Democrats accused President Trump of “multiple federal crimes,” including bribery and wire fraud, in a new report released early Monday that explains the articles of impeachment that the House is expected to approve mostly along party lines Wednesday.

A trial will probably begin in the Republican-led Senate in early January, and Democrats are seeking to call several senior Trump administration officials who did not testify as part of the House proceedings.

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.

●Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) calls for testimony from acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton.

●Trump goes after the teeth of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

●Freshman Democrats push to make Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) an impeachment manager.

2:20 a.m.
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Rep. Houlahan says she will vote for impeachment

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) announced she will vote to impeach Trump this week.

“On both Articles of Impeachment — that of the abuse of power and that of the obstruction of Congress — I will vote to impeach this President. After deep reflection, I believe this is the right thing to do for our nation and consistent with my oath of office,” she said in a statement.

Houlahan, a freshman who represents Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, won a double-digit win over her Republican competitor, Greg McCauley, in 2018. But the district remains a battleground: Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton (D) won it by less than one percentage point in the 2016 presidential election.

1:30 a.m.
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Centrist Democrats line up behind impeachment

A contingent of Democratic House members from Republican-leaning districts announced one by one Monday that after weeks of extraordinary pressure, they have decided to vote to impeach Trump as the House hurtles toward historic action later this week.

Monday’s announcements dealt a blow to Trump and his allies, who had been encouraging Democrats to defect to bolster their depiction of impeachment as a crusade by extremist liberals. The White House had mounted an all-out effort to pressure the centrists, many of whom faced a blitz of pro-impeachment ads and are risking significant political damage.

These Democrats characterized their choices as acts of conscience.

Read more here.

1:15 a.m.
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More than 700 scholars pen letter urging House to impeach Trump

A group of more than 700 historians, legal scholars and others published an open letter Monday urging the House of Representatives to impeach Trump, denouncing his conduct as “a clear and present danger to the Constitution.”

The letter’s release comes two days before the House is expected to vote on two articles of impeachment.

“President Trump’s lawless obstruction of the House of Representatives, which is rightly seeking documents and witness testimony in pursuit of its constitutionally-mandated oversight role, has demonstrated brazen contempt for representative government,” the scholars write in the letter, which was published online by the nonprofit advocacy group Protect Democracy.

Read more here.

11:50 p.m.
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Senior Senate Republicans dismiss Schumer’s demand for witnesses

Senior Republicans, who spoke about witness strategy in their weekly leadership meeting Monday evening and will almost surely discuss it again at a party-wide lunch on Tuesday, are dismissing Schumer’s demands, arguing that decisions about witnesses shouldn’t be made before the trial begins.

That would echo what occurred during President Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial, when senators unanimously agreed on the broad parameters of the proceedings – such as the length of time for opening arguments and questioning by senators – but dealt with the issue of witnesses only weeks into the trial.

“I don’t think that can be decided in advance of this thing getting underway,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), the second-ranking GOP senator, said of witnesses to call before the Senate.

Other Republican senators were largely dismissive of Schumer’s proposal.

“It’s a political statement,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said.

Though decisions are far from final, Senate Republicans have largely coalesced around a strategy of calling no witnesses despite Trump’s persistent demand for them. By the time House impeachment managers and Trump’s attorneys finish making their case in a trial, senior Republicans hope there will be a majority of senators ready to vote without having to hear from witnesses.

But Schumer and Senate Democrats are zeroing in on a handful of Republican senators who may be willing to break off from McConnell and insist on hearing from more officials who may have insight into the administration’s decision to hold up nearly $400 million in military assistance to Ukraine.

One senator being closely watched by Democrats – Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) – declined to comment Monday on the issue of witnesses. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) also did not elaborate beyond saying she hoped McConnell and Schumer would be able to work together. Similarly, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) also did not weigh in, saying she would reserve comment until McConnell and Schumer have had a chance to speak privately on procedure.

