Christianity Today calls for Trump's removal following impeachment; reaction from Kayleigh McEnany, national press secretary for President Trump's re-election campaign, and Scott Bolden, former chair of the D.C. Democratic Party.
The lawyer for House Judiciary Committee Democrats revealed in a Monday court filing that there is a possibility lawmakers could pursue even more articles of impeachment against President Trump — despite having already adopted two of them last week following a grueling, historic and bitterly partisan debate.
The prospect of additional articles — while perhaps unlikely — was floated as part of a court battle over Democrats' bid to compel testimony from former White House Counsel Don McGahn.
Shortly before a 4 p.m. deadline imposed by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the committee counsel filed a brief making their case for why they still want to hear from McGahn, despite having already voted for impeachment.
Democrats originally sought McGahn's testimony in connection with his claims to then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team that Trump wanted him to have Mueller fired. Trump’s critics claimed this request constituted obstruction of justice.
While the Mueller probe never factored into the impeachment articles that were adopted, House Democrats' counsel Douglas Letter argued that McGahn's testimony is still vital — and could even be relevant to "consideration of whether to recommend additional articles of impeachment" against Trump.
“If McGahn’s testimony produces new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the Articles approved by the House, the Committee will proceed accordingly—including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment,” the brief stated, noting that they still have “ongoing impeachment investigations.”
The filing did not detail what potential additional articles could be considered, beyond the already-adopted articles alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Regardless, the brief stated that even if McGahn’s testimony does not lead to new articles of impeachment, it could be used in an upcoming Senate trial — which is on hold pending Speaker Nancy Pelosi transmitting the articles to the chamber — in relation to the obstruction of Congress allegations that Trump is currently facing.
The White House has asserted longstanding executive privilege to bar McGahn from supplying documents and testimony to House investigators back when they were probing the Russia issue, saying internal White House deliberations must remain protected. The case was later tied into impeachment as the House Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., refocused on that inquiry.
In an opposing court filing, the Justice Department claimed Monday that the McGahn case should be dismissed precisely because of its connection to the impeachment process.
"[T]he article of impeachment addressing purported obstruction of Congress relies in part on the judicial proceedings in this very case," the DOJ said in a brief submitted earlier Monday morning.
"Indeed, if this Court now were to resolve the merits question in this case, it would appear to be weighing in on a contested issue in any impeachment trial," the DOJ argued, before concluding that the court "should decline the Committee's request that it enter the fray and instead should dismiss this fraught suit between the political branches for lack of jurisdiction."
Alternatively, the DOJ argued that impeachment eliminates the committee's need for expedited consideration. The committee had previously claimed that "speedy judicial action is needed to avoid hampering the House's impeachment investigation," but the DOJ says this "justification no longer applies," so there is no need for anything to take place prior to the already scheduled Jan. 3 oral arguments.
The committee disagreed, citing the upcoming Senate trial and “ongoing impeachment investigations,” as well as the public’s “significant interest ‘in immediately removing a sitting president whose continuation in office poses a threat to the Nation’s welfare.’”
Both sides also faced late-afternoon deadlines in a separate case where the House Judiciary Committee is seeking the secret grand jury material from Mueller’s investigation. Such material is generally secret, according to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which specify certain exceptions including judicial proceedings.
In that case, DOJ lawyers told the court Monday that the House committee request for Mueller grand jury materials is no longer relevant, as the impeachment articles did not involve the Russia probe.
“Neither article of impeachment adopted by the House, however, alleges high crimes or misdemeanors stemming from the events described in the Mueller Report. Accordingly, nothing appears to remain of the Committee’s alleged need for the grand-jury materials in the Mueller Report,” their filing said.
Fox News' Bill Mears and Gregg Re contributed to this report.
Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 21 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com
President Trump mocked House Democrats on Saturday during a Turning Point USA event in West Palm Beach, Fla., for voting to impeach him without providing any evidence of a crime.
“They had nothing. There’s no crime. There’s no nothing," Trump said. "How do you impeach? You had no crime. Even their people said there was no crime. In fact, there’s no impeachment. Their own lawyer said there’s no impeachment. What are we doing here?”
Trump then briefly turned his focus to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and called her "crazy Nancy" before criticizing her for delaying the process by withholding the articles of impeachment from the GOP-controlled Senate.
"The world is watching," Trump said. "Crazy Nancy. She’s crazy. So now she says she has no case. She has no case, so let’s not submit it. That’s good, right? That’s good, but you know what? So unfair. It’s so unfair. She has no case."
"When all else fails, they pursue an illegal, unconstitutional and hyperpartisan impeachment," he said. "They go with the impeachment thing. Some of these extremists may call themselves Democrats, but they really don't believe in democracy. They can't. They can't believe in democracy."
He added, "Generations of patriots before us did not work, fight and sacrifice so that we could surrender our country to a raging, left-wing mob. And that's what's happening. While they want to punish America, we will fight to preserve America… Together we will stand up to socialists, we will defend our nation — the greatest and most glorious republic in the history of this world."
"And you know what? The best is yet to come," he added.
“Revelation by former WH officials proves what we've known all along: Trump is #PutinsPuppet,” Waters tweeted. “Trump repeated Putin's talking point that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the ‘16 election. Mark my words. If the Senate doesn't remove him, Trump will invite Putin to the WH next yr.”
Waters, a frequent Trump critic, was apparently referring to a Washington Post article that cited multiple former White House officials who claimed on condition of anonymity that Trump seized on the theory that Ukraine, not Russia interfered in the 2016 election because Putin suggested it to him.
One aide told The Post Trump said he believed Ukraine interfered because “Putin told me.”
Waters was one of the more than 200 Democrats and one Independent who voted to impeach the president on Wednesday on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet sent the impeachment articles to the Senate where a trial would take place and is considering withholding them until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agrees to bring in witnesses the Democrats want to hear from.
"It’s beyond me how the Speaker and Democratic Leader in the Senate think withholding the articles of impeachment and not sending them over gives them leverage," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters on Thursday. "Frankly, I’m not anxious to have the trial… If she [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] thinks her case is so weak she doesn’t want to send it over, throw me into that briar patch."
“Sen. Schumer asked Sen. McConnell to consider Sen. Schumer’s proposal over the holidays because Sen. Schumer and his caucus believe the witnesses and documents are essential to a fair Senate trial,” Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer, said in a statement.
McConnell, in a statement, called the conversation between him and Schumer "cordial" but said that the two parties remain at an "impasse," accusing Schumer of continuing to "demand a new and different set of rules" for the trial.
Pelosi sent a letter to House Democrats late Thursday calling the previous days' vote "an important day for the Constitution of the United States and a somber day for America."
She also thanked her caucus “for the outstanding moral courage that has been demonstrated, not only yesterday but every day of this prayerful process.”
“We have defended democracy for the people: honoring the vision of our founders for a Republic, the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform to defend it, and the aspirations of our children to live freely within it,” she said.
White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley weighs in on what's next for impeachment and the backlash over the president's comments on late Michigan Rep. John Dingell on 'Outnumbered Overtime.'
