Rep. Gianforte votes against "baseless" impeachment; Daines calls vote a "sham"

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He asked his followers to "Say a PRAYER!"

"I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States".

Because Trump impeached himself with his own words, the only defense Republicans can muster is to simply ignore the evidence.

The U.S. House pressed toward its historic votes to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday, arguing about the charges he faces and the legitimacy of the probe that brought Congress and the nation to this point that will leave a lasting mark on his tenure at the White House.

The second article accused Trump of obstruction of Congress by directing administration officials and agencies not to comply with lawful House subpoenas for testimony and documents related to impeachment.

The first of the articles accused Trump, 73, of abusing his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden, a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, as well as a discredited theory promoted by the president and beneficial to Russian Federation that Democrats conspired with Ukraine to meddle in the 2016 election.

House Republicans' unbroken opposition to impeachment is their most unapologetic embrace of President Donald Trump yet, binding them to a president whose loyalty from his party's core conservative voters is matched only by his opponents' loathing for him.

House members have been speaking on the matter all day and are expected to hold a vote Wednesday night.

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But Republicans give majority support only for gun background checks and stricter prescription drug regulations. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg stays in fourth with 8 percent, also losing some ground.

GOP solidarity behind Trump on impeachment contrasts with past battles over Trump priorities, such as his failed effort to repeal former President Barack Obama's health care law. The most vulnerable include several of the 31 Democrats representing districts Trump won in 2016, many of whom are freshmen.

"We're going to win this thing again".

Upholding her oath to the Constitution and the country, Jayapal said, requires that she vote to impeach Trump.

Trump's campaign has experienced a surge in contributions and volunteers during the proceedings and was hoping to raise an additional $2 million Wednesday ahead of the votes.

"It doesn't really feel like we're being impeached", he said shortly after taking the Christmas tree-adorned stage.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy introduced a resolution accusing Democratic Representatives Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler, respectively the chairmen of the Intelligence and Judiciary committees that led the impeachment hearings, of "wilfully and intentionally" violating House rules and exceeding their powers.

"Anybody else, this would be traumatic for them", McCarthy said. Driven by those whose bitter rage against President Trump has blinded their better judgment. "I must tell you that while he's frustrated ... he is also so focused, and he is leading our White House and keeping us calm and telling us, 'That's OK, we're going to move forward, we're focused, this is going to take us through to 2020'".

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