House Democrats unveiled two narrowly drawn articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday, saying he had abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress in its investigation of his conduct regarding Ukraine.

“We must be clear: No one, not even the president, is above the law,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said at a news conference where he was flanked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other House leaders.

At the heart of the Democrats’ case is the allegation that Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine to combat Russian military aggression, to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a probe of an unfounded theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Five takeaways from the House Judiciary impeachment hearing.

●Trump lashes out at FBI director in wake of Justice Department inspector general’s report.

●In opening an investigation of the Trump campaign, the FBI felt it had reached a ‘tipping point,’ inspector general finds

1:00 a.m.
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At Pennsylvania rally, Trump decries ‘flimsy, pathetic, ridiculous’ articles of impeachment

At a rally in Hershey, Pa., Tuesday evening, Trump called the impeachment process a “sham,” and a desperate tactic by Democrats to gain an advantage in next year’s election.

“You know why, because they want to win an election and this is the only way they can do it,” Trump said.

Trump added that any Democrat who votes for the “flimsy, pathetic, ridiculous” articles of impeachment against him would be sacrificing their dignity.

“Everybody said, ‘this is impeachment lite. This is the lightest impeachment in the history of the country by far,’” Trump said. “It’s not even like an impeachment, these people are stone-cold crooked.”

Speaking before Trump, Vice President Pence similarly called the impeachment proceedings a “disgrace.” He said it’s only being pushed by Democrats because they can’t beat Trump otherwise.

Later, to raucous cheers, Trump said, “Our poll numbers have gone through the roof because of [Pelosi’s] stupid impeachment.”

A Washington Post average of nationally representative polls from June through late September found that Trump’s approval rating has hardly budged since the impeachment inquiry began.

12:30 a.m.
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A day of history accentuates America’s divide and the distortions of truth in the Trump era

For only the fourth time in the nation’s history, congressional leaders on Tuesday put forward articles of impeachment against a president, but that milestone was the most predictable of events on a day that accentuated the degree to which the institutions of government are under stress and the citizens they serve are in conflict.

Amid the partisan breakdown over Trump’s conduct in office, there was a rare statement of progress: a deal to cement a new U.S. trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, the only substantial legislative breakthrough of the year and one long sought by the president.

But in today’s hyper-polarized environment, agreement among elected leaders — once considered the norm — is now the anomaly. Instead, the House Democrats’ march to impeach Trump and the president’s continuing war with the FBI over the origins of the Russia investigation more clearly characterized the strained state of the nation and the rising prominence of distorting facts for political gain.

“This moment tells us something about ourselves,” said Ted Strickland, a former Democratic governor of Ohio. “Obviously, what’s happening is polarizing and will probably deepen the anger and the hostility that has characterized our politics for the last few years.”

Read more here.

11:30 p.m.
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House Democrats say Trump is unfit for office but eagerly deal with him on trade

On one hand, Democrats called President Trump “a continuing threat to our democracy and national security.” On the other, they said he is a trustworthy partner in consummating the grandest trade deal the United States has ever negotiated.

The nation saw a split screen Tuesday morning, in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) dashed from a somber announcement of articles of impeachment against the president to a jubilant proclamation of a revised North American trade accord — bewildering liberals who said Democrats were sending disastrously mixed messages about Trump 11 months before the 2020 election.

But inside the confines of the House, the tandem moves made perfect sense: It is, multiple Democratic lawmakers said, the ultimate expression of the “walk and chew gum” mentality that Pelosi and other party leaders have been pushing since the earliest days of their majority, and it generated nearly universal acclaim from lawmakers Tuesday.

“Imagine if we had caved to those people who would have said, ‘Why give the president a win?’­ ” asked Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee who has pushed for impeachment. “We’d be torpedoing something that is good for the American people for political gain. That’s what the president is being impeached for, so we’re not going to do that.”

Read more here.

10:30 p.m.
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Trump denounces ‘very weak’ articles of impeachment ahead of Pennsylvania rally

Addressing reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before leaving for his rally in Pennsylvania, Trump disparaged the articles of impeachment unveiled by Democrats.

“Even the Democrats, they couldn’t find very much,” Trump said. “Because they put up two articles that, frankly, are very weak. They’re very weak.”

Trump praised Republicans who he said stuck together through the “witch hunt,” and celebrated an agreement with House Democrats on a North American trade deal announced earlier in the day, which the president called a “silver lining to impeachment.”

He argued that Democratic lawmakers are using the trade agreement as a way to distract from impeachment.

“The reason is they wanted to muffle down the impeachment because they’re embarrassed by it,” he said.

