The House Judiciary Committee unexpectedly adjourned late Thursday after more than 13 hours of debate, delaying votes on two articles of impeachment against President Trump to Friday morning.

The surprise decision by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) to call a recess and postpone the votes immediately caused furor among Republicans in the committee, one of whom likened the move to “kangaroo court.”

Trump is just the fourth president in U.S. history to face the prospect of impeachment for alleged misconduct in office. A vote is expected by the full House next week.

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.

●Senate Republicans look to hold a short impeachment trial despite Trump’s desire for an aggressive defense.

●House Democrats brace for some defections among moderates on impeachment of Trump.

●In new legal memo, White House budget office defends withholding aid to Ukraine.

4:30 a.m.
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Collins sounds off on Nadler

Republicans accused Democrats of breaching faith on an agreement they’d made during the late-night break. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.)said Republicans promised to limit their amendments to wrap up debate earlier in the evening and vote. But as soon as lawmakers agreed to cut off amendment debate, Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) suddenly moved to delay the vote until the morning.

A furious Collins, the ranking Republican on the committee, said his members were supposed to be on flights and trains in the morning and accused Democrats of trying to move the vote time to the morning so they could get TV attention.

“This is the most ludicrous thing I have seen in my entire life!” he said. “To not even consult the ranking member, to not even give us a heads up! ... This is why people don’t like us, this crap!”

A Democratic aide refuted the notion that there was any agreement to have a vote this evening. But behind the scenes sources pointed out how both sides originally agreed to finish by 5 p.m. Thursday – and the GOP changed its mind at the last minute and dragged the hearing out, ruining Democrats’ plans. Democrats dished it back, in a way.

4:15 a.m.
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Nadler calls recess in surprise move; reschedules vote for Friday morning

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) late Thursday called to postpone votes to approve two articles of impeachment against President Trump to Friday morning.

“It has been a long two days of consideration of these articles and it is now very late at night,” Nadler said. “I want members on both sides of the aisle to think about what has happened over these last two days and to search their consciences before we cast our final votes.”

His remarks prompted an audible “whoa” from at least one person in the room. Republicans immediately indicated their furor.

“You’ve just blown up schedules for everyone” said Rep. Douglas A. Collins (Ga.). “This is the kangaroo court we’re talking about.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) called the decision “Stalinesque.”

3:00 a.m.
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Huckabee defends his suggestion that Trump should get a third term in office

Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and conservative commentator, defended his suggestion that Trump should be eligible for a third presidential term as “hilarious” in a Fox News interview Thursday evening.

Host Sean Hannity pressed Huckabee about the comment, which he tweeted out that afternoon to a chorus of consternation from some on the left and chuckles from others on the right.

Huckabee wrote that Trump “will be eligible for a 3rd term due to the illegal attempts by Comey, Dems, and media, et al attempting to oust him as @POTUS so that’s why I was named to head up the 2024 re-election.”

Hannity asked Huckabee to clarify that the tweet was in jest, but, laughing, Huckabee said, “No, it’s not a joke.”

“I think it’s hilarious,” Huckabee added. “I had a lot of fun watching people on the left’s heads explode … I’ve had a fun day.”

He singled out former national security adviser Susan Rice, who quoted Huckabee’s tweet and added, “WTF??!!”

“They’ve got to learn to have a sense of humor,” Hannity said, after accusing liberals of being “triggered” by the post.

2:30 a.m.
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Republican member all but pleads with weary colleagues to finish impeachment hearing

As the contentious impeachment markup approached its 12th hour — running well past predictions by officials on both sides of the aisle — one GOP lawmaker implored his colleagues to, essentially, wrap it up.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) complained that “I have not heard a new point or an original thought from either side in the last three hours,” calling the hearing an “institutional embarrassment.”

“The same talking points have been repeated over and over again, ad nauseum, by both sides,” he said. “Repeating a fact over and over doesn’t make it true, and denying a fact over and over doesn’t make it false. Everybody knows this. Everybody watching knows this.”

