce a single document related to the inquiry.  Not one.

"To put this obstruction into context, during the Watergate hearings, President Nixon turned over recordings of his conversations in the Oval Office; later, President Clinton handed over his DNA. 

"President Trump’s obstruction was, by contrast, absolute.

"Those are the facts.  They are overwhelming.  There is no denying them.

"Having reviewed the evidence, we come to our second question:  is the President’s proven conduct impeachable?

"The answer is simple: absolutely.

"Under Article I, the President can be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. 

"The highest of high crimes is abuse of power.  It occurs when a President uses his official powers to serve his own personal, selfish interests at the expense of the public good.  To the founding generation that had fought a king and won our freedom, it was a specific, well-defined offense. 

"The first article of impeachment charges President Trump with abuse of power.  The article describes President Trump’s conduct and lays out two aggravating factors that we must consider:  in pressuring Ukraine for a personal favor, President Trump both betrayed our national security and attempted to corrupt our elections. 

"When the President weakens an ally who advances American security interests by fighting an American adversary, the President weakens America. 

"And when the President demands that a foreign government investigate his domestic political rivals, he corrupts our elections.  To the Founders, this kind of corruption was especially pernicious.  Free and fair elections are the bedrock of our democracy. 

"If our elections are corrupt, everything is corrupt. 

"The President faces a second article of impeachment for his ongoing efforts to obstruct a lawful investigation of his conduct.  We have never, in the history of our nation, seen a President categorically defy Congress in this manner. 

"If the President can first abuse his power and then stonewall all congressional requests for information, Congress cannot fulfill its duty to act as a check and balance against the Executive—and the President becomes a dictator.

"Later tonight, you will hear more about both articles—and how they describe a pattern of behavior that President Trump seems determined to repeat, again and again.  My colleagues will also address various procedural objections that have been raised in the President’s defense.

"But there is one of those objections that I wish to address right away.  Some ask, why not take more time?  Why is this necessary now?  Why not let the next election handle it?

"This brings us to the third and final question: what is the risk if we do not act?

"Over the past 94 days since the House investigation began—indeed, over the past three years—one indisputable truth has emerged: if we do not respond to President Trump’s abuses of power, the abuses will continue.

"We cannot rely on an election to solve our problems when the President threatens the very integrity of that election.  Nor can we sit on our hands while the President undermines our national security—and while he allows his personal interests and the interests of our adversary Russia to advance.

"The President’s personal lawyer was in Ukraine again just last week.

"That was not three years ago.  That was not three months ago.  That was Saturday.  President Trump’s continuing abuses of power jeopardize our security and our elections.  The threat is urgent.  If we do not act—now—what happens next will be our responsibility as well as his.

"I will close with a word to my Republican colleagues.  I know you.  I have worked with many of you for years.  I consider you to be good and decent public servants. 

"I know this moment must be difficult, but you still have a choice. 

"I hope every member of this Committee will withstand the political pressures of the moment.  I hope that none of us attempt to justify behavior that we know in our heart is wrong.  I hope that we are able to work together to hold this President—or any President—accountable for breaking his most basic obligations to the country and to its citizens.

"And while you think about that choice, please keep in mind that—one way or the other—President Trump will not be president forever. 

"When his time has passed, when his grip on our politics is gone, when our country returns, as surely it will, to calmer times and stronger leadership, history will look back on our actions here today.  How would you be remembered?

"We have each taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  I hope to be remembered for honoring that oath.  I hope you feel the same.

"And so, with a heavy heart but clear in my duty to our country, I support these articles of impeachment.  I urge my colleagues to support them as well. 

"I yield back the balance of my time."

Ranking Member Doug Collins
Dec. 11, 2019

Collins statement on articles of impeachment markup

“Democrats lied about the criteria for this impeachment.”

“Democrats don’t have the evidence to allege an actual crime against this president — so instead, they resort to this vague ‘abuse of power’ article.”

“If this investigation has shown anything, it’s that Democrats are the ones abusing their power.”

WASHINGTON — Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, gave the following opening statement at today’s markup of H. Res. 755, articles of impeachment.
Below are the remarks as prepared.

Ranking Member Collins: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Well, here we are — looking at articles of impeachment we always knew were coming.

The moment we learned Democrats would hold the House majority in the 116th Congress, it was inevitable we would be here, marking up articles of impeachment against President Trump.