Within minutes of the vote to impeach President Trump Wednesday night, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals demanded that House Democrats explain whether the development undercut their legal demands for testimony from White House Counsel Don McGahn and for documents related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.
The case could have broad implications for Democrats' efforts to obtain access to Trump administration officials and their files, as the impeachment proceedings afforded Congress greater legal authority to go to court and demand access.
In a pair of orders directed at both House Judiciary Committee Democrats and the Department of Justice, the appellate court sought arguments by Monday as to "whether the articles of impeachment render this case moot and whether expedited consideration remains necessary."
As they barrelled towards an impeachment vote, Democrats had argued that the case needed to be heard in January. Earlier this month, House Democrats had argued to the D.C. Circuit that the materials were needed primarily for impeachment purposes.
"The Department of Justice (DOJ) takes extraordinary positions in this case,” the House Judiciary Committee said in a filing. “It does so to avoid disclosing grand-jury material needed for the House’s impeachment of President Trump and the Senate’s trial to remove him from office.”
Now that the impeachment proceedings have concluded in the House, the Democrats should explain whether they still seek to compel McGahn's testimony and, if so, whether it would be "in furtherance" of an impeachment inquiry or as a matter of "legislative oversight," the first D.C. Circuit order stated. It was signed by George H.W. Bush appointee Karen Henderson, George W. Bush appointee Thomas Griffith, and Clinton appointee Judith Rogers.
The White House has asserted longstanding executive privileges to bar McGahn from supplying documents and testimony to House investigators, saying internal White House deliberations must remain protected. McGahn’s interview with special counsel investigators factored prominently into the section probing whether the president obstructed justice, including a claim that McGahn disobeyed Trump’s call to have him seek Mueller’s removal.
White House counsel Don McGahn has been blocked by the White House from providing documents. The White House has cited privilege. (Associated Press)
“On June 17, 2017, the president called [White House Counsel Don] McGahn at home and directed him to call the Acting Attorney General and say that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed. McGahn did not carry out the direction, however, deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre,” the report stated, referencing the Watergate scandal.
The report also revealed that when the media reported on the president’s request for McGahn to have Mueller removed, the president directed White House officials “to tell McGahn to dispute the story and create a record stating he had not been ordered to have the special counsel removed.”
Concerning the Mueller grand jury materials, House Democrats similarly would need to explain whether they were needed as part of an impeachment probe, the appellate court said. That order was signed by Trump appointee Neomi Rao, as well as Rogers and Griffith.
Justice Department lawyers have argued that House Democrats already had sufficient evidence from Mueller's investigation, including copies of summaries of FBI witness interviews. A small amount of information was redacted from the report available to Congress in order to protect ongoing grand jury proceedings, as required by law.
In response, Democrats could argue that they intend to launch a new impeachment inquiry — risking significant political backlash — or they could attempt to justify their subpoenas based on more limited existing legislative authority.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, has suggested that she might hold the articles of impeachment in the House, without sending them to the GOP-controlled Senate.
That arrangement might be unconstitutional and wind up in its own court battle, former Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz argued in a column Thursday.
"It is difficult to imagine anything more unconstitutional, more violative of the intention of the Framers, more of a denial of basic due process and civil liberties, more unfair to the president and more likely to increase the current divisiveness among the American people," Dershowitz wrote. "Put bluntly, it is hard to imagine a worse idea put forward by good people."
Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.
'Special Report' anchor Bret Baier says President Trump has possibly hurt himself with Michigan voters and independents after suggesting Democrat Rep. Debbie Dingell's late husband John Dingell may be 'looking up.'
"It's moments like these that we are reminded that the president is not only a criminal, he is impulsively cruel and truly rotten to the core," Yarmuth tweeted on Thursday. "Hell will be too good for him."
Trump lodged that attack during a Wednesday rally in Michigan after the House of Representatives voted to impeach him. He took special aim at Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., the former congressman's wife, after she voted to impeach him.
“Debbie Dingell, that’s a real beauty,” Trump said to a rapt crowd that booed the mention of Dingell's name. The president said he gave the late Dingell the “A+ treatment” after his death last February and his wife had called him to say “it’s the nicest thing that’s ever happened, thank you so much. John would be so thrilled. He’s looking down.”
"I was already having a hard time with this holiday, and the comment that he made was just — it made me sad," she said. "But I'm going to keep doing my job and I'm going to work with Republicans and Democrats, as I always do."
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton reacts to House vote on impeachment articles.
The House of Representatives voted largely along party lines Wednesday night to impeach President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Below is a record of how each lawmaker voted on each article of impeachment.
Lawmakers voted 230-197 in the first article of impeachment to convict Trump of abuse of power.
Adams Aguilar Allred
Amash Axne Barragán Bass Beatty Bera Beyer Bishop Blumenauer Blunt Rochester Bonamici Boyle, Brendan F. Brindisi Brown Brownley Bustos Butterfield Carbajal Cárdenas Carson Cartwright Case Casten Castor Castro Chu, Judy Cicilline Cisneros Clark Clarke Clay Cleaver Clyburn Cohen Connolly Cooper Correa Costa Courtney Cox Craig Crist Crow Cuellar Cunningham Davids Davis Davis Dean DeFazio DeGette DeLauro DelBene Delgado Demings DeSaulnier Deutch Dingell Doggett Doyle Engel Escobar Eshoo Espaillat Evans Finkenauer Fletcher Foster Frankel Fudge Gallego Garamendi García Garcia
Golden Gomez Gonzalez Gottheimer Green, Al Grijalva Haaland Harder Hastings Hayes Heck Higgins Himes Horn Horsford Houlahan Hoyer Huffman Jackson Lee Jayapal Jeffries Johnson Johnson Kaptur Keating Kelly Kennedy Khanna Kildee Kilmer Kim Kind Kirkpatrick Krishnamoorthi Kuster Lamb
O'Halleran Ocasio-Cortez Omar Pallone Panetta Pappas Pascrell Payne Pelosi Perlmutter Peters Phillips Pingree Pocan Porter Pressley Price Quigley Raskin Rice Richmond Rose Rouda Roybal-Allard Ruiz Ruppersberger Rush Ryan Sánchez Sarbanes Scanlon Schakowsky Schiff Schneider Schrader Schrier Scott Scott, David Sewell Shalala Sherman Sherrill Sires Slotkin Smith Soto Spanberger Speier Stanton Stevens Suozzi Swalwell Takano Thompson Thompson Titus Tlaib Tonko Torres Torres Small Trahan Trone Underwood Vargas Veasey Vela Velázquez Visclosky Wasserman Schultz Waters Watson Coleman Welch Wexton Wild Wilson Yarmuth
Abraham Aderholt Allen Amodei Armstrong Arrington Babin Bacon Baird Balderson Banks Barr Bergman Biggs Bilirakis Bishop Bishop Bost Brady Brooks Brooks Buchanan Buck Bucshon Budd Burchett Burgess Byrne Calvert Carter Carter Chabot Cheney Cline Cloud Cole Collins Comer Conaway Cook Crawford Crenshaw Curtis Davidson Davis, Rodney DesJarlais Diaz-Balart Duncan Dunn Emmer Estes Ferguson Fitzpatrick Fleischmann Flores Fortenberry Foxx Fulcher Gaetz Gallagher Gianforte Gibbs Gohmert Gonzalez Gooden Gosar
Granger Graves Graves Graves Green Griffith Grothman Guest Guthrie Hagedorn Harris Hartzler Hern, Kevin Herrera Beutler Hice Higgins Hill Holding Hollingsworth Hudson Huizenga Hurd Johnson Johnson Johnson Jordan Joyce Joyce Katko Keller Kelly Kelly King King Kinzinger Kustoff LaHood LaMalfa Lamborn Latta Lesko Long Loudermilk Lucas Luetkemeyer Marchant Marshall Massie Mast McCarthy McCaul McClintock McHenry McKinley Meadows Meuser Miller Mitchell Moolenaar Mooney Mullin Murphy Newhouse Norman Nunes Olson
Palazzo Palmer Pence Perry Peterson Posey Ratcliffe Reed Reschenthaler Rice Riggleman Roby Rodgers Roe Rogers Rogers Rooney Rose, John W. Rouzer Roy Rutherford Scalise Schweikert Scott Sensenbrenner Simpson Smith Smith Smith Smucker Spano Stauber Stefanik Steil Steube Stewart Stivers Taylor Thompson Thornberry Timmons Tipton Turner Upton Van Drew Wagner Walberg Walden Walker Walorski Waltz Watkins Weber Webster Wenstrup Westerman Williams Wilson Wittman Womack Woodall Wright Yoho Young Zeldin
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted present. Reps. Hunter, Serrano and Shimkus did not vote.