10:00 p.m.
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House Republicans call for minority hearing on impeachment

A group of House Republicans accused Nadler of ignoring their request for a minority hearing, according to a letter published Tuesday by the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

“When considering the unprecedented speed at which the majority is moving towards impeaching a duly elected president, a delay under these circumstances is tantamount to a denial of our right to a minority hearing,” the letter, addressed to Nadler, reads.

The letter is signed by 72 House Republicans, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).

“Under House rules, the minority is entitled to their own hearing on impeachment, but @RepJerryNadler has stonewalled,” tweeted Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.). “My colleagues and I are prepared to use every parliamentary tool available to get some kind of fairness.”

9:30 p.m.
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Trump’s face photoshopped onto supervillain in video calling his reelection ‘inevitable’

A Twitter account affiliated with Trump’s reelection campaign tweeted a video of the president’s head photoshopped onto Thanos — the star villain from Marvel Studios’ popular “Avengers” film series — asserting that his reelection next year is “inevitable.”

“House Democrats can push their sham impeachment all they want,” the tweet reads. “President Trump’s re-election is inevitable.”

In the video, the photoshopped Thanos snaps his fingers, causing Pelosi, Nadler and other House leaders to disappear. It was tweeted Tuesday afternoon by Trump War Room, a verified Twitter account managed by Trump’s 2020 campaign.

Many were quick to point out, however, that the “Avengers: Endgame” clip used in the video comes moments before Thanos realizes he has been outsmarted by the movie’s protagonists.

In a statement to HuffPost,writer-artist and Thanos co-creator Jim Starlin said seeing Trump’s photo on his work was violating.

“After my initial feeling of being violated, seeing that pompous fool using my creation to stroke his infantile ego, it finally struck me that the leader of my country and the free world actually enjoys comparing himself to a mass murderer,” Starlin said in a statement to HuffPost. “How sick is that?”

He added: “These are sad and strange times we are going through. Fortunately all things, even national nightmares, eventually come to an end.”

9:15 p.m.
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Spending talks continue with impeachment in the background

Ten days from a government shutdown deadline, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday to jump-start moribund spending talks, meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and top appropriators to smooth the way to a fiscal accord ahead of the Dec. 20 deadline.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) emerged from the meeting upbeat, saying they expected to work over the next 48 hours to resolve minor issues in hopes of potentially striking a final deal Thursday, when Mnuchin is expected to return to the Capitol.

“We’re adults. We’re appropriators,” said Lowey. “If there’s a commitment to get our work done, I intend to keep that commitment.”

Congressional leaders have struggled to reach agreement on key issues since inking a sweeping budget deal over the summer that set top-line spending levels for fiscal 2020 and 2021. Negotiating the nitty-gritty of agency appropriations has been thornier — especially the issue of border wall construction and immigration enforcement funding.

Multiple officials from both parties said there is a mutual understanding that border issues will have to be resolved somewhere close to the status quo, where Congress provides no specific money for the wall but President Trump retains the power to shift funds from elsewhere in the government.

But the exact details of that arrangement, as well as strictures on detention beds for detained migrants and other immigration-related issues, could be trickier for the leaders to navigate.

Those matters were not discussed in Tuesday’s meeting, Lowey said. But she added that Mnuchin helped reassure congressional leaders that Trump is interested in consummating a deal before the Christmas holiday despite his impending impeachment in the House.

“He’s very cooperative,” she said. “I was very pleased with his tone. He was happy to be there. He made it clear that they want to get a deal.”

8:45 p.m.
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Russian foreign minister leaves White House after meeting with Trump

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov left the White House on Tuesday afternoon after a scheduled Oval Office meeting with Trump.

The meeting was part of Lavrov’s first trip to Washington since 2017. That earlier visit led to a firestorm of criticism after the Russian Embassy in Washington released images of him and other U.S. officials smiling and shaking hands in the Oval Office. The Russian delegation was allowed to bring a photographer in the room from the state news agency Tass while U.S. photojournalists were barred entry to the meeting.

The White House has yet to release a readout of Tuesday’s visit.

8:20 p.m.
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Impeachment trial ‘has to come first’ for 2020 candidates, Schumer says

A Senate impeachment trial early next year could interfere with campaign schedules for the five senators running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

But Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) offered no concessions when asked about the situation Tuesday, telling reporters that for those senators, “This has to come first.”

“This is one of the most solemn decisions that anyone has to make, and I’ve told all members of my caucus that scheduling concerns are secondary to doing this the right way,” Schumer said at a news conference on Capitol Hill.

The leader’s comments came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled that a trial would start in early January.

The presidential primary season begins Feb. 3 with the Iowa caucuses.