I thought we’d be somewhere else—namely, the Judiciary Committee hearing room, where so much history has happened. The Nixon and Clinton impeachment proceedings, for example.

The speaker, however, decided it was more important to pack in as many cameras as possible. This impeachment process has trampled on the time-honored precedents and traditions of the House, so I suppose it’s fitting we’re not besmirching our historic Judiciary hearing room with this.

Regardless, for this committee, this day was inevitable. That is because, for House Democrats, the conclusion was never in doubt.

Since the day President Trump was elected, Democrats have engaged in a crusade to impeach him, and the facts really do not matter.

On January 30, 2017 — eleven days into the Trump Administration — attorney Mark Zaid tweeted, the “coup has started.” Mr. Zaid, incidentally, is the attorney representing the whistleblower who initiated this “inquiry.”

On January 4, 2019, our colleague Rashida Tlaib said, “We’re going to impeach the M-F-er.” That’s your modern Democratic Party — always keeping it classy.

In May 2019, our colleague Al Green infamously stated, “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected.”

On November 18, 2019, Speaker Pelosi told the entire Democrat Caucus that it would be “dangerous” to leave it to American voters to determine whether President Trump stays in office.

That, in a nutshell, is why we are here.

For Democrats, it has been and will always be, to paraphrase Lewis Carroll, “sentence first, verdict later.”

The only thing Democrats didn’t have was the facts to support that verdict, and, today, they still don’t have the facts.

The chairman recently stated that a jury, upon reviewing the so-called “facts” compiled in this report, would convict “in three minutes flat.”

Convict of what? On what evidence? The truth is a judge would grant a motion to dismiss in less than three minutes flat. There is no crime alleged anywhere in the articles we are marking up today.

There’s no bribery — that’s not one of the articles.

It’s well-established that Democrats, despite their newfound commitment to “the intent of the Framers,” have completely misunderstood the Constitution’s meaning. Professor Turley explained that during the hearing we had last week. It’s ok, my friends — you’re new to this. Mistakes happen when you’re learning.

Is there evidence of the crime of obstruction of justice? No, and that’s not one of the articles either. Even though Judiciary Democrats, led by Chairman Nadler, wasted nine months on their “investigations” into this president, not a single thing from that nine months of investigation made it into the articles.

I’m sorry, but that’s embarrassing. Nine months of work, straight out the window.

I suppose the chairman meant a jury would convict the president of “abuse of power” or “obstruction of Congress.” Again, last time I checked, those aren’t crimes, at least not in the way they are presented in these articles. I’d thought the Judiciary Committee Chairman, with jurisdiction over Title 18, might realize that.

Frankly, it’s unclear what those terms even mean. There’s no legal standard I’m aware of for measuring when someone has abused his or her power. It’s a subjective concept, but, to Democrats, it’s happened.

This is the best they’ve got, and it’s consistent with their approach to this entire so-called “impeachment inquiry”: Conclusions first, investigations second, and facts last.

So here we sit. You know what this is really about? It’s not about so-called abuse of power, or so-called obstruction of Congress. It’s about what I like to call the Big Lie.

What’s the Big Lie? It’s the one Democrats have told the American people for the last three years.

The Big Lie is that the ends justify the means.

The Big Lie is that a sham impeachment is okay because the threat is so great.

The Big Lie is that political expedience is honorable and justifiable. History has shown that to be untrue and dangerous.

The Big Lie is that Adam Schiff had evidence “in plain sight” that President Trump colluded with Russia. Special Counsel Mueller’s report debunked that lie, but Democrats continue spreading this lie.

The Big Lie is that the evidence for impeachment is “overwhelming and uncontested,” and “the facts are undisputed,” ignoring the fact that nearly every elected Republican, and millions of Americans, dispute Schiff’s “findings.”

Before that, of course, Democrats lied about Chairman Schiff’s contact with the whistleblower and Congress’s duty to talk to him or her.

Democrats lied about the criteria for this impeachment.

Speaker Pelosi said in March the House would not move forward with impeachment unless it was “compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan.”

Well, it’s not bipartisan. In fact, you’re losing Democrats, not gaining Republicans. There are reports that moderate Democrats are extremely nervous about voting to impeach the president on this pathetic record. They should be.

Let’s focus on these so-called “articles of impeachment” for a moment.