Lawmakers voted 229-198 to convict Trump on impeachment Article II, obstruction of Congress.
Adams Aguilar Allred
Amash Axne Barragán Bass Beatty Bera Beyer Bishop Blumenauer Blunt Rochester Bonamici Boyle Brindisi Brown Brownley Bustos Butterfield Carbajal Cárdenas Carson Cartwright Case Casten Castor Castro Chu Cicilline Cisneros Clark Clarke Clay Cleaver Clyburn Cohen Connolly Cooper Correa Costa Courtney Cox Craig Crist Crow Cuellar Cunningham Davids Davis Davis Dean DeFazio DeGette DeLauro DelBene Delgado Demings DeSaulnier Deutch Dingell Doggett Doyle Engel Escobar Eshoo Espaillat Evans Finkenauer Fletcher Foster Frankel Fudge Gallego Garamendi García Garcia
Gomez Gonzalez Gottheimer Green, Al Grijalva Haaland Harder Hastings Hayes Heck Higgins Himes Horn Horsford Houlahan Hoyer Huffman Jackson Lee Jayapal Jeffries Johnson Johnson Kaptur Keating Kelly Kennedy Khanna Kildee Kilmer Kim Kind Kirkpatrick Krishnamoorthi Kuster Lamb Langevin Larsen Larson Lawrence Lawson Lee Lee Levin Levin Lewis Lieu Lipinski Loebsack Lofgren Lowenthal Lowey Luján Luria Lynch Malinowski Maloney Maloney Matsui McAdams McBath McCollum McEachin McGovern McNerney Meeks Meng Moore Morelle Moulton Mucarsel-Powell Murphy Nadler Napolitano Neal Neguse Norcross O'Halleran
Ocasio-Cortez Omar Pallone Panetta Pappas Pascrell Payne Pelosi Perlmutter Peters Phillips Pingree Pocan Porter Pressley Price Quigley Raskin Rice Richmond Rose Rouda Roybal-Allard Ruiz Ruppersberger Rush Ryan Sánchez Sarbanes Scanlon Schakowsky Schiff Schneider Schrader Schrier Scott Scott, David Sewell Shalala Sherman Sherrill Sires Slotkin Smith Soto Spanberger Speier Stanton Stevens Suozzi Swalwell Takano Thompson Thompson Titus Tlaib Tonko Torres Torres Small Trahan Trone Underwood Vargas Veasey Vela Velázquez Visclosky Wasserman Schultz Waters Watson Coleman Welch Wexton Wild Wilson Yarmuth
Abraham Aderholt Allen Amodei Armstrong Arrington Babin Bacon Baird Balderson Banks Barr Bergman Biggs Bilirakis Bishop Bishop Bost Brady Brooks Brooks Buchanan Buck Bucshon Budd Burchett Burgess Byrne Calvert Carter Carter Chabot Cheney Cline Cloud Cole Collins Comer Conaway Cook Crawford Crenshaw Curtis Davidson Davis DesJarlais Diaz-Balart Duncan Dunn Emmer Estes Ferguson Fitzpatrick Fleischmann Flores Fortenberry Foxx Fulcher Gaetz Gallagher Gianforte Gibbs Gohmert Golden Gonzalez Gooden
Gosar Granger Graves Graves Graves Green Griffith Grothman Guest Guthrie Hagedorn Harris Hartzler Hern, Kevin Herrera Beutler Hice Higgins Hill Holding Hollingsworth Hudson Huizenga Hurd Johnson Johnson Johnson Jordan Joyce Joyce Katko Keller Kelly Kelly King King Kinzinger Kustoff LaHood LaMalfa Lamborn Latta Lesko Long Loudermilk Lucas Luetkemeyer Marchant Marshall Massie Mast McCarthy McCaul McClintock McHenry McKinley Meadows Meuser Miller Mitchell Moolenaar Mooney Mullin Murphy Newhouse Norman Nunes
Olson Palazzo Palmer Pence Perry Peterson Posey Ratcliffe Reed Reschenthaler Rice Riggleman Roby Rodgers Roe Rogers Rogers Rooney Rose, John W. Rouzer Roy Rutherford Scalise Schweikert Scott, Austin Sensenbrenner Simpson Smith Smith Smith Smucker Spano Stauber Stefanik Steil Steube Stewart Stivers Taylor Thompson Thornberry Timmons Tipton Turner Upton Van Drew Wagner Walberg Walden Walker Walorski Waltz Watkins Weber Webster Wenstrup Westerman Williams Wilson Wittman Womack Woodall Wright Yoho Young Zeldin
As in the first vote, Gabbard voted present while Reps. Hunter, Serrano and Shimkus did not vote.
The president speaks to supporters as the House votes on Articles of Impeachment.
While the House voted to impeach him, President Trump took the stage in front of thousands of supporters who lined up in the bitterly cold weather for his “Merry Christmas” rally at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Michigan.
The rally is the same day that the House of Representatives debated articles of impeachment. For months, House Democrats have been pursuing an inquiry into whether Trump abused his power during a July call with Ukraine.
"By the way, it doesn't really feel like we're being impeached," Trump opened. "The country is doing better than ever before. We've done nothing wrong."
"The do-nothing Democrats, and they are do nothing, are declaring their deep hatred and disdain for American voter," with the impeachment process, according to Trump. He called impeachment "political suicide." "Have you seen my poll numbers in the last four weeks?" Trump added. "They've been trying to impeach me since before I ran."
