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Watch Live: House Impeachment Debate

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Posted at 7:00 AM, Dec 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-18 10:30:18-05

The House is poised to debate articles of impeachment against President Trump alleging he abused his power and obstructed Congress, setting the stage for an extraordinary constitutional rebuke from the lower chamber.

The House will convene at 9 a.m. to begin debate leading up to the final impeachment votes. After an hour of debate on the "rule" governing the proceedings, six hours of debate on the articles will be divided equally between Democrats and Republicans, who could introduce procedural obstacles that would stretch the proceedings into the evening.

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Once the debate has concluded, the House will vote on each article of impeachment separately: first the article accusing Mr. Trump of abuse of power, followed by a vote on the article alleging obstruction of Congress.

House begins impeachment

The votes are the culmination of months of investigation into the president's efforts to pressure the government of Ukraine to announce investigations that would benefit him politically, including a probe into a company that employed the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the president's chief potential rivals in his 2020 reelection bid.

The number of Democratic members who said they will vote to impeach the president surpassed the majority threshold needed for passage on Tuesday, paving the way for Mr. Trump's impeachment in Wednesday's votes.

Mr. Trump is likely to join Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton as the only presidents to be impeached since the adoption of the Constitution in 1788. Johnson was impeached in 1868 and Clinton in 1999, and both were acquitted in Senate trials.