Hank Johnson

Senate got its man in last impeachment trial
The case of Thomas Porteous Jr. is a far cry from today’s hyperpartisan melee

To see how a Senate trial would work under nonpartisan circustances Murphy suggests the 2010 case of Judge Thomas Porteous Jr., center, in which Jonathan Turley, right, acted as lead defense counsel. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Once upon a time, there was a Senate impeachment trial, where Rep. Adam Schiff was the lead House impeachment manager, courtly law professor Jonathan Turley made an impassioned argument against impeachment, multiple Senate witnesses testified, and the verdict was not only bipartisan, it was a unanimous decision. The most unbelievable part?  It really happened, and it wasn’t very long ago.

The year was 2010, and the case was that of Thomas Porteous Jr., a berry-faced and bulbous federal judge from Louisiana, who had the misfortune of being a man who looked as guilty as he probably was. Porteous had been appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton in 1994, but by 2009, he found himself squarely in the sights of House and Senate Democrats, many of whom had supported his appointment, after a federal grand jury found evidence of bribery and corruption in Porteous’ court, including possible quid pro quos — sound familiar?

Impeachment news roundup: Dec. 13
Judiciary Committee sends articles of impeachment to the House, White House condemns ‘desperate charade’

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler prepares to speak to the media after the committee passed two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After a 14-hour marathon on Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee took less than 10 minutes to approve the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Friday.

Both articles were approved on 23-17 party-line votes.

Gaetz's 2008 DUI resurfaces during impeachment debate

Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks Thursday during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., cited a New Yorker profile of Hunter Biden during amendment debate Thursday during the House Judiciary Committee’s markup on articles of impeachment. The profile alleged crack cocaine use by Hunter Biden, which Gaetz read out loud to the panel.

Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., was quick to respond, saying, “The pot calling the kettle black is not something we should do.” The idiom was a nod to Gaetz’s 2008 arrest for driving under the influence.

Nadler pushes votes on impeachment articles to Friday morning
Expected approval amid partisan fighting will line up a contentious House floor vote next week

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, and ranking member Doug Collins. R-Ga., speak with their aides before the start of the House Judiciary Committee markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, in the Longworth Building on Thursday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The House will come one step closer to impeaching President Donald Trump Friday when the Judiciary Committee is expected to approve charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.

The panel abruptly recessed after 11 p.m. Thursday night after more than 14 hours of debate just before they were expected to take final votes on the articles, extending the impeachment markup into a third day.

On impeachment, Pelosi prevailed over Judiciary panel to narrow focus
Articles filed represent latest example of how Nadler’s committee has been marginalized

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and, from left, committee leaders Jerrold Nadler, Maxine Waters and Eliot L. Engel listen as House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff speaks at a news conference Tuesday to announce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Judiciary Democrats spent roughly seven months investigating a litany of allegations that President Donald Trump abused his power, but the charges laid out in the articles of impeachment unveiled Tuesday don’t reflect any of that work.

The result is the latest sign that the panel with sole jurisdiction over drafting articles of impeachment has been marginalized as its probe became overshadowed by allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his domestic political rivals, withholding a White House meeting and congressionally appropriated security assistance as leverage.

Democrats in tears after first caucus gathering since Cummings’ death
Leaders, members share memories of Baltimore Democrat during weekly whip meeting

Capitol workers lower the flag to half staff after the passing of Rep. Elijah Cummings on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Several House Democrats on Thursday left their first caucus gathering since the death of their colleague, Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, weeping or holding back tears. 

The House Oversight and Reform chairman’s death left Virginia Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, one of the panel’s subcommittee chairs, inconsolable. He exited Democrats’ weekly whip meeting Thursday in a stream of tears, not stopping to talk to colleagues or reporters as he usually would. 

Corey Lewandowski teases Senate run as he testifies before Judiciary Committee
Former Trump campaign manager appeared to relish spotlight in impeachment hearing

Corey Lewandowski, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, tweeted a link to a potential campaign website during the first break in his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Frustrating the Democrats and proving loyalty to President Donald Trump: That’s just good politics for a Republican.

At least that’s what former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared to be banking on Tuesday as he testified before the House Judiciary Committee and continued to tease a possible bid for Senate from New Hampshire.

Dark spirits were at play in Congress this week: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of July 15, 2019

A thunderstorm passes over the U.S. Capitol building on Thursday, July 11, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“This has been a difficult and contentious week, in which darker spirits seem to have been at play,” said House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy during a long and stressful week on the Hill, which saw controversial tweets, members fearing Facebook and a House member straight up ditching his post on the House floor.

‘Grab your popcorn if you’re watching C-SPAN’: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of May 20, 2019

Speaker Nancy Pelosi leaves the Capitol for a meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump. It didn’t go well. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Buckle your seat belts, grab your popcorn if you’re out there watching C-SPAN,” Rep. Hank Johnson said during a rollercoaster week on the Hill.

Where all 24 House Judiciary Democrats stand on impeachment
Majority says that may eventually need to launch an impeachment inquiry to get information

From left, Reps. Joe Neguse, Sylvia R. Garcia, Mary Gay Scanlon, Lou Correa and Val B. Demings attend a House Judiciary markup May 8. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

More than half of the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee say their panel may eventually need to open an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump if his administration’s efforts to stonewall congressional investigations continue.

CQ Roll Call talked to all but one of the 24 Democrats on the panel over the past two weeks about their views on impeachment in light of Trump, his administration and his allies deciding not to cooperate with their investigation into potential obstruction of justice, corruption and abuses of power. The Democrat not reached directly, California’s Eric Swalwell, a presidential candidate, weighed in on Twitter.