A staffer interrupted the speech to inform Trump of the outcome of the impeachment vote, which was 229 in favor, 198 against. Trump pointed out that not one Republican voted in favor of impeachment but three Democrats voted against it. "The Republicans has never been so affronted but they've never been so united as they are right now."
"I'm the first person to ever get impeached and there's no crime!" Trump said, adding that Democrats have "cheapened" the impeachment process.
Trump slammed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., as a "pathological liar" for the dramaticized version of President Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He mocked Schiff for his looks."With Me Too, I never even think about looks anymore, OK? I don't talk about looks of a male or female," Trump said. "I'll say, just one last time, Schiff is not exactly the best-looking guy."
"Didn't he have eight quid pro quos?" Trump said of Schiff's version of his phone call read out on the House floor. "You say it eight times they have you arrested they put you into an insane asylum."
Trump told supporters he was there to "celebrate the miracle of Christmas, the greatness of America and the glory of God." "Do you notice how everybody is saying Merry Christmas again?"
Trump said that Michigan has had the "best year it's ever had" due to auto companies "expanding, thriving, coming in from Japan." "I said, 'Why are you allowing them to steal your car companies? Why are you allowing them to come in from China?'" Trump recounted from a previous speech in front of Michigan lawmakers.
Trump touted the USMCA trade deal, which is expected to pass the House Thursday as a replacement to NAFTA. "We had tremendous trade barriers with Canada, a tax on dairy products… nobody talked about it."
Trump blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D.-Calif., for the deal's delay. "The deal has been sitting with Nancy Pelosi for a long time. She had a lot of pressure from manufacturing farm areas."
"The Democrats try to take credit for this deal and that's okay, whatever it takes," Trump added.
Two protesters rose a sign in the stands with a sign reading "Don the Con you're fired," to echoing boos and "USA" chants throughout the arena. "There's a slob, a real slob. She’ll get hell when she gets back home with mom," Trump chimed in.
He pivoted back to trade with China. "China’s paying us billions and billions of dollars a year. They never gave us ten cents," he said, adding that he was leaving many of the 25 percent tariffs, allowing for billions in subsidies to farmers.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD, accused Republicans of the "craven rationalization of presidential actions" and applauded his independent colleague, Justin Amash, I-MI, who says he is supporting impeachment against Trump despite laying no claim to a party.
Earlier in the day, Amash expressed his support for impeaching Trump saying "I come to this floor not as a Democrat, not as a Republican but as an American who cares deeply about the Constitution, the rule of law and the rights of the people."
Hoyer built on those statements saying, "The votes we are about to take concern the rule of law and democracy itself. Let us not forget the words of John Locke… 'Whenever law ends, tyranny begins.'"
The second-ranking lawmaker in the House drew applause from his Democratic colleagues when he pushed back on notions that impeachment efforts are a mere attempt to undo Trump's 2016 victory.
"There's been a lot of talk about the 63 million people who voted for Mr. Trump. Little talk about the 65 million people who voted for Hillary Clinton," Hoyer said as members of the House cheered.
"That’s not America. That’s not how democratic republics behave. Elections matter. Voters matter," McCarthy said. "They want to undo the results of the last election to influence the next one."
In his final remarks before the House voted on charges that Trump abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress, McCarthy accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, of "undoing a national election" and attempting to "disqualify our voice before the 2020 election."
"We know Democrats hate President Trump, his beliefs, the way he governs and even the people who voted for him. They say so, day after day. In 2016, they dismissed his supporters, calling us 'Deplorables.' Now, they are trying to disqualify our voice before the 2020 election," McCarthy said. The bitter partisanship ahead of the vote threatens to leak into the start of a Senate trial, especially after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, met with the White House to go over the strategy and optics of the inevitable proceedings.
Democrats have decried that the GOP-led Senate will not abide by a fair trial, and Hoyer proposed the idea of delaying transmitting the articles of impeachment from the House to the Senate in an effort to stall a dismissal of the case against Trump.
“Some think it’s a good idea. And we need to talk about it,” Hoyer said early Tuesday.
Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 18 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, let loose on Democrats during Wednesday’s historic debate on the articles of impeachment against President Trump – shouting at House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., after he apparently accused the Republican of delivering "Russian propaganda" on the House floor.
Gohmert had just finished speaking on the floor when Nadler said he was "deeply concerned that any member of the House would spout Russian propaganda on the floor of the House."
Nadler’s comment set Gohmert off; he could be seen returning to the dais to shout down Nadler for his comment. The microphone on the Republican side was turned off at the moment when Gohmert approached, but he could be heard telling Nadler to take down his comment before the House returned to order.
The dust-up between Gohmert and Nadler was one of the more fiery moments of Wednesday’s House session with lawmakers heading toward an evening vote to impeach Trump.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. D-Calif., invoked the Pledge of Allegiance and the Preamble to the Constitution in arguing that the Founders' vision for a republic was threatened by Trump's actions in the White House.
"Today we are here to defend democracy for the people,'' she said to applause from Democrats in the chamber. "I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States."
Republicans swiftly came to the president's defense.
Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia warned that the Founders were just as concerned about a purely partisan impeachment wielded by the power of a majority party.
"This is not a solemn occasion,” he mocked. "You've been wanting to do this ever since the gentlemen was elected.''
The rare undertaking to impeach a president, unfolding over a long day of debate, has split lawmakers largely in the same way it's divided Americans over Trump's presidency. Final votes were expected in the evening.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday will vote on two articles of impeachment against President Trump in what is expected to be a mostly party-line vote on charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power. The debate will begin at 9 a.m. ET.
Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 17 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com
HouseDemocratic leaders are once again facing an uprising from members who believe the party is compromising too much on key issues.
Both the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) have reportedly signaled they wouldn't support a spending bill that funds parts of President Trump'simmigration agenda — in particular, his controversial border wall.
Progressive Caucus co-chairs Pramila Jayapal, D-Wa., and Mark Pocan, D-Wis., also voted against the measure.
Legislation must be enacted to fund the government and avoid another shutdown beginning this weekend. According to the Washington Examiner, border security funding prompted the CPC to oppose the measure.
"We cannot and will not support more funding for President Trump’s immoral mass detention policies and unchecked and wasteful Pentagon spending," a statement from the group read.
CHC chairman Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., similarly said: “I’m not voting for it." Opposing Democrats also took issue with provisions allowing Trump to maintain funding for detention centers and transfer federal funding to border security projects.
While the bill maintains 2019 funding levels for the border wall and security initiatives, it doesn't grant Trump anywhere near the $8 billion he wanted for the wall. Instead, Trump will get $1.375 billion for a wall that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has called "immoral."
Over the past year, Democrats have been beset by intraparty conflicts surrounding the environment, health care, and drug prices.
Pelosi last week compromised on a major Democratic priority — drug pricing — in order to accommodate the demands of her progressive flank. Perhaps her most high-profile clash took place over a border funding bill that her chamber approved earlier this year.
