impeachment talk
October 16, 2019

During a closed-door lunch on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told his fellow GOP senators an impeachment trial of President Trump could start as early as November.

McConnell explained what would take place during a Senate trial, held after the House voted on formal impeachment charges, and answered questions alongside Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). McConnell also shared that the pacing of the trial would depend on Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who would preside over it. "There's sort of a planned expectation that it would be sometime around Thanksgiving, so you'd have basically Thanksgiving to Christmas — which would be wonderful because there's no deadline in the world like the next break to motivate senators," Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) told The Washington Post.

The House impeachment inquiry was launched on Sept. 24 by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), sparked by a whistleblower's complaint about Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Catherine Garcia

September 27, 2019

On Thursday, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) became the first Republican governor to announce he's backing an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

"I support getting the facts in that inquiry that's happening today," he told WCAX. "So I think this is, these are serious allegations. ... We need to make sure that we do the fact-finding and figure out what exactly did happen."

Most Republican lawmakers are staying mum on the matter, although some, like Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), sound like they might be on the fence. He wouldn't go so far as saying Trump should be impeached, but he did tell The Dallas Morning News on Thursday night that there are "a lot of disturbing allegations" in the whistleblower's complaint.

Hurd, a former CIA officer who announced in August he will not seek re-election, said House Democrats and the White House both failed to properly handle the complaint, which should have been sent to Congress after the intelligence community's inspector general found it credible and of urgent concern. "The pressure that that person is going to get is going to be unreal," he said of the whistleblower. "That is the reason why this whole process should have been handled a little more delicately." Catherine Garcia

September 15, 2019

After The New York Times reported on Sunday that a sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was not investigated ahead of his confirmation hearings last year, multiple Democratic presidential candidates said they believe Kavanaugh should be impeached.

"These newest revelations are disturbing," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted. "Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached." Her sentiments were echoed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who said Kavanaugh "was put on the court through a sham process and his place on the court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. He must be impeached." President Trump is defending him, tweeting that Kavanaugh is "an innocent man who has been treated HORRIBLY."

The Times reports that one of Kavanaugh's classmates at Yale, Max Stier, told senators and the FBI that when Kavanaugh was a freshman, he saw him at a party with his pants down, and some of his friends pushed his penis into a female student's hands. Stier will not discuss the alleged incident publicly, but two unnamed officials who spoke with Stier confirmed to the Times he came forward with this accusation. Several sexual misconduct allegations were made against Kavanaugh during his confirmation process. Catherine Garcia

June 17, 2019

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) on Monday shared that after "weeks of study, deliberation, and conversations with Orange County families," she has "decided to support an impeachment investigation of the president."

Porter was the first Democrat ever elected in her Republican-leaning district, and she is now the first freshman House member from California to call for President Trump's impeachment. "I have not come to this easily," she said. "I come to this decision after much deliberation, and I know — deeply — what this means for our democracy."

Most of the more than 60 House Democrats who have voiced their support of impeachment come from liberal districts, and Republicans are already hoping to flip Porter's seat back to red next year, the Los Angeles Times reports. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said she wants to hold off on an impeachment inquiry, and would rather see voters oust Trump in 2020. Catherine Garcia

May 19, 2019

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on Saturday became the first Republican to openly call for the impeachment of President Trump.

The congressman created a long tweet thread explaining that he came to the conclusion following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on his investigation into 2016 Russian election interference. While Mueller's team found no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow, Amash believes Trump has still "engaged in impeachable conduct" and because impeachment does not, legally speaking, "require probable cause that a crime has been committed," Congress would be justified in pursuing that route.

He also said he believes Attorney General William Barr "deliberately misrepresented" Mueller's report. Amash's fellow Michigan representative, Rashida Tlaib (D), has reportedly asked Amash to cosponsor an impeachment investigation resolution.

While it may be fundamentally surprising for a Republican congressman to support impeachment openly, Amash has long been a harsh Trump critic, so it is unlikely his stance will spark similar responses. Tim O'Donnell

See More Speed Reads