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By: Jeffrey Martin of Newsweek

Impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump continued Wednesday night as the House Judiciary Committee began a debate about the articles of impeachment by allowing every member of the committee, Republicans and Democrats by turn, to make an opening statement.

Hoping to push the impeachment articles through to a full House vote before the upcoming Christmas holiday, the debate is expected to continue Thursday evening. Final language is expected to be agreed upon for the articles of impeachment, which are based on charges of abuse of presidential power and obstruction of justice.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler began the meeting by saying Trump's avoidance of the impeachment hearings was unprecedented.

"Other presidents have resisted congressional oversight," Nadler said. "But President Trump's stonewall was complete, absolute and without precedent in American history."

Republicans answered Democrat responses by saying the impeachment proceedings were being rushed because of the upcoming holiday. Republican Representative Doug Collins claimed that the only obstruction apparent in the hearings was perpetrated by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff for his closed-door depositions and alleged hesitancy to release information.

Collins also placed doubt on Democrats' claim of abuse of power on the president's part.

"The only abuse of power here is the majority racing the fastest they ever have, the clock and the calendar determining what impeachment looks like," Collins said.

Representative James Sensenbrenner agreed with Collins concerning the timing of the hearings.

"What we're debating here, in my opinion, is the weakest case in history," Sensenbrenner said. "And yet the Democrats have decided to go full speed ahead, again because of the clock and the calendar, with an incomplete record simply by using hearsay evidence and trashing the rules of the house every time they can in order to speed things up to a preordained conclusion and that is a partisan vote for impeachment."

"For all the radical left's attacks on the president's honesty," said Republican Representative Matt Gaetz, "it's their lies that continue to fuel this scorched-earth strategy of impeachment." Gaetz also referred to the impeachment as "hot garbage."

"This is nothing more than the sloppy straight-to-DVD Ukranian sequel to the failed Russia hoax," he added.

Representative Sheila Jackson Lee denied that impeachment had anything to do with personal feelings towards the president, but simply that Trump had committed "constitutional crimes."

"Truth matters, and where truth rests, trust builds," she said. "Impeachment cannot be warped by equivocation wrapped in doubt."

Most Democrats stated they were involved in the impeachment process because of their love for the country.

"Tonight, I ask all Americans to put their personal affections and political affiliations aside," said Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, "and consider the long term health of our democracy. The issue we face now as a country as a result of this president is bigger than party, and the Constitution has no partisan allegiance."

By: Nicholas Fandos and Michael Shear of the New York Times

WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee opened debate Wednesday on two articles of impeachment against President Trump, starting a somber and deeply partisan confrontation over Democrats’ charges that the president abused his power and obstructed Congress.

In a rare evening session that was only the third time in modern history the panel had met to consider removing a president, Democrats and Republicans clashed over the Constitution, the allegations against Mr. Trump and the political consequences of moving to oust him less than a year before the next election. The debate unfolded at the start of a two-day meeting that is expected to culminate on Thursday with a party-line vote to send the articles to the full House for final passage.

Leaning with equal weight on the Constitution and the findings of their two-and-a-half-month inquiry, Democrats made their case that Mr. Trump put the 2020 election and the nation’s security at risk. Not only did he use his office to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, they asserted, but he then trampled on his oath of office and the separation of powers by seeking to conceal his actions from Congress.

“The highest of high crimes is abuse of power,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the committee. Describing the facts of the case against Mr. Trump as “overwhelming,” he added, “We cannot rely on an election to solve our problems when the president threatens the very integrity of that election.”

Republicans on the panel voiced their indignation about what they said was a refusal by Democrats to accept Mr. Trump’s legitimacy, portraying the bid to impeach him as little more than the climax of a three-year effort to reverse the outcome of Mr. Trump’s 2016 election victory.

They argued that the case against Mr. Trump was overstated and insufficiently proven, and they denounced the impeachment inquiry, saying it was unfair to Mr. Trump and his Republican allies.