That bill included billions of dollars in funding for immigration enforcement agencies amid criticism of the Trump administration's handling of the ongoing migrant detention crisis. Pelosi previously downplayed the political power of the Ocasio-Cortez group.
Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 17 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com
The Democratic-controlled House on Tuesday approved a $1.4 trillion federal spending bill to avoid a government shutdown that includes funding for President Trump's border wall, strips ObamaCare taxes, raises the minimum age for buying tobacco products and gives Democrats increases for a variety of other domestic programs.
The House – as it prepares to vote on articles of impeachment against President Trump – approved all 12 spending bills. They now go to the Senate to sync up later this week.
“I am proud that we were able to come together, negotiate our differences, and reach a bipartisan agreement that makes investments to strengthen our nation and give every American a better chance at a better life,” said New York Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey, the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee.
The deadline to fund the government is Dec 20. These bills would fund the government for the rest of fiscal 2020, through Sept 30.
The hard-fought legislation also funds a record Pentagon budget and is serving as a must-pass legislative locomotive to tow an unusually large haul of unrelated provisions into law, including an expensive repeal of Obama-era taxes on high-cost health plans, help for retired coal miners, and an increase from 18 to 21 the nationwide legal age to buy tobacco products.
The White House said Tuesday that Trump will sign the measure.
"The president is poised to sign it and to keep the government open," said top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway.
The roster of add-ons grew over the weekend to include permanent repeal of a tax on high-cost "Cadillac" health insurance benefits and a hard-won provision to finance health care and pension benefits for about 100,000 retired union coal miners threatened by the insolvency of their pension fund. A tax on medical devices and health insurance plans would also be repealed permanently.
The deficit tab for the package grew as well with the addition of $428 billion in tax cuts over 10 years to repeal the three so-called ObamaCare taxes.
The legislation is laced with provisions reflecting divided power in Washington. Republicans maintained the status quo on several abortion-related battles and on funding for Trump's border wall. Democrats controlling the House succeeded in winning a 3.1 percent raise for federal civilian employees and the first installment of funding on gun violence research after more than two decades of gun lobby opposition.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Democrat-led House Rules Committee on Tuesday dove into a marathon session to prepare the ground rules for what is likely to be a furious showdown vote on the House floor to adopt articles of impeachment against Trump.
The panel’s meeting lays the procedural groundwork for the House debate on Wednesday, outlining the timetable and other factors for the historic and divisive moment in Washington.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The Democratic-led House Rules Committee on Tuesday began a marathon session to prepare the ground rules for what is almost certain to be a furious showdown vote on the House floor to adopt articles of impeachment against President Trump.
The panel’s meeting will give an initial picture of what the House debate on Wednesday will look like, and what the timetable could be. Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif., told Fox News that "we're settling in for a long meeting" on impeachment.
The committee writes the procedures and other guidelines for debate, including how much time is given to issues and what amendments will be in order. Yet, despite the often dry material that is up for debate, the panel’s meeting could also be a feisty one as partisan lines have been firmly drawn in the impeachment fight.
At the core is Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Democrats allege that Trump’s push for investigations into the 2016 election and former Vice President Joe Biden’s conduct in the country was part of an attempted quid pro quo in exchange for a White House meeting and the unlocking of military aid.
"The president withheld congressionally approved military aid to a country under siege to extract a personal political favor. He did not do this as a matter of U.S. policy, he did this for his own benefit. That is wrong and if that is not impeachable conduct, then I don’t know what is," Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said Tuesday.
Trump has denied the quid-pro-quo allegations and claimed that Democrats are engaging in a “witch hunt” against him. Republicans in the House have made similar claims, accusing House Democrats of running a “kangaroo court” as they dominate proceedings and push the House toward impeachment.
“This is not the result of a fair process and certainly not a bipartisan one. Sadly the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry has been flawed and partisan from day one so I guess it should come as no surprise that Democrats’ preordained outcome is also flawed and partisan,” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said at Tuesday's session.
The House Judiciary Committee last week voted to send two articles of impeachment to the House floor, alleging obstruction of Congress and abuse of power. Articles related to other Democratic allegations, such as bribery, were notably absent. In the vote itself, it is likely to go down mostly along partisan lines. There are no signs that any Republican will vote for impeachment, although it is possible that several moderate Democrats in pro-Trump districts could oppose the historic step.
"The House Rules Committee is about to meet on impeachment. But why bother? Two-thirds of the Democrats on the committee voted to impeach the President BEFORE the Ukraine call even happened," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Calif., tweeted. "For Dems, this is about pure politics. Not facts."
The House is composed of 431 members, meaning Democrats would need 216 yeas to impeach Trump. There currently are 233 Democrats, so they could lose only 17 of their own and still impeach the president — or 18 if the lone independent backs impeachment. The articles still appear to have enough votes to pass, which would send them to the Senate for a trial. There, where Republicans dominate, Trump is almost certain to be acquitted.
Having the Rules Committee take the lead is a different approach from the Clinton impeachment in 1998 and 1999, where the articles came up on the House floor via a procedure known as “privilege.” The House secured a unanimous consent agreement to continue the articles over a two-day period.
But while the debate could be feisty and angry in the Rules Committee, the Democrats have the upper-hand in terms of power. The Rules Committee is sometimes called “The Speaker’s Committee” because the speaker runs it, even though they are not a member of the committee.
The committee will present a rule for the floor debate, which will then be debated by the House first thing Wednesday morning. Once adopted, then the debate on the articles themselves will begin.
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo Benitez in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
OAN Newsroom UPDATED 7:32 AM PT — Monday, December 16, 2019
President Trump is urging Americans to read the transcripts of his calls with his Ukrainian counterpart, while also slamming the Democrats’ impeachment push. In a tweet Monday, the president called the inquiry “the greatest con job in the history of American politics.”
This comes as the House Judiciary Committee officially released its impeachment report against the president. The more than 600 page document was uploaded online and released to the House on Monday. It lays out everything from the constitutional grounds for impeachment to the committee’s findings and justifications behind their push to move forward.
The document stops short of calling for President Trump’s impeachment, however, it does ask members to determine whether the president abused his power with evidence broken down into four overarching parts. Congress will review the report ahead of Wednesday’s scheduled vote on the House floor.
Judy Miller on the unexpected political impact of the proceedings.
President Trump on Sunday took a swipe at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., over her response to a reporter who asked why bribery wasn’t included in the newly unveiled articles of impeachment, despite Democrats – including the speaker herself – having leveled those charges repeatedly against the president throughout impeachment proceedings.
“You yourself accused [Trump] of bribery,” the reporter asked.
“Why did you decide not to make bribery one of the articles of impeachment?”
Pelosi said the decision not to include bribery in the articles of impeachment against Trump came after “working together with our committee chairs, our attorneys and the rest.”
In a retweet of Pelosi’s response, Trump wrote that the House speaker’s teeth “were falling out of her mouth, and she didn’t have time to think!”
He then followed up the tweet by writing that “Congressional Do Nothing Democrats are being absolutely decimated in their districts on the subject of the Impeachment Hoax.”