McClintock continued: “This hearing has been enough of an institutional embarrassment without putting it on an endless loop, so if I could just offer a modest suggestion: If no one has anything new to add that they resist the temptation to inflict what we’ve already heard over and over again.”

McClintock was preaching to the choir, at least on the Democratic side. His GOP colleagues were actually the ones dragging out the hearing, which officials on both sides originally expected to wrap up by 5 p.m. In fact, Republicans on the panel – as well as their spouses – had plans to attend the lavish White House Christmas party for lawmakers. Ranking Judiciary panel Republican Doug Collins’s wife even showed up to the markup in evening wear.

However, the GOP — sensitive to suggestions that it was hanging up the battle for Trump to head to a holiday party — decided to keep fighting and offering amendments well beyond what was anticipated. Collins, according to sources familiar with what happened, had to tell his wife they weren’t going to make the party. At one point, he sat with her in the back of the hearing room, held her hand and gave her a kiss on the head.

Just after 9 p.m., Democrats broke for a recess, as members grew weary and hungry. Democratic staffers, who hadn’t planned to order dinner for their members, scrambled to order Hill Country Barbecue and coffee for sustenance. That didn’t lift their moods much. Many lawmakers had planned to fly back to their districts this evening after the markup. Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) said he would have to miss a parent-teacher conference in the morning for his daughter.

2:45 a.m.
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McConnell says he’ll take cues from White House on whether to call witnesses during Senate impeachment trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reiterated his intention to work closely with the White House’s legal team on the impeachment trial, pledging “total coordination.”

“There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position,” McConnell told Sean Hannity in a Fox News interview Thursday evening.

When asked whether the Senate trial would involve witnesses, McConnell said, “I’m going to take my cues from the president’s lawyers.”

His remarks echo earlier signals, when Trump’s legislative affairs director Eric Ueland promised the White House would be “cooperative and very collaborative” with Senate Republicans.

McConnell predicted bipartisan opposition to impeachment in the House and, he said, maybe the Senate, too.

“The case is so darn weak coming over from the House, we all know how it’s going to end,” McConnell said. “There’s no chance the president is going to be removed from office.”

2:00 a.m.
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Another Republican-backed amendment defeated

The Judiciary Committee defeated an amendment proposed by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) that proposed to remove the last eight lines of each article of impeachment.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) had previously called the proposal “silly.”

“It takes [out] the paragraph that says, ‘Wherefore the president should be impeached.’ It renders the two articles simply a catalog of various bad acts by the president, but takes the force and effect of the articles entirely away,” Nadler said.

The amendment was defeated by a vote of 23 to 17.

1:00 a.m.
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Name-calling, insults and scandals dominate all-day impeachment hearing

Hunter Biden’s drug problem. Allegations about President Trump’s sex life. A congressman’s past DUI arrest.

No controversy even marginally related to the House impeachment proceeding was overlooked Thursday as Republican and Democratic lawmakers waged one last battle over articles of impeachment before the matter moves to the floor next week.

Frustration had built for both parties over a month of tightly controlled hearings, where committee procedures restrained the partisan conflict just enough to keep the impeachment process moving. But Thursday’s markup session in the House Judiciary Committee unfolded without those controls, in an open format that allowed members more than eight hours of spontaneous and at times nasty confrontation.

Lawmakers from both parties took advantage.

“Today I’m reminded of Judas,” said Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.). “Because Judas for 30 pieces of silver betrayed Jesus. For 30 positive tweets for easy reelection, the other side is willing to betray the American people.”

One of the most dramatic moments of the markup came after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) proposed an amendment to add a mention of Hunter Biden and his former position on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, to the articles of impeachment. Gaetz proceeded to discuss Biden’s struggle with drug addiction, reading directly from a New Yorker article that discussed it and an episode involving a crack pipe discovered in Biden’s Hertz rental car.

This stunned at least one Democrat, who responded by indirectly noting Gaetz’s previously reported DUI arrest in 2008. He was not convicted.