8:15 p.m.
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Senate Democrats slam the ‘conspiracy caucus’

Senate Democratic leadership warned their Republican colleagues not to indulge in conspiracy theories as the impeachment inquiry appeared to head toward a Senate trial.

In recent weeks, Republicans, including Sens. John Neely Kennedy (La.) and Ted Cruz (Tex.), have echoed Trump’s debunked assertion that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election as they’ve ramped up their defense of the president.

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) labeled the GOP senators who advanced this theory as the “conspiracy caucus,” while Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said that Democrats had to play “whack a mole” to stymie these disproved claims.

“The president’s government is still not buying this wild-eyed theory of Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 campaign, and yet we continue to whack these moles down,” Durbin said. “I hope it’s time we put this behind us once and for all.”

7:40 p.m.
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McConnell would be ‘totally surprised’ if Trump is convicted in Senate trial early next year

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled Tuesday that a Senate trial would start in early January and said he would be “totally surprised” if there are 67 senators who vote to remove Trump from office.

Speaking to reporters at the Capitol, McConnell said it remains unclear whether the trial would include testimony from witnesses, as Trump has publicly advocated.

Ticking through the schedule of Senate business in coming weeks, McConnell said it is “not possible” to conduct a trial before the holiday recess and that he expects the Senate will return “right around the time the bowl games end,” referring to college football.

House Democrats are seeking to hold a full House vote on impeaching Trump next week.

McConnell said he anticipates a trial in which both House and impeachment managers and lawyers for the president would make opening arguments. After that, he said there would be two options: to proceed with calling witnesses or to end the proceedings if a majority of the Republican-led Senate is prepared to do so.

He noted that he previously said he would be “totally surprised” if there are enough votes to convict Trump.

“That remains my view,” McConnell said.

7:30 p.m.
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Bill Clinton says Congress ‘doing what they believe is right’ on Trump impeachment

Bill Clinton, who was the second president in American history to be impeached by the House of Representatives, said that “Congress is doing what they believe is right” by moving forward with articles of impeachment against Trump.

Clinton was asked about the Democrats’ decision while touring a high school in New York City as part of his work for the Clinton Foundation, Fox News reported.

“They also said they were going to support the Mexico-Canada trade deal,” Clinton told Fox News. “They’re doing their job as they see it, and we should wait to see it unfold. And the rest of us should go about our jobs and do them as we see it.”

In 1998, the Republican-controlled House impeached Clinton over charges that he lied under oath and obstructed justice. He was acquitted in a Senate trial the following year.

6:45 p.m.
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Attorney general sharpens attacks on FBI’s Russia probe

Attorney General William P. Barr sharpened his attacks Tuesday on the FBI’s investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 election, alleging in media interviews that the bureau had flimsy reason to initiate the probe in the first place, pursued the matter even after the case had “collapsed,” and might have acted in bad faith.

In an interview with NBC, and, later, at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council, Barr disputed aspects of the Justice Department inspector general’s assessment of the Russia case — especially those that were exonerating for the FBI — while emphasizing the malfeasance the watchdog had uncovered.

“It was a travesty, and there were many abuses,” he said of the Russia case. “From day one, it generated exculpatory information and nothing that substantiated any kind of collusion.”

Read more here.

6:30 p.m.
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Centrist Democrats skittish on impeachment consider voting down obstruction article

A band of centrist House Democrats are skittish about backing a move to oust the president, privately floating the idea of a less severe punishment and the prospects of even voting against an impeachment charge against Trump.

A group of 10 moderate Democrats from Trump-carried districts discussed their desire to vote to censure rather than impeach Trump during a Monday night huddle, according to a person familiar with the conversation who requested anonymity to share private conversations. The idea had been batted around by moderates worried about political blowback since the Thanksgiving break.

Other moderate Democrats, eager to show independence from the party, have discussed voting down one article of impeachment pertaining to obstruction of Congress. These Democrats worry that there’s not enough evidence to suggest Trump tried to flout the legislature’s authority since ultimately these matters will be decided in the courts.

The concerns come despite Pelosi’s move Tuesday to keep articles of impeachment narrowly focused on the Ukraine controversy as well as obstruction of Congress. Many lawmakers, including those on the House Judiciary Committee, also wanted a third charge of obstruction of justice, citing former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report. But Pelosi and her leadership team, knowing the fears of the moderates, ultimately chose a narrower scope.

The idea of a censure has been raised multiple times before, including over the Thanksgiving recess by Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.). However, Democrats in leadership argue that censuring Trump after all this work and investigation would be, essentially, acquitting him of wrongdoing — or at least suggesting his actions weren’t that bad.