“Crazy Nancy is finding defending Shifty Schiff harder than she thought!” he tweeted, in reference to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., one of the most visible figures of the impeachment inquiry.
Democrats repeatedly have accused Trump of withholding military aid from Ukraine until it investigated former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Trump and the White House have denied he did anything wrong.
“Bribery—and that is in the Constitution and attached to impeachment proceedings,” Pelosi said. “The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the election—that’s bribery.”
After Trump's attack, some accused Melania Trump of hypocrisy given that she had just defended her son Barron against a Stanford University law professor who mentioned him during a House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing.
"A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it," the first lady said in response to a quip by Pamela Karlan.
The first lady frequently receives criticism over the apparent irony in her fronting the "Be Best" anti-cyber-bullying campaign given her husband's habit of mocking political opponents and others on Twitter.
“It is no secret that the president and first lady often communicate differently — as most married couples do,” Grisham said.
Former first lady Michelle Obama encouraged Thunberg while traveling in Vietnam this week, saying, “don’t let anyone dim your light,”
Two articles of impeachment against President Trump move to the full House for a vote.
**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.** On the roster: House poised for final impeachment vote – Warren, Buttigieg feud could help Biden in Iowa – Might Trump duck 2020 debates? – Labour isn’t working: Boris romps, Corbyn quits – A lesson for all HOUSE POISED FOR FINAL IMPEACHMENT VOTE Fox News: “The House Judiciary Committee on Friday voted to adopt two articles of impeachment against President Trump – capping a contentious three-day session that Republicans panned as a ‘kangaroo court’ and teeing up a historic floor vote right before the holiday break. The committee adopted both articles, alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, on a party-line vote of 23-17. A final roll call in the full House is expected next week, which could trigger a Senate trial in the new year just as presidential primaries are set to get underway. ‘Today is a solemn and sad day,’ Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., told reporters after the vote. ‘For the third time in a little over a century and a half, the House Judiciary Committee has voted articles of impeachment against the president…’ … After the vote, the White House released a scathing statement, dismissing the inquiry as a ‘charade.’ ‘This desperate charade of an impeachment inquiry in the House Judiciary Committee has reached its shameful end,’ White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said.” Who will be Pelosi’s prosecutors? –WaPo: “With Democrats confident of having a majority to impeach Trump next week, a new parlor game has broken almost into the open. It’s the next step in the process in which [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi has unilateral power to appoint members to serve as impeachment managers in the Senate, presenting their case in what would be only the third impeachment trial of a president. Many Democrats would like the opportunity to fulfill such a rare, historic role, but they know Pelosi has declared this period ‘somber’ and ‘prayerful,’ cautioning that it would be a task undertaken with ‘humility.’ In other words, showboats need not apply to be an impeachment manager. If the speaker sees a Democrat openly campaigning for the appointment, trying to boost his or her profile, she will almost certainly knock that candidate off the list. And, for a leader who has commanded enormous clout within her caucus of late, Pelosi receives utter deference from people who might get the nod.” Trump says impeachment is good for him politically – WaPo: “Trump told reporters that Democrats are ‘trivializing impeachment’ after the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Friday morning for two articles of impeachment against him. ‘It’s a very sad thing for our country, but it seems to be very good for me politically,’ Trump said as reporters looked on during an Oval Office visit by Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez. ‘The people are absolutely disgusted. Nobody’s ever seen anything like this.’ … Asked if he would prefer a long or short trial in the Senate, Trump said, ‘I’ll do whatever I want. Look, there is — we did nothing wrong. So I’ll do long or short.’” THE RULEBOOK: NOT ROCKET SCIENCE “Experience has instructed us that no skill in the science of government has yet been able to discriminate and define, with sufficient certainty, its three great provinces the legislative, executive, and judiciary; or even the privileges and powers of the different legislative branches.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 37 TIME OUT: UGHHHHHHH NatGeo: “Picture yourself at a crowded airport departure gate. Your flight is 20 minutes late, although the illuminated sign still says On Time. … We know an annoyance when we experience it. But from a scientific perspective, just what makes something annoying? Are some things universally annoying, while others are specific to an individual? And does research offer any advice for preventing life’s annoyances from making our heads explode? The answers to those questions are: We don’t know, we don’t know, and no. Annoyance may well be the most widely experienced and least studied of all human emotions. On what [does journalist Joe Palca] base that assertion? About a decade ago, fellow journalist Flora Lichtman and [Palca] made that claim in a book called Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us—and in the intervening years, no one has challenged [them]. After [they] noted the lack of studies on this topic, did scholars step up to the plate? … Nothing.” Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions. SCOREBOARD DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING Biden: 27.6 points (↑ 1.6 points from last wk.) Warren: 18.4 points (↓ 1 point from last wk.) Sanders: 18.2 points (↑ 1 point from last wk.) Buttigieg: 8.6 points (↓ 1.6 points from last wk.) [Averages include: Quinnipiac University, Monmouth University, CNN, NBC News/WSJ and ABC News/WaPo.] TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE Average approval: 43 percent Average disapproval: 52.4 percent Net Score: -9.4 percent Change from one week ago: ↑ 0.4 points [Average includes: Monmouth University: 44% approve – 49% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 41% approve – 55% disapprove; CNN: 43% approve – 53% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve – 51% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve – 54% disapprove.] WANT MORE HALFTIME REPORT? You can join Chris and Brianna every day on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favorite political note as they go through the must-read headlines of the day right from their office – with plenty of personality. Click here to sign up and watch! WARREN, BUTTIGIEG FEUD COULD HELP BIDEN IN IOWA Politico: “As Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg do battle ahead of the Iowa caucus, Joe Biden’s campaign is relishing the show. It’s a familiar scenario to longtime Iowa watchers: two leading rivals going at it, creating an opening for a come-from-behind win in Iowa by the establishment candidate. In 2004, the last time Democrats sought to unseat a Republican incumbent, a nasty feud between Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt allowed John Kerry to surge to a surprise win in the state. Now, Joe Biden hopes to repeat the feat, having just won the endorsement of his former Senate colleague, who joined him on the trail in Iowa last week. … So far, Warren and Buttigieg have been tamer in their attacks than Gephardt and Dean were in 2004, when they blasted each other repeatedly by name and in TV ads, Elmendorf said. The post-Christmas ad blitz expected from the Warren and Buttigieg campaigns will show whether that holds.” Bloomy building out staff quickly –Politico: “Mike Bloomberg is making up for lost time — just two weeks after his late entry into the Democratic presidential primary, the former New York City mayor has hired more than 300 people so far to work on his campaign. The self-funded multi-billionaire recently tapped nearly 100 staffers to fan out across 15 states as he pursues his unorthodox strategy of skipping the four early voting states and zeroing in on Super Tuesday on March 3. His headquarters on Manhattan’s tony Upper East Side employs more than 200 people, including familiar faces from his days in City Hall. Former deputy mayors Kevin Sheekey and Patti Harris are his campaign manager and chair, respectively. … Team Bloomberg is also picking off the carcasses of fallen Democratic candidates as he bulks up his team.” Castro, Delaney don’t file for Virginia's Democratic primary –Richmond Times-Dispatch: “All but two candidates in the crowded Democratic field for president filed petition signatures and other paperwork in an effort to appear on Virginia’s primary ballot on March 3. Julian Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio and Obama administration housing secretary, and former U.S. