The House Judiciary Committee became the scene of new partisan fighting Thursday as lawmakers pressed ahead with two articles of impeachment against Trump, as polling indicated a majority of Americans opposed impeaching and removing the president from office.
"I didn't call for impeachment when the president shut down our government or tried to rip health care from those with preexisting conditions or embarrassed us on the world stage or pardoned political cronies", he said.
"Every impeachment, except for this one, has been conducted by outside counsel", said Graham.
Rep. Ted Deutch, a Florida Democrat, responded that Republicans did get witnesses - and that the President's legal team chose not to participate. "People will vote the way they vote", she said. "The president is the smoking gun". But Democrats outnumber Republicans on the panel 24 to 17, so they are expected to control any contested votes. "I'm a black man representing Georgia, born when Jim Crow was alive and well".
"To me, the thought that elections could be undermined is not theoretical", Johnson said.
As a result, Democrats allege Trump - through "corrupt motives" - injured United States national security to "obtain an improper personal political benefit".
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is not lobbying moderates on the fence to vote for impeachment. In fact, polling across the board now shows a majority of Americans are against impeachment of President Trump. Instead, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts would be called in to preside over the Senate trial, and any tied motions would fail.
Public support for impeachment has largely fallen along party lines, with the most Democrats supporting it and most Republicans opposing it. Independents, meanwhile, have started to swing in Trump's favor.
On Wednesday, the president and senior Republicans appeared to be coalescing around the idea of a shorter proceeding in that chamber. If one or more of the articles are adopted, the Senate would then hold a trial to consider removing Trump.
But it was not yet clear whether Trump was ready to abandon his demand for witnesses, such as Biden, which would trigger demands from Democrats for high-profile Trump administration witnesses. I am not a big fan of Donald Trump. Two Democratic leadership sources say it's possible they could lose more than two Democrats - the number who voted against the procedural vote on the impeachment inquiry in October - when the floor vote takes place. Stop thinking about running for re-election.
Democrats say Trump endangered the U.S. Constitution, jeopardized national security and undermined the integrity of the 2020 election by pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a July 25 telephone call to investigate Biden, a former vice president and a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to face Trump in next year's election.
If the House impeaches Mr Trump, who is charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, he would then go on trial in the Senate. Democratic lawmakers from more conservative districts had argued the focus should stay on Ukraine. They said "abuse of power" was a catch-all for Democratic complaints about Mr Trump. Republicans, with their 53-seat majority, are confident that Democrats would not be able to rustle up enough defections to make that result a real possibility.
Form for signing up for free newsletter.