Previously: Yesterday, Tuesday, December 10, House Democrats made history by introducing articles of impeachment against President Trump, only the fourth time in US history that articles have been drawn up against a sitting president. You would think then that today would see Democrats continuing to make headlines as they sell their vision for impeachment. You would be mistaken.
The biggest news in the impeachment today actually hasn't happened as of this update. Instead, at 7pm Eastern tonight, the House Judiciary Committee will begin the process of debating the two articles of impeachment that were introduced yesterday. "The rare evening session," the New York Times reports, "will give each of the 41 members of the committee a chance to argue for or against Mr. Trump’s impeachment. It could go late into the night." I mean, that's certainly a choice, who doesn't love a night of parliamentary procedures and points of order? After the late night, the Committee will reconvene Thursday morning to begin the markup process, where members can propose edits and amendments to the articles (expect the clownshow to be in full effect for this). Finally, once markup is finished—current expectation is Thursday afternoon—the Judiciary Committee will vote on the articles of impeachment and, assuming they pass, they'll move to the full House of Representatives at that point. If you're into watching people yell at each other late at night, or just curious which representative falls asleep in their chair first, maybe tune in tonight. Otherwise, Thursday's impeachment.fyi update will cover any highlights from tonight along with coverage of tomorrow's vote. (Source: New York Times)
Beyond the debates to come tonight, Democrats have been largely absent from the news today but Republicans have been busy. Jacketless representative, and member of the Judiciary Committee, Jim Jordan along with Republican counsel Stephen Castor met with Republican Senators today, "another sign," the Washington Post reports, "that the probe’s center of gravity is soon moving to the other side of the Capitol building." Assuming that the House votes to impeach the president (which is likely because Democrats hold a commanding majority there), the impeachment process moves to the Senate for a trial. Which, according to Mitch McConnell will happen after New Year's. Whether Jordan was meeting to brief Senators on the process thus far or strategize on the trial to come is unknown. It's also unknown if Castor once again brought a grocery bag instead of a briefcase, as he did to Monday's Judiciary Committee hearing. Sorry, not sorry.(Source: Washington Post)
Republican strategy for the trial in the Senate is still up in the air, but at least one House Republican would like them to take a harder line than they're currently signaling. Representative Jim Banks wrote a letter today to Senator Lindsay Graham asking him to "rethink" his impeachment strategy. "The letter comes after Graham, a top Trump ally, rebuffed a number of the House GOP’s calls for hard-line tactics to defend Trump," writes Politico. Those "hard-line tactics"? Banks had previously written Graham asking him to subpoena the phone records of House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff. Stares. "It is urgent we fight fire with fire and tell them enough is enough," Banks wrote in today's letter which maybe seems like a little bit of hyperbole but hey, you do you. When Banks wrote Graham previously, Graham turned him down, explaining simply "we’re not going to do that." But, with so much about the Senate trial still unknown, I wouldn't bet against them doing that quite yet. (Source: Politico)
Finally, speaking of Republican Senators, Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, told the Washington Post that President Trump has asked that he brief GOP Senators, along with the Justice Department, on what he found on his trip to Ukraine last week. Sure, why not. "He wants me to do it," Giuliani told the Post, "I’m working on pulling it together and hope to have it done by the end of the week." Which, what on earth is going on. The Post points out that it's unclear if anyone actually wants Giuliani to brief them: Lindsay Graham has previously said he doesn't plan to call Giuliani to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee and Attorney General Bill Barr has "counseled Trump in general terms that Giuliani has become a liability and a problem for the administration." Despite being in the process of potentially being impeached in part because of Rudy Giuliani skulking around Ukraine, as recently as this weekend the President told reporters that he believed Giuliani would make a report from his trip. "He says he has a lot of good information," Trump said. Which, screams forever. (Source: Washington Post)
What's coming next: After tonight's late-night debate in the House Judiciary Committee, tomorrow will see the markup/clownshow phase followed by a vote, probably in the afternoon, to send the articles of impeachment to the full House of Representatives. It's expected that they will pick up the debate quickly and vote sometime next week.