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland did not file by the deadline of 5 p.m. Thursday. Candidates are required to submit at least 5,000 signatures from eligible voters, including 200 or more from each of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts.” Close race in Wisconsin –Marquette University: “Among those who say they will vote in the Democratic presidential primary in April, Joe Biden receives the most support. Biden is the first choice of 23 percent, followed by Bernie Sanders at 19 percent, Elizabeth Warren at 16 percent and Pete Buttigieg at 15 percent. Cory Booker is the first choice of 4 percent. Recently announced candidate Michael Bloomberg has the support of 3 percent, as does Andrew Yang and Amy Klobuchar. … Two-thirds of Democratic primary voters, 65 percent, say they might change their minds about their primary choice, while 34 percent say their mind is made up.” MIGHT TRUMP DUCK 2020 DEBATES? NYT: “President Trump is discussing with his advisers the possibility of sitting out the general election debates in 2020 because of his misgivings about the commission that oversees them, according to two people familiar with the discussions. Mr. Trump has told advisers that he does not trust the Commission on Presidential Debates, the nonprofit entity that sponsors the debates, the two people said. Less of a concern for Mr. Trump than who will emerge as the Democratic nominee is which media personality will be chosen as the debate moderator, according to people in contact with him. At a state-of-the-race campaign briefing in Arlington, Va., the president’s advisers declined to comment on what their plan was for the debates. One senior adviser to the president seemed to wince at the question, and said it was not something advisers were prepared to discuss until next year.” Former GOP speakers team up for statehouse fight – WSJ: “Former House speakers Paul Ryan, John Boehner and Newt Gingrich plan a fundraising campaign to defend Republican-controlled legislatures in Texas, Pennsylvania and a handful of other states from an onslaught of Democratic money and attention. Control over the congressional redistricting process is at stake in 2020: The Republican State Leadership Committee cites estimates that as few as 42 state legislative races could determine as much as a 136-seat swing in the House over the next decade, based on how those legislatures draw new maps.” Twitter to restore election labels for candidates –AP: “Twitter is bringing back special labels to help users identify accounts and tweets from U.S. political candidates. The company, which first used such labels for the midterm elections last year, said it is trying to provide users with original sources of information and prevent spoofed and fake accounts from fooling voters. Many political candidates already have blue check marks to indicate that Twitter has confirmed that they are who they say they are. The election labels go further and provide details such as what office a person is running for and where. They will also carry a small ballot box icon. The labels will appear on candidates’ accounts and tweets, even if they are retweeted by someone else. Twitter hopes its efforts will help people know when candidates are behind the words attributed to them.” LABOUR ISN’T WORKING: BORIS ROMPS, CORBYN QUITS Fox News: “U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed on Friday morning to ‘get Brexit done’ by Jan. 31, 2020 with ‘no ifs, no buts, no maybes,’ following his Conservative Party’s landslide victory in the country’s general election. A sudden burst in London-listed companies brought European markets to record peaks early Friday, Reuters reported, as investors celebrated the probable end of more than three-and-a-half years of political turmoil in Britain once the United Kingdom settles on a deal to leave the European Union. ‘This election means that getting Brexit done is now the irrefutable, irresistible unarguable decision of the British people.’ … Johnson also promised that his Conservative Party’s top priority is to massively increase investments in the National Health Service and ‘make this country the cleanest, greenest on Earth with our far-reaching environmental program.’ … The prime minister is scheduled to meet with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, where she will formally ask him to form a new government in her name.” PLAY-BY-PLAY Pergram: Congress rings in holidays with one of its most stressful Decembers ever –Fox News Report: U.S. and China reach phase one trade deal – Fox Business Congress reaches deal for $1.3 trillion in spending, likely averting shutdown threat – WaPo Senate Confirms Stephen Hahn as new F.D.A. boss – NYT Lawyer John Sullivan confirmed as next U.S. ambassador to Russia – Reuters AUDIBLE: ADCOCK, INDEED “A chicken can kill a chicken and eat a chicken. They’re starting to henpeck each other. We’re eating our own.” – Chris Adcock, chairwoman of the Page County Democratic Party in Iowa, discussing the Democratic presidential candidates with the WaPo. ANY GIVEN SUNDAY This weekend Mr. Sunday will sit down with former FBI Director James Comey, White House Special Adviser Pam Bondi and Rep. Adam Schiff,D-Calif. Plus, be sure to tune in as Chris shares the latest Fox News national polls on impeachment and the 2020 election. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area. #mediabuzz – Host Howard Kurtz has the latest take on the week’s media coverage. Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. ET. FROM THE BLEACHERS “I happen to live in an early primary state, and of course we have been inundated with Tom 2020 and Mike 2020 commercials ad nauseam, the hilarity of these two in rolled up sleeves and dungarees pretending to be just like the common working man, nearly leaves me in convulsions. If you can reach them by wire or wireless, please ask them to stop. Not wishing my remaining days away the February primary simply can't get here soon enough!” – James W. Herzog, Spartanburg, S.C. [Ed. note: You had me at “dungarees” Mr. Herzog. Would that I could spare you. But at least the weather is good in Spartanburg this time of year!] “I’m a lifelong conservative and know when someone has a bias. I’ve watched you on Fox and have read your articles on Fox News Halftime Report. I know I’m biased and watch Fox News because I like the thinking of the Fox News pundits but if I want your subliminal anti Conservative messages I’ll watch the mainstream media. I must be a glutton for punishment reading your daily article. I’m sorry but you are biased against Mr. Trump.” – Dick Alexander, Pickerington, Ohio [Ed. note: Oh now, Mr. Alexander! Subliminal anti-conservative messages! It can’t be all that bad. Maybe you like the jokes or reader letters. Or maybe you agree with me on the best kind of hot dogs. Whatever it is, I’m glad you’re here and I do truly hope we’re helping you see the world of politics and government in a broader, more interesting way. And for the record, I don’t stand with any politician or party and I most assuredly don’t care how you vote.] “This is a bit off topic (politics yesterday, today and forever), but probably has a more profound impact on one of the institutions that unite us, namely baseball. The word is out that the powers that be wish to eliminate 42 minor league teams, where players develop the skills needed to compete in the majors, as an economy measure. Bernie Sanders, among others, is talking about a review of baseball's antitrust exemption if they follow through with the idea. Perhaps you could give us the history of what that exemption covers, why baseball has it, and a discussion of the issues involved.” – Bruce Moyer, Southgate, Mich. [Ed. note: When it comes to Major League Baseball, I am positively antediluvian in my attitudes. For example, the American League’s 1973 decision to excuse pitchers from having to bat and allowing teams to plump their run counts with the services of semi-mobile sluggers laboring under the absurdly legalistic name “designated hitter” remains one of the greatest indignities inflicted on the American pastime. But when it comes to the minors, I take a more capacious view. The plan, as I understand it, is for M.L.B. to spin off those 42 teams from the lower-level minors but maintain its relationship with the remaining 118 teams. I’m sure that’s a bitter pill for fans of junior circuit teams like the single-A West Virginia Power. Nobody likes to lose status. I do wonder, though, if anyone has ever attended a Power game because of the team’s affiliation with the Seattle Mariners. Folks love minor leaguers games for the cheap entertainment, hot dogs, cold brews and laid-back atmosphere. The quality of the baseball or the connection to the pros at those games already so far removed from “the show” seems almost immaterial. But that’s not your question. Major League Baseball’s anti-trust exemption is one of the great inside jokes of all time. Since 1922, U.S. courts have held that baseball is not subject to federal rules against monopolies because – get this – baseball is not “a subject of commerce.