“The big lie is that a sham impeachment is O.K., because the threat is so real and so urgent and so great,” said Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the panel. Mr. Collins accused Democrats of being a “party that has lost all moorings of fairness and good taste.”

“This is as much about political expediency as anything else,” he added.

The rancorous back-and-forth stretched into the night as all 41 members on the notoriously partisan panel had the chance to deliver their opening remarks in one of the most consequential deliberations in more than two decades. The gathering unfolded exactly 21 years to the day after the Judiciary Committee voted to approve articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton.

Mr. Nadler noted at the start that the meeting was unusual — statements are often allowed only from the chairman and the senior minority member of the committee — but said the historic nature of the proceeding warranted hearing from each member.

Seated at the wood-carved dais of the Ways and Means Committee room, the grandest meeting chamber in the House, lawmakers appeared to feel the weight of the occasion, refraining from some of the more raucous tactics that have marked the impeachment process so far in favor of passionate statements of principle.

Even as the outcome in the committee appeared clear, Mr. Nadler used his statement to appeal to Republicans to reconsider their position before it was too late.

“You still have a choice,” Mr. Nadler told the Republicans, adding, “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,” he said. “How would you be remembered?”

Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin and one of the managers of the impeachment case against Mr. Clinton, had an appeal of his own to Democrats: “Put aside your partisan politics and don’t listen to what Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler are telling you, because the future of our country and the viability of our Constitution as the framers decided it are at stake.”

Along with the committee chairman, he was referring to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has kept remarkably tight control over the impeachment inquiry, and Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, who led the investigation into the president’s pressure campaign on Ukraine.

Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California, who was participating in her third impeachment inquiry, offered an explanation about this one. “It seems,” she said, “like we live in an alternate reality.”

Others warned of the political risks of the moment. Representative Ken Buck of Colorado predicted that voters would punish Democrats, particularly those whose victories in conservative districts in 2016 handed them control of the chamber.

“Say goodbye to your majority,” Mr. Buck said. “And please join us in January of 2021 when President Trump is inaugurated again.”

Democrats drew heavily on their own experiences and backgrounds as they sought to frame their views on impeachment for the history books. Some reached for the words of the founders or the annals of the law. Others quoted from scripture or spoke about loved ones. Many harked back to their unique biographies as immigrants and the legacy of painful periods in American history.

“I’m a black man representing Georgia, born when Jim Crow was alive and well,” said Representative Hank Johnson, Democrat of Georgia. “To me, the idea that elections can be undermined is not theoretical. I have constituents who remember what it is like to live in a democracy in name only.”

Representative Lucy McBath of Georgia, one of the panel’s only Democrats representing a swing district, spoke of losing her only son to gun violence — the cause that sent her to Congress. “This is not why I came to Washington,” she said, but she confirmed she would vote to impeach.

“I must vote my conscience, and I do so with a heavy heart and a grieving soul,” she said.

Mr. Nadler called a recess after the opening statements late Wednesday. He planned to reconvene the panel on Thursday to begin the protracted process of allowing members to propose edits and amendments to the two articles.

The first article accuses Mr. Trump of “ignoring and injuring national security and other vital national interests” by carrying out a scheme to corruptly solicit election assistance from Ukraine through investigations to smear his Democratic political rivals. The second article charges that the president obstructed Congress by engaging in “unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance” of House subpoenas.

No lawmaker is expected to cross party lines, and House Democratic leaders are eyeing a final vote to impeach the president for high crimes and misdemeanors as early as Tuesday.

Democrats are confident they have the votes to pass both articles even if a handful of Democrats defect.

With the outcome in the Judiciary Committee all but certain, lawmakers have begun privately appealing to the speaker to win appointments as impeachment managers when the charges are put before the Senate for trial.

In the Senate, the prospect of hosting an impeachment trial when they return from the year-end break was weighing heavily on their thinking.

