Trump says he’s ‘never seen a Republican Party so united’ as impeachment vote looms

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President Trump comments on the House impeachment vote.

President Trump on Tuesday touted a “united Republican Party” as the House prepares to vote on articles of impeachment against him.

Speaking before a meeting with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales in the Oval Office, Trump said that he’s “never seen a Republican Party so united” and that he’s “looking forward” to the trial in the Senate should the House – as is expected – vote to impeach him.

Trump added that he will not be watching Wednesday's House session where they are expected to debate the articles of impeachment. The House Judiciary Committee last week voted to adopt two articles of impeachment alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, on a party-line vote of 23-17.

IN TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL, SENATE GOP COULD TURN TABLES ON DEMS

At the center of the impeachment inquiry: allegations that Trump tried pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch politically related investigations regarding former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine, as well as issues related to the 2016 presidential election. The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats have argued showed a “quid pro quo” arrangement. Trump and the White House repeatedly have denied any wrongdoing.

Much of the talk surrounding the House vote and the possible Senate trial has centered on any possible defections from members of both parties.

Trump to Pelosi: 'Impeachment crusade' an 'unconstitutional abuse of power'Video

Several Democratic senators who hail from states won by Trump in 2016 are being eyed as possible acquittal votes in a Senate impeachment trial and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says he believes at least one or two Democrats could defect.

A source familiar with Senate impeachment trial plans told Fox News that Republicans believe the Democrats most likely to vote to acquit are Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., both of whom represent red states that went for Trump in 2016. Other Democratic senators believed to be in play are Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. Trump also carried both states in 2016.

HANNITY EXCLUSIVE: MCCONNELL SAYS 'ZERO CHANCE' TRUMP IS REMOVED, 'ONE OR TWO DEMOCRATS' COULD VOTE TO ACQUIT

Senate Democrats, meanwhile, are hopeful that some GOP members will side with them in a Senate trial.

Those most often mentioned as possibilities are Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who has not shied from criticizing Trump; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Susan Collins, R-Maine; and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who sometimes crosses party lines in votes.

McConnell has said it has been his goal from the beginning to keep Republicans together on the issue.

“My hope is that there won’t be a single Republican who votes for either of these articles in the House,” McConnell said during a recent appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity.”

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On the state level, it seems that some Republicans are more willing to defy their party in favor of impeaching Trump.

Nebraska state Sen. John McCollister, a Republican, responded to Trump’s “United Republican Party” tweet with a jab that “[t]here are Republicans ALL OVER the country who want you impeached.”

“We don’t fall for some cult of personality,” he added.

Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Original Article

Dems plow ahead with impeachment articles as initial vote looms

closeChairman Nadler and Ranking Member Collins deliver their opening statements at impeachment markup meetingVideo

Chairman Nadler and Ranking Member Collins deliver their opening statements at impeachment markup meeting

Representatives Nadler and Collins deliver opening remarks.

The House Judiciary Committee is poised to be the scene of another major partisan clash Thursday as lawmakers press ahead with two articles of impeachment against President Trump, ahead of an initial vote expected by day's end likely to advance the measures to the floor.

The final "markup" process began Wednesday evening, immediately breaking out into fiery disagreement. Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., argued that it would be unsafe to wait until the 2020 election to remove Trump from office.

IMPEACHMENT NEEDLE NOT MOVING, MAJORITY OF VOTERS OPPOSE IMPEACHMENT

"We cannot rely on an election to solve our problems when the president threatens the very integrity of that election," Nadler claimed during Wednesday's session.

Democrats from districts that supported Trump in 2016, however, have been less enthusiastic. Recent polls have shown declining support for impeachment in key swing states, with two polls released Wednesday indicating that most Americans did not want Trump removed.

Politico reported earlier this week that the numbers were making a "small group" of moderate Democrats, who have held seats in districts where Trump won in 2016, nervous about how to vote. They instead have suggested Trump be censured, which would prevent the GOP from holding a potentially damaging Senate trial and give them political cover in the upcoming election.

The House is now composed of 431 current members, meaning Democrats would need 217 yeas to impeach Trump. There are currently 233 Democrats, so Democrats could lose only 16 of their own and still impeach the president. Among the House Democrats, 31 represent more moderate districts that Trump carried in 2016.

Freshman Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich. – who flipped a GOP district in 2018 that Trump won by seven points in 2016 – told Fox News last month that she was tentatively weighing all the evidence. On Wednesday, she confirmed that she's still undecided.

"The phones are ringing off the hook," she told CNN. "We literally can't pick up the phones fast enough — and it's people on both sides of it."

Republicans, meanwhile, have vociferously opposed the impeachment effort. The committee's ranking member, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, stated that Democrats have been trying to impeach Trump since he took office. He echoed the White House's argument that the impeachment was politically motivated theater, long in the works and foreshadowed openly by Democrats for months, if not years.

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He and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., each argued that unlike previous presidents who have faced impeachment, Trump was not accused of an offense actually defined by law: neither "abuse of power" nor "obstruction of Congress" is a recognized federal or state crime. Those are the two offenses outlined in the articles of impeachment before the committee. (The separate charge of contempt of Congress, according to the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel, exempts the president for separation-of-powers reasons.)

The markup is expected to go until Thursday afternoon. If the committee votes to approve the articles of impeachment, as expected, there will likely be an impeachment vote on the House floor in the middle of next week.

The articles center on Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to launch an investigation into his political rivals – namely, former vice president Joe Biden – while withholding aid. Democrats argue Trump wrongly used U.S. aid and the prospect of a White House meeting as leverage, but Trump denies doing so.

Fox News' Chad Pergram and Mike Emanuel contributed to this report.

Original Article