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, the progressive darling who wrote the opinion, was big on courts bowing to popular sentiment. And in 1922, baseball was without question America’s game. The NFL was just in its third season and football was mostly still something for college boys. American sports were dominated by baseball and boxing. Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey were kings among men. And baseball needed the exemption to continue its efforts to modernize. The game was rebounding from the 1919 Black Sox scandal and looking to impose new controls. In no other business could you have the kinds of collusion required of the competitors in baseball. The owners of today’s 30 M.L.B. teams are proprietors of individual businesses, but they get together to fix prices, rig rules, share revenues, etc. If the owners of America’s petroleum companies did the same thing, Justice Department lawyers would be rappelling through Exxon’s windows. As the decades rolled by, justices continued to work around Holmes’ lulu — at one point telling Congress in a decision that if baseball was abusing its exempt status, it should pass a law, not them. It has passed exactly one in 98 years, and it only codified the league policy on free agency. Sanders no doubt would like to save his hometown Vermont Lake Monsters’ affiliation with the Oakland A’s, but I tend to doubt that this will be the moment that the federal government tries to ruin baseball. The owners do a good enough job of that on their own!] Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown. A LESSON FOR ALL Fox News: “She went from ‘sandwich artist’ to con artist. Police in New Mexico arrested a Subway restaurant employee in Las Cruces after she staged a robbery in her own shop, allegedly because ‘she wanted to teach one of the employees a lesson.’ Lorena Ariana Marin, the Subway employee, and her alleged accomplice, Angelo Rey Espinosa, orchestrated the fake robbery on Monday, bursting into the store with masks over their faces. Marin, 22, then hopped over the counter and began ‘verbally and physically’ threatening the two on-duty employees while Espinosa, 19, stood by. … Marin and Espinoza soon herded the two employees toward the back of the store, at which point one of the employees ‘bolted’ out of the eatery and made it to her car. … Police caught up with Marin and Espinoza ‘within minutes’ of the crime after a citizen reported seeing a suspicious vehicle parked nearby.” AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES… “I suspect history will similarly see [George W.] Bush as the man who, by trial and error but also with prescience and principle, established the structures that will take us through another long twilight struggle, and enable us to prevail.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the National Review on April 26, 2013. Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 13 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com
House leaders reportedly expect to lose as many as a half-dozen votes from moderate Democrats representing swing districts or those that backed President Trump in 2016 when the full House votes on impeachment next week.
Two Democrats — Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey — opposed the impeachment rules package in September but multiple officials told the Washington Post on condition of anonymity that they expect more.
Despite the anticipated defections, Democrats should have more than enough votes when impeachment comes to a full House vote following this week's Judiciary Committee hearings. Including the independent vote of former Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, Democrats can afford to lose 17 votes from their side of the aisle.
No Republicans are expected to vote for impeachment.
Van Drew has already said he plans to vote against impeachment.
"I don't see anything there worthy of actually taking a president out of office," he said, according to USA Today. "I'm concerned about splitting our nation apart."
"I don't see anything there worthy of actually taking a president out of office. I'm concerned about splitting our nation apart."
— U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, D-N.J.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, D-N.J.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., said she plans to take the weekend to think over her vote.
"I just need to like, get a breath. Take a breath. It’s a serious decision for me," she said, according to Reuters.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she won’t pressure moderates to vote for impeachment.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., walks to attend a health care event at the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 11, 2019. (Associated Press)
"I have no message to them. We are not whipping this legislation, nor would we ever with something like this," Pelosi told reporters, according to The Hill. "They'll make their own decisions. I don't say anything to them."
Democrats' two articles of impeachment against Trump are for abuse of power and obstructing Congress.
After a marathon session Thursday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., delayed a vote on the articles until Friday morning.
Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 12 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com
The Democratic Party can expect to face even more progressive pushback in the 2020 primaries as a prominent climate group on Thursday advanced "insurgent" candidates in order to garner future congressional support for the Green New Deal.
In a press release, Sunrise offered support for candidates they said were running on the climate plan, which has received the cold shoulder from Democrats like Pelosi. The candidates included Robbert Emmons Jr. for Illinois' first district, Morgan Harper for Ohio's third, Mike Siegel for Texas' 10th, and Marie Newman from Illinois' third.
Sunrise Political Director Evan Weber called out "establishment politicians of both parties" for being complacent on the issue of climate change and indicated voters were looking for a "new way of doing things" in D.C.
“These insurgent campaigns are a clear indicator of the appetite for an entire new way of doing things, and a restructuring of our society under a populist agenda that guarantees things like living wage jobs, affordable and safe housing, universal clean air and water, and Medicare for All — all policies which we see bundled into the Green New Deal framework," he said.
Emmons Jr. and Harper are looking respectively to target Reps. Joyce Beatty, D-Ill., and Bobby Rush, D-Ill., whom the group says both opposed the Green New Deal.
Ocasio-Cortez previously provoked Rep. Dan Lipinski's ire in September when she endorsed Newman as his successor. Lipinski, D-Ill., is considered a moderate and refused to co-sponsor Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal resolution in the House.
"Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's endorsement of Marie Newman makes crystal clear that Ms.Newman is an extreme candidate," Lipinski said as part of a longer statement. Ocasio-Cortez seemed flabbergasted, suggesting that Lipinski was able to make such strong remarks due to his "corporate" ties.
Earlier this year, Lipinski threw his weight behind a bipartisan carbon tax that came under scrutiny for resembling a plan backed by the Climate Leadership Council, whose founding members included ExxonMobil.
"Lipinski and his dwindling circle of fossil-fuel funded Democrats are a threat to the Democratic Party truly being a party of the people," Newman said in Sunrise's press release.
The endorsements will likely add to the tension over climate change between Democrats and members of the progressive left. Pelosi herself has already staged what appeared to be an insurrection of her own. At a United Nations meeting earlier this month, she seemed to flout the president's decision to leave the controversial Paris Climate Agreement.
Last month, nearly 260 groups sent a letter requesting that Pelosi and Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., pursue policies like the Green New Deal instead of "incremental or isolated policy tweaks."
According to The Washington Post, the group Extinction Rebellion held a hunger strike in an attempt to force the speaker into a video-recorded meeting. When they realized she was planning to leave D.C., the protesters attempted to storm past her office's entrance and into a broader room where her chief of staff sat.