Some Senate Republicans appeared to be eager for a streamlined trial without testimony by witnesses, ensuring that the spectacle of deciding on Mr. Trump’s impeachment would be over quickly so that the chamber could move on to other issues in an election year.

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, hinted at that preference in comments to reporters on Tuesday, saying that a majority of senators could decide after hearing arguments for both sides that “they’ve heard enough” and end the trial quickly.

On Wednesday, Mr. McConnell chastised the House for what he called “the least thorough and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history.”

Over lunch on Wednesday, Republican senators invited Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, who has played a leading role in Mr. Trump’s defense in the House, and his lawyer, Stephen R. Castor, to privately offer their theory of the case for Mr. Trump’s defense.

At the White House, Mr. Trump’s legal team has been discussing the possibility of hiring Alan Dershowitz, the veteran lawyer who has defended the president, to represent him in the impeachment trial, according to a person familiar with the discussions. Mr. Dershowitz would join the president’s outside legal team, with Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, taking the lead in arguing the case in the Senate.

Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina, mentioned Mr. Dershowitz as a possibility on the House Freedom Caucus podcast, adding: “I have advocated that there needs to be one other attorney that’s added to the mix.”

The articles of impeachment, which run for nine pages, include two counts against Mr. Trump. Thursday’s session will begin with a committee clerk reading the articles aloud.

The first article, abuse of power, accused Mr. Trump of withholding $391 million in military aid and a coveted White House meeting for Ukraine’s president as leverage for extracting public announcements of investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, as well as an unsubstantiated theory that Ukraine conspired with Democrats to swing the 2016 election against Mr. Trump.

The second article, obstruction of Congress, charges that Mr. Trump sought to cover up his own wrongdoing.

By: Breitbart

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) delivered a stirring address during the markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday evening, calling the Democrats’ case the weakest in American history.

His full speech:

Mr. Chairman, I agree with everybody that tonight is a very solemn night. This is the third time in the last 40 years, 45 years, that this committee has sat to read articles of impeachment against the President of the United States. What we are debating here, in my opinion, is the weakest case in history. And yet the Democrats have decided to go full speed ahead, again because of the clock and the calendar, with an incomplete record, simply by using hearsay evidence and trashing the rules of the House every time they can in order to speed things up for the preordained conclusion. And that is: a partisan vote for impeachment, something that both the Speaker and the chairman of this committeete rejected earlier on when they thought they could make this bipartisan. If they could’ve made it bipartisan, they blew their opportunity very early on with their trashing of the rules and the trashing of what is the history of what is in the history this committee. Now, let’s look at these two articles. Unlike the Nixon and Clinton impeachment, there is no crime that is alleged to have been committed by the President of the United States. There are policy differences, but I would submit that given the definition of treason, and bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors, that does not mean that the policy differences should be enough to remove a president from office. There is no allegation of bribery in these articles. There is no allegation of extortion. They have defined for themselves what a high crime and misdemeanor will be. This bar is so low that what is happening is that a future president can be impeached for any disagreement when the presidency and the House of Representatives are controlled by different parties. And that goes back to establishing a parliamentary system, which the Framers explicitly rejected at the time of the Constitutional Convention. In the United Kingdom, or Canada, or other parliamentary democracies, if the government loses the confidence of the majority of the lower house, the government is out, and there is either a new government or a new election that happens. The Framers did not want that. We had an independent presidency. The president was independently elected. He did not serve at the sufferance of Congress. No — he served for a fixed term and was only, if he really obstructed the functions of government or was treasonous, he could be impeached. Now let’s look at “obstruction of Congress.” You know, again, in the past, whenever the executive and legislative branches in the United States have had a disagreement, they’ve gone to court. And the third branch decides this difference. This committee and this majority are so hide-bound to their clock and their calendar that they will not allow the judicial process to work out. What brought Richard Nixon down, honestly, was the Supreme Court saying that he had to turn over certain documents. And within two or three weeks after that, the president knew his time was up. There were Republicans that convinced him of that, and he resigned, ruling out the impeachment. So, yes the constitution is at stake. The Framers of our Constitution’s enlightened decisions are at stake. We are about to go on a road to becoming a parliamentary democracy like England and Canada are. We need an independent president who does not have to suffer to anything a congressional majority might throw at him. That’s what the courts are for, to figure it out. And I would to appeal to my chairman, [and] the majority members of this committee, to listen to what Madison and Hamilton had to say during the ratification of the Constitution and during the debates of the convention: put aside your partisan politics and don’t listen to what Pelosi, Schiff, and Nadler are telling you because the future of our country and the viability of our Constitution as the Framers decided are at stake.