Article I charges the president with “abuse of power.” That’s funny. I’ve already discussed how Democrats don’t have the evidence to allege an actual crime against this president — so instead, they resort to this vague “abuse of power” article.

If this investigation has shown anything, it’s that Democrats are the ones abusing their power.

Democrats ignored or blocked the admission of exculpatory evidence that doesn’t fit the narrative
fabricated by Chairman Schiff and Speaker Pelosi.

Democrats threatened witnesses that, if they didn’t comply, it would be used against them and the president.

Democrats instructed witnesses not to respond to relevant lines of questioning from Republicans.
Democrats, led by Chairman Schiff, cherry-picked and leaked information favorable to them, while suppressing information helpful to the president.

I could go on. The abuses of power have been by Democrats, not the president. In fact:

The president did not commit any crimes.

The president had a longstanding skepticism of foreign aid and a deeply-held belief that Ukraine was corrupt, and not a good destination for American taxpayer dollars.

The president was protecting taxpayer dollars from going to a corrupt nation because “it’s as good as kissing it goodbye.”

The president released the aid only after several people, including Vice President Pence and Senator Ron Johnson, assured him Ukraine was taking meaningful steps to address corruption.

After a 55-day pause, Ukraine received the aid and a meeting with President Trump, and never opened an investigation.

The second article is “Obstruction of Congress.” Now, this really strains credulity. At our hearing earlier this week, my friend Congresswoman Lofgren tried to equate the Clinton impeachment investigation with this one.

She said that, even though this impeachment had proceeded from the opening of the investigation to the presentations of evidence in a mere 76 days, that was fine because the Clinton impeachment took 73 days.

Those 73 days, however, were preceded by four years and 35 days of investigative work performed by the independent counsel. No stone was left unturned in the Clinton impeachment.

That did not happen here — not even close.

Why? Because House Democrats have been ordered to impeach the president before Christmas, and more than a half-dozen Democrat senators are running for president and don’t want to be in Washington when they are hoping to be in Iowa.

So here we are. Democrats have moved this “impeachment inquiry” at breakneck speed. They have utterly failed to engage in the time-honored accommodations process. They have instead lurched directly to impeachment.

Democrats do not recognize that the facts do not align with their claims of obstruction.

As Professor Turley told us, the president has legitimate constitutional privileges, and it is for the courts to determine the contours of these privileges.

The White House released two call transcripts to the public for review during this process.

The president said, “Go tell the truth,” when Ambassador Sondland told the president he was asked to testify before Congress.

Democrats actually engaged in a campaign of intimidation to prevent witnesses from providing testimony to the Intelligence Committee.

If Democrats really cared about any of this, they would use the courts to validate their claims, but Chairman Schiff and Speaker Pelosi haven’t.

Chairman Nadler has, of course, but his efforts don’t matter for the larger impeachment push.

So again, what’s the Big Lie? It is that the central allegations of the Democrats’ case against the president are false. The president’s conduct was completely lawful and in the best interests of American taxpayers.

The truth is, the president did not abuse his power. The president did not obstruct Congress.

As Professor Turley stated, this rush to impeachment is, instead, Congress’s own “abuse of power.”

The speaker’s case, delivered courtesy of Chairman Schiff alone, is hardly compelling or overwhelming. The facts are in dispute, and the “evidence” relied upon by Democrats is largely unreliable hearsay.

The biggest lie isn’t that the president committed an impeachable offense. That may be the most recognized lie in this impeachment fable, as more than half of Americans now oppose impeaching the president.

The biggest, most dangerous lie is that the president, as an American citizen, is guilty until proven innocent.

Or, that he’s somehow placing himself above the law when he’s acted within the bounds of the law. That is what the Democrats are selling, and it is exclusively for their own political reasons.

The American people, to their credit, aren’t buying it.

Dec. 10, 2019

Chairman Nadler Announces the Introduction of Articles of Impeachment Against President Donald J. Trump

Washington, D.C. –Today, Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and the House Judiciary Committee introduced two articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump for Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. The articles can be found here

"The President abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to help his re-election campaign. For members of Congress this is not a question of fact, because the facts are not seriously contested. It is rather a question of duty. The President’s oath of office appears to mean little to him. But the articles put forward today will give us a chance to show that we will defend the constitution, and that our oath means something to us," said Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Adam Schiff (D-CA).