But Collins also distanced herself from McConnell and his comments proclaiming that he was closely coordinating with the White House on trial strategy, telling reporters: “That would not be the approach I’ve taken.”

11:15 p.m.
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A moderate congresswoman went all-in for Trump. Her constituents think they know why.

When Rep. Elise Stefanik ran for reelection in 2016, observers dubbed her “the tightrope walker” for the way she delicately tiptoed around the question of Donald Trump.

She had once insisted he could never win the Republican nomination. Once he did, she kept him at a careful distance — acknowledging, when pressed, that she supported the man at the top of her party’s ticket while generally avoiding any mention of his name.

Three years later, with Trump’s presidency on the line, Stefanik (R-N.Y.) shot to his defense with all the subtlety of a human cannonball.

Read more here.

10:50 p.m.
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Trump says South Dakota governor asked him for ‘favor’ on Mount Rushmore fireworks

At a White House roundtable with governors on regulation, Trump mentioned that South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) had asked him to do her a “favor” and help her bring back the annual Mount Rushmore fireworks display, which was canceled in 2009 because of environmental and other concerns.

Trump’s use of the word “favor” echoed his now-famous comment to Zelensky during the July phone call in which he asked Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

“Nobody knows why, but you just couldn’t have it,” Trump said Monday at the White House roundtable, referring to the cancellation of the annual fireworks display. “And now you’re going to have fireworks. And the governor called, and she said, ‘You’ve got to do me a favor.’ Right?”

“And you did,” Noem said.

“And we worked it out, and we got it done, and you’re going to have fireworks,” Trump said.

Trump had announced in a May tweet that “THE BIG FIREWORKS” were returning to Mount Rushmore in 2020.

According to South Dakota-based Keloland News, the fireworks displays were called off a decade ago over concerns that they may have contaminated the local water supply as well as the threat of forest fires.

10:30 p.m.
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Rep. Kim says he backs impeachment

Freshman Rep. Andy Kim (N.J.) is the latest Democrat to back impeachment.

In a Monday statement, Kim described this week’s House vote as a “singular” decision that will “determine the very framework of our democracy, what constitutes acceptable behavior by future presidents, and the kind of country our children and grandchildren will grow up in.”

“I give you my sincere word that I made this decision myself with no consideration about party affiliation, and I am fully committed to continuing to bridge across partisanship and get real things done for our community to lower health care and prescription drug costs, support our military and our veterans, create jobs and prioritize the needs of your families,” Kim said.

9:30 p.m.
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Vulnerable Virginia Democrats Spanberger and Luria will vote to impeach Trump

The two most vulnerable Democrats representing Virginia in Congress say they will vote to impeach Trump, complicating their quest for reelection in districts that voted for the president in 2016.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger of the Richmond suburbs cited the oath she took to protect and defend the Constitution when she confirmed on Monday that she will vote for articles of impeachment on Wednesday.

Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia Beach made a similar reference to her oath of office when she announced her decision late last week.

Read more here.

9:00 p.m.
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Rep. Peterson says he refused offer from ‘highest levels’ of GOP to switch parties

Rep. Collin C. Peterson, a conservative Democrat from a Minnesota district that Trump carried by 31 points in 2016, said he had been asked “by the highest levels of the Republican Party” to switch parties but refused.

“There have been overtures by the highest levels of the Republican Party in the last couple weeks to ask if I would consider it and I told them no,” he said during an interview with Fargo-based radio station KFGO.

First elected to the House in 1990, Peterson was one of just two Democrats to vote against starting a formal impeachment inquiry. He has indicated he will probably vote against impeaching Trump but told KFGO that he had no intention of changing parties.

“I’m staying in the party, in spite of some of the stuff that’s going on that I don’t agree with,” he said. “I am not going to switch parties at this stage of my career.”

8:45 p.m.
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Trump defends Giuliani as a ‘very great crime fighter’

In an exchange with reporters at the White House on Monday, Trump defended Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal attorney.