The committee will vote Thursday, and an impeachment vote is possible by Friday.

By: Benjamin Yount of the Center Square

The verdict in Wisconsin about the new trade deal with Canada and Mexico is nearly unanimous. 

Business groups and elected leaders all say the United States/Mexico/Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a win for Wisconsin. 

“Our farmers have been waiting in uncertainty for more than a year for USMCA to get done. So, it’s certainly good news to see the deal take this significant step forward. There are more steps to be taken, however, so we are not breathing a full sigh of relief," Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative President Brody Stapel said Tuesday. 

The Edge is one of the largest dairy co-ops in the country. 

“USMCA is critical to the long-term success of the U.S. dairy community," Stapel said. "Mexico is our number one dairy foods export market and Canada is third. Combined," he said. "They account for more than $2 billion each year. This agreement would protect those longtime trading relationships and allow for growth in market share. That means economic certainty for businesses, families, employees and rural communities."

Wisconsin's longest serving congressman, U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Milwaukee, also said that access to Canadian and Mexican markets is a big win for dairy farmers in Wisconsin. 

"It is a boon for our state’s dairy farmers who will have more access to Canadian markets," Sensenbrenner said. "After enduring months of needless delay, I am eager to vote for the deal and am grateful to the Trump administration for their tireless work reaching an agreement.”

The deal is coming together after a few tweaks and some concessions to labor unions. 

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-LaCrosse, said those changes are key, not just in moving the deal forward but for making it workable. 

"Raising standards in trade agreements to level the playing field for workers, farmers, and businesses is vital so we are not trying to compete in a race to the bottom," Kind said in a statement.

Both Canada and Mexico must ratify the new trade agreement. There is hope Congress can finalize it by perhaps the end of the year.

U.S. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, provided the simplest statement of the day. Gallagher summed up the impatience that many here in Wisconsin have felt for the past year-plus. 

“It’s about damn time," Gallagher said. 

By: Briana Reilly of the Cap Times

Wisconsin congressional Republicans are pushing for quick passage of a new trade deal announced Tuesday that dairy and business interests say would help bring certainty to the state. 

But Wisconsin Democrats said they're keen to review the measure before publicizing whether it would get their support. 

House Democrats Tuesday morning announced they had come to a deal with President Donald Trump's administration over the renegotiated trade pact, with national media outlets reporting the party was able to secure changes to provisions on prescription drug pricing, the environment, labor and more. 

Overall, Wisconsin congressional lawmakers lauded the news, with U.S. Rep. Ron Kind touting his efforts to "ensure a level playing field for Wisconsin workers and farmers," maintain U.S. jobs and more. 

"The bipartisan efforts, changes to labor standards, increases in enforceability measures, and the solidifying of agricultural access should all serve as a baseline for how future trade agreements will be drafted," the La Crosse Democrat said in a statement, though he didn't guarantee he'd support it on the floor as he first wants to review the language. 

U.S. Reps. Gwen Moore and Mark Pocan, both Democrats, hadn't yet weighed in on the deal Tuesday afternoon, with a Pocan spokesman saying the Madison rep hadn't seen the bill text and therefore declined to comment. 

