After more than 14 hours of debate, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee abruptly announced late Thursday that the panel would recess and wait until Friday morning to vote on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump — a move that infuriated Republicans on the committee.
Democratic Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York said shortly after 11 p.m. that the committee would reconvene and take the vote on Friday at 10 a.m., NBC News reported.
An audible gasp from the observers and Republicans could be heard following the announcement. Republicans complained they received no warning and were left with the impression that Thursday’s marathon hearing would end with votes on both articles of impeachment against the president before midnight, which would allow members to return to their districts for the weekend.
Republicans immediately blasted Nadler for the decision, saying it was meant to get Democrats to get a wider television audience during the day.
“You chose not to consult the ranking member,” said Republican Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, looking at Nadler with a stunned look on his face.
“That was the most bush league play I have ever seen in my life,” said Collins, the ranking member, who accused Nadler of turning the committee into a “kangaroo court.”
Collins considered the move the “most egregious violation of trust” between a committee chairman and the ranking member he had ever witnessed, adding that “the chairman’s integrity is gone.”
For his part, Nadler said he wanted members of the committee from both parties to seriously contemplate what had been discussed over the marathon two days of debate.
“I want the 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,” Nadler said, according to The Washington Post.
Even rank-and-file Democrats on the committee were uninformed about Nadler’s plan to postpone the votes, although they quickly defended his decision, arguing that it was a nod to transparency.
“We don’t want to vote on such an important article, or articles, that matter to the American people [and] to this president, in the late of night,” said Democratic Rep. Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, House Democrats named two articles of impeachment against Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The postponement is not expected to change the outcome of the debate. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are set to pass the two articles of impeachment on Friday, sending them to the full House, where votes are likely to take place next week.