The president called Giuliani “the greatest mayor of the history of New York” and “probably the greatest crime fighter of the last 50 years.”

“He’s a great person who loves our country, and he does this out of love, believe me. He does it out of love,” Trump said, referring to Giuliani’s recent trip to Ukraine.

Asked what Giuliani told him about the Ukraine trip, Trump responded, “Not too much.”

Earlier Monday, William Webster, a former director of both the FBI and the CIA who served under presidents from both parties, said in a New York Times op-ed that Giuliani’s activities in Ukraine “have, at a minimum, failed the smell test of propriety.”

Giuliani, meanwhile, said in an interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group host Eric Bolling that the House’s articles of impeachment against Trump are “ridiculous” and argued that his conversations with Trump are protected by attorney-client privilege.

“First of all, they’re not crimes at all,” Giuliani said of Trump’s actions, according to an excerpt of the interview released Monday. “Abuse of power is not a crime. And what was the other thing? Obstructing Congress? A Congress that doesn’t do anything? What are you obstructing them in doing? Impeaching?”

8:15 p.m.
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Rep. Cisneros says he will support impeachment

Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-Calif.) said in a statement that he will support articles of impeachment against Trump.

Cisneros had joined six other freshman House Democrats in September in calling for the chamber to begin impeachment proceedings.

“Following the focused investigative process by the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, the facts are before Congress and the American people,” Cisneros said. “The President betrayed his oath to support and defend the Constitution by attempting to undermine the integrity of our elections for his own personal benefit. He asked a foreign government to investigate a political rival, and he endangered our national security by withholding taxpayer-funded military aid that was meant to be used to counter Russian aggression against an American ally.”

He added that “this is not about personal politics or party affiliation. It is about upholding my oath to put our country and our Constitution first and protect our national security.”

7:30 p.m.
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Schumer publicly presses McConnell on impeachment witnesses

At a Capitol news conference Monday afternoon, Schumer renewed his call for several senior Trump administration officials to testify and publicly pressed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on the matter.

“Trials have witnesses!” Schumer declared, adding that “to engage a trial without the facts coming out is to engage in a coverup.”

The top Senate Democrat argued that it “just doesn’t make any sense” for the Senate to simply rehash the information that was already presented during the House impeachment hearings.

“If Leader McConnell doesn’t hold a full and fair trial,” Schumer said, “the American people will rightly ask, ‘What are you, Leader McConnell, and what is President Trump, hiding?’”

7:15 p.m.
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Rep. Cunningham says he will support impeachment

Rep. Joe Cunningham, a freshman Democrat from a competitive district in South Carolina, announced Monday that he plans to vote in favor of both articles of impeachment against Trump.

Cunningham told the Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., that he found Trump’s conduct “unacceptable.”

Cunningham said he waited to make a decision about how to vote because he wanted to give Republicans a chance to present evidence in defense of Trump’s move to withhold military aid to Ukraine while asking Zelensky to conduct investigations that could benefit him politically.

“I’ve waited and waited and I have not found any evidence they submitted compelling at all,” Cunningham said. “At the end of day, this is simply about the rule of law, whether we’re a country with laws or not and what type of precedent we want to set for future presidents.”

6:30 p.m.
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Rep. McAdams says he will support impeachment

Rep. Ben McAdams, a freshman Democrat who narrowly prevailed last year in a Utah district carried by Trump in 2016, announced Monday that he will support impeachment.

McAdams said he would have preferred to find bipartisan support for censuring Trump but said that is not an option.

“What the president did was wrong,” McAdams told reporters in Utah. “I cannot turn a blind eye, thereby condoning this president and future presidents — Republican or Democrat — to do the same. The evidence, to me, is clear. . . . I will vote yes.”

McAdams says he does not expect Trump to removed by the Senate and that it will be up to voters to determine his fate next year.