Meanwhile, Republicans lamented "months of needless delay," in the words of U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, and praised the Trump administration for finalizing negotiations on the effort. 

“It’s about damn time," U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Green Bay Republican, wrote in a tweet. "USMCA is a win for Wisconsin and a win for America. It should have been brought up for a vote months ago." 

State Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, have called on Congress to sign off on the update to the North American Free Trade Agreement for months, though Democrats have expressed reservations about the plan. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in visits to the state have also urged passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. 

The agreement to update NAFTA, which first took effect in 1994, has received approval from the three countries' leaders after negotiations were finalized last year, but it has stalled in Congress where it needs members' approval. Trump has slammed House Democrats for failing to act on the deal.  

In Wisconsin, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative — whose president, Brody Stapel, is a dairy farmer in the eastern part of the state -- praised Tuesday's announcement as "a significant step forward" and demanded House leaders pass it swiftly. 

“USMCA is critical to the long-term success of the U.S. dairy community," Stapel said, adding: "This agreement would protect those longtime trading relationships and allow for growth in market share. That means economic certainty for businesses, families, employees and rural communities."

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce head Kurt Bauer said in a statement the group is "confident this renegotiated trade deal will benefit the state's economy." 

“Wisconsin manufacturers, farmers and other employers need certainty when it comes to trade, and it is encouraging to see Congress finally moving the USMCA forward," he said. "We make and grow things in Wisconsin, but we need to be able to sell those product to our top trading partners in Canada and Mexico." 

A spokeswoman for the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO didn't immediately return a request for comment Tuesday afternoon. The deal has won the endorsement of the national group, according to media reports, which helped secure the support of House Democrats.  

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) issued the following statement after negotiators announced they reached a final deal on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):

“This is a huge win for America and for Wisconsin. It is a boon for our state’s dairy farmers who will have more access to Canadian markets. After enduring months of needless delay, I am eager to vote for the deal and am grateful to the Trump administration for their tireless work reaching an agreement.”

Washington, D.C.Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) issued the following statement after Speaker Pelosi today annouced articles of impeachment against President Trump:

“Democrats have wanted to impeach President Trump since January 20, 2017 and realized their dream would come true last November. Despite the fact that they could find no bipartisan support—a criterion once set by both Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Nadler—they are pushing forward with this exercise that will further tear the country apart. Just as the Founders feared, divided governments will now almost certainly lead to partisan impeachments. The Democrats’ obsession with ousting the President made today an inevitability, but it is nevertheless a sad day for the Republic.”


WASHINGTON, DC (Wisconsin Radio Network) -- As Democrats continue to make their case for an impeachment of the President, Republicans say the process is corrupt.

Speaking at the House Judiciary Hearing on Monday, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, along with other Republicans, took exception to California Congressman Devin Nunes being named in a report as having made phone calls to suspected co-conspirators in the investigation. He said, "Folks, you have made Joe McCarthy look like a piker, with what you've done with the electronic surveillance involved."

Sensenbrenner added that releasing phone records of members of congress and their staff members was inappropriate. "It is something that has to be put a stop to now. It is something that has to be fessed up to now, whether it's you Mr. Goldman that authorized the matching and the publication, or whether it was Chairman Schiff."

Democrats laid out their claims that the President willfully broke the law, that others knew about it, and that he continues to attempt to subvert the elections.

Washington, D.C.Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) offered the following statement today after Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his report:

“The Intelligence Community is given powerful tools to protect the security of the American people, including conducting surveillance operations. These tools require vigorous oversight to make sure the rights of Americans are protected. The OIG Report released today highlights multiple missteps, errors, and omissions by the FBI in conducting FISA Surveillance of an American citizen. Congress must fully examine these findings and take corrective actions to prevent similar issues in the future.”

