Panel vote sends Trump impeachment charges to full House

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The House Judiciary Committee has approved two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, and ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., leave after the House Judiciary Committee voted to approve the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

Trump reacted quickly after the House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against him.

Using the words he’s embraced nearly every day for weeks, he called the proceedings “a witch hunt, a scam, a hoax.”

The charges approved Friday now go to the full House for an expected vote next week. They were approved strictly along party lines, 23 Democrats to 17 Republicans.

The abuse of power charge stems from Trump’s July phone call with the Ukraine president pressuring him to announce an investigation of Democrats as he was withholding U.S. aid. He’s also accused of obstructing Congress’ investigation.

Trump has denied wrongdoing.

Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, turned up at the White House moments after the House Judiciary Committee vote. Giuliani is a key player in the Ukraine dealings at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

He was expected to meet with Trump, who requested a briefing from the former New York City mayor about his recent trip to Ukraine. Trump has also urged Giuliani to inform the Justice Department and Republican senators on what he’s discovered.

Giuliani’s trip last week prompted concern from many White House officials, some of whom blame the lawyer for ensnaring Trump in the Ukraine affair that has led to articles of impeachment.

Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler abruptly delayed action on the historic vote late Thursday night. Committee members clashed all day Thursday.

The panel slogged for more than 14 hours through debate that split sharply along party lines.

Republicans insisted on lengthy debate and votes on a series of amendments aimed at killing the charges against Trump.

Early Friday, Trump tweeted his approval of the Republican effort, calling the GOP lawmakers on the panel “warriors.”

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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