In another instance, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), who also served during Bill Clinton’s impeachment, argued that Trump had committed a far greater offense — and brought up one of Trump’s alleged sexual partners to make her point.

Read more here.

12:30 a.m.
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Jordan proposes taking impeachment out of articles of impeachment

As the hearing dragged past the 7 p.m. hour, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) offered an amendment that would take the concept of impeachment out of the articles of impeachment.

The House Judiciary Committee voted on Dec. 13 to pass two articles of impeachment unamended. The impeachment articles will now be debated on the House floor. (The Washington Post)

The amendment — Thursday’s fifth — proposed to eliminate the last eight lines of each article:

“Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) called the proposal “silly.”

“It takes [out] the paragraph that says, ‘Wherefore the president should be impeached.’ It renders the two articles simply a catalog of various bad acts by the president, but takes the force and effect of the articles entirely away,” he said.

He urged opponents of the articles to simply vote against them.

12:15 a.m.
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Fourth GOP amendment is defeated

The Judiciary Committee defeated an amendment proposed by Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) to strike article II, the obstruction-of-Congress charge, on the grounds that it was “completely baseless and bogus.”

The amendment was defeated 23 to 17.

11:00 p.m.
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Nadler and GOP member have quick exchange over process

In a relatively polite exchange, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) why the Democrats didn’t take Trump to court to compel witnesses to testify rather than charge him with obstruction of justice.

Nadler had just finished a long statement on why Trump had obstructed justice, saying the White House directed witnesses not to participate in the impeachment inquiry because they didn’t want to validate it. “It is not up to the president to decide whether an impeachment inquiry by the Congress is legitimate or not. That’s our function,” Nadler said.

Buck then interjected and asked if he could ask “one quick question.”

“Why is court not an appropriate remedy in this case?” he asked.

Nadler responded that there’s nothing for a court to review because the president did not exert executive privilege, but simple instructed officials to defy their subpoenas.

“Isn’t the next step, then, to hold a witness in contempt for either not producing documents or not appearing?” Buck retorted.

Nadler repeated that if privilege were asserted, then yes, but in this case “the only remedy for a president who says the House does not have the power to determine to have an impeachment inquiry is to say that’s an obstruction of Congress.”

10:45 p.m.
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Republicans seek to strike obstruction of Congress charge

As the impeachment markup barreled past the 8-hour mark, Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) offered the fourth GOP amendment: to strike article II, the entire obstruction of Congress charge.

“Who is really obstructing Congress?” Reschenthaler asked, seeking to turn the blame onto Democrats.

Republicans over the past few weeks have argued that it’s actually Democrats who have abused their power, by refusing to give the GOP a minority-day hearing or allow the president to call his own witnesses. Democrats, however, gave the president the opportunity to cross-examine staff counsel presentations; the White House declined to do so.

Some of the Judiciary panel’s top Republicans were among the most dogged investigators of the Obama administration. Now, they approve of Trump’s refusal to comply with committee requests.

The Republicans argue that Democrats should go to court to settle the fight.

“The Democrats have no case when it comes to obstruction,” Reschenthaler said. “This obstruction charge is completely baseless and bogus.”

10:25 p.m.
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Another GOP amendment is defeated

The Judiciary Committee has defeated a GOP-backed amendment that would have added language to the articles of impeachment stating that the U.S. aid to Ukraine was released after the new Ukrainian government signed anti-corruption measures into law.

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), was defeated 23 to 17.

10:15 p.m.
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A tally of which House members support impeaching Trump

The House is expected to vote on the two articles of impeachment next week before breaking for the holidays. The Washington Post has compiled a tally of how members have indicated they will vote.

Take a look at it here.

10:00 p.m.
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Democrat compares GOP contortions to her yoga-teaching sister

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) chided Republicans, comparing their defenses of Trump to the yoga poses her sister can do.

“It is incredible to me to see some of my colleagues bend over backwards to cover up for this president,” she said. “My sister is a yoga teacher. She doesn’t contort the way some of my Republican colleagues distort the facts, all to protect this president.”