Sensenbrenner Statement on DOJ IG Report

Washington, D.C.Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) offered the following statement today after Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his report:

“The Intelligence Community is given powerful tools to protect the security of the American people, including conducting surveillance operations. These tools require vigorous oversight to make sure the rights of Americans are protected. The OIG Report released today highlights multiple missteps, errors, and omissions by the FBI in conducting FISA Surveillance of an American citizen. Congress must fully examine these findings and take corrective actions to prevent similar issues in the future.”

By: Emma Dumain of McClatchy

The Democrats’ campaign to regain control of the House in 2018 included a pledge to restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. But a vote on Friday signals their legislation is headed nowhere.

Their bill passed along party lines, 228-187, with only one Republican, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, voting “yes.” It was the first time that a rewrite or reauthorization of the original Voting Rights Act of 1965 has had a partisan vote.

The White House issued a veto threat of the Democrats’ Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore a provision requiring certain states to get federal government permission before changing local election laws.

House Republicans rebranded the bill as “The Federal Control of Elections Act.”

And even without strong opposition from the White House, there was little appetite to take up the bill in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Republicans said Democrats were to blame for crafting a bill that could not get GOP or White House support.

“If Democrats want an issue, they can continue down this path. If they want a law, they know my number. My record speaks for itself,” said Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.

Sensenbrenner was the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in 2006, the last time Congress passed a reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, 390-33. The Senate passed the same bill 98-0 and Republican President George W. Bush signed it into law.

Democrats resented the characterization that they had not worked with Republicans in good faith, blaming political polarization for the lack of GOP support.

“If it were just a messaging bill, I will have wasted ten months’ worth of time,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, the chairwoman of a House subcommittee on elections, who held nine hearings around the country on voter access that culminated in a 144-page report to justify an updated Voting Rights Act.

When the original Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, it required certain states with histories of voter discrimination and disenfranchisement to be “precleared” before changing voting laws. A formula was established to determine which states would be subject to this requirement.

In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court determined the formula was out of date for determining which states ought to be penalized and threw it out, challenging Congress to come up with a new one

Sensenbrenner worked with Democrats in the Republican-controlled House to come up with bipartisan compromises in the years following that court ruling, but GOP leaders never allowed a vote. Many congressional Republicans didn’t want to restore the preclearance formula, satisfied their states would no longer be punished for Jim Crow-era offenses.

On Friday, Republicans accused the Voting Rights Advancement Act of doing more than just reinstating the preclearance formula, contending the bill constituted broad federal overreach of states’ rights.

GOP lawmakers also complained the bill prohibited states from implementing voter ID laws and would require states to get permission before putting in place very specific election procedures that have a history of being used for discriminatory practices — even if the procedures weren’t intended to be discriminatory.

Democrats said the need for reforms on top of a new preclearance formula were critical, arguing that many of the 14 states and jurisdictions previously subject to preclearance have taken advantage of their freedom from federal oversight to pass new laws that suppress voter access at the polls.

Fudge said her review also found that voter disenfranchisement was now rampant in states that weren’t originally under the preclearance formula, for instance Ohio and North Dakota.

Though the Voting Rights Advancement Act is unlikely to move in the current Congress, Democrats will still seek to score political points off House passage.

Supporters held a press conference in the Capitol on Friday, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling it a “happy day.”

Seeking to draw on the emotions of the issue, Democrats had Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a civil rights icon, preside over the bill’s final passage.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., also left open a possibility that Democrats could use Fudge’s report as the basis of a formal legal challenge at some future date to force the Supreme Court to reinstate the formula.

But on the floor on Friday, the debate laid bare deep political differences in starkly personal terms.

“Today, a partisan bill comes to the floor to prevent states from running their own state and local elections when we are dealing with this very issue of impeachment and discussing elections at the same time,” said Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, which also held hearings on the state of voting rights in preparation for the drafting of the Voting Rights Advancement Act.

“The Republican Party used to support the unfettered right to vote,” countered House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York. “The party of Lincoln is gone. The party of Reagan is gone. The party of McCain is gone.”