"The facts are uncontested that the President abused his office and threatened our national security to cheat in the 2020 election—then he obstructed Congress’s exercise of its constitutional impeachment powers. It’s regrettable that the President’s own actions have brought us to this point, and I strongly support Chairman Nadler and my Judiciary Committee colleagues as we take these next solemn steps," said Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Eliot Engel (D-NY).

"We are fulfilling our constitutional duty to hold the president accountable for abusing public office and misusing public funds for his personal, political gain," said Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY).

Below are Chairman Nadler's remarks announcing the introduction of articles of impeachment: 

"Over the last several months, the investigative committees of the House have been engaged in an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s efforts to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 elections—efforts that compromised our national security and threatened the integrity of our elections.  Throughout this inquiry, he has attempted to conceal the evidence from Congress and the American people.

"Our President holds the ultimate public trust.  When he betrays that trust, and puts himself before country, he endangers the Constitution, he endangers our democracy and he endangers our national security.  The Framers prescribed a clear remedy for Presidents who violate their Oath of Office.  That is the power of impeachment.  

"Today, in service to our duty to the Constitution and to our country, the House Committee on the Judiciary is introducing two articles of impeachment charging the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, with committing high Crimes and Misdemeanors.  

"The first article is for Abuse of Power.  It is an impeachable offense for the President to exercise the powers of his public office to obtain an improper personal benefit, while ignoring or injuring the national interest.  

"That is exactly what President Trump did when he solicited and pressured Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 Presidential Election—thus damaging our national security, undermining the integrity of the next election, and violating his oath to the American people.  These actions, moreover, were consistent with President Trump’s previous invitations of foreign interference in our 2016 Presidential election. 

"And when he was caught—when the House investigated and opened an impeachment inquiry—President Trump engaged in unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance of the impeachment inquiry.  

"This gives rise to the second article of impeachment for Obstruction of Congress.  Here, too, we see a familiar pattern in President Trump’s misconduct.  A President who declares himself above accountability, above the American people, and above Congress’s power of impeachment—which is meant to protect against threats to our democratic institutions—is a President who sees himself as above the law. 

"We must be clear: no one, not even the President, is above the law.

"I want to recognize the great contributions of the investigative chairs, particularly Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, the Committee on Oversight and Reform’s former Chairman, the late Elijah Cummings, and its new Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters, and Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, who helped lay the foundation for the articles we are introducing today.  I also want to thank my Judiciary Committee colleagues, who were critical in our work to hold the President accountable and in the drafting of these articles.

"Later this week, the Judiciary Committee will meet to consider these articles of impeachment, and to make a recommendation to the full House of Representatives.  We do not take this action lightly.  But we have taken an oath to defend the Constitution and—unlike President Trump—we understand that our duty, first and foremost, is to protect the Constitution and the interests of the American people.  That is why we must take this solemn step today.

"Elections are the cornerstone of democracy and are foundational to the rule of law.  But the integrity of our next election is at risk from a President who has already sought foreign interference in the 2016 and 2020 elections, and who consistently puts himself above country.  That is why we must act now."


Dec. 9, 2019

Chairman Nadler Sends Letter to Ranking Member Collins Regarding Impeachment Inquiry

Washington, D.C. –Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sent a letter to Ranking Member Doug Collins (D-GA) regarding the Judiciary Minority’s request for witness testimony.  

Below are excerpts from the letter to Ranking Member Collins:  

“With respect to your requests that the Committee obtain testimony from Chairman Schiff as well as '[t]he anonymous whistleblower whose complaint initiated this ‘impeachment inquiry,’' the Committee has previously tabled motions with regard to these matters at its December 4, 2019 hearing, and I see no reason to reconsider those requests. Moreover, the Intelligence Committee report has adduced independent evidence for its conclusions that do not rely upon the whistleblower in any way and Intelligence committee counsel will be testifying as provided for by H. Res. 660, and thus there is no need for Chairman Schiff.” 

“Five of your remaining requests were previously made by Ranking Member Nunes during the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence impeachment proceedings, and were rejected by that Committee…I concur in Chairman Schiff’s assessment and also find that these requests outside of the parameters of the impeachment inquiry…The same is true of your remaining request concerning '[t]he Intelligence Community employee who spoke with Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman about President Trump’s July 25 phone call.' 

“I remain prepared to schedule a meeting of the Committee on December 9, 2019 should you choose to refer to the Committee for decision the question of whether to subpoena any or all of these witnesses…”  

The text of the letter to Ranking Member Collins is available here.