November 19, 2019, 3:23

The Note: Impeachment crosses political Rubicon with House vote

The Note: Impeachment crosses political Rubicon with House vote

The TAKE with Rick Klein

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Votes will be recorded. There can be no turning back on impeachment now.

Thursday’s House vote technically will launch the House Intelligence Committee on public hearings that could lead to articles of impeachment that the Judiciary Committee may, at some point, refer to the full House.

The White House

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addresses President Donald Trump during a meeting with congressional leaders on Syria in the Cabinet Room at the White House, Oct. 16, 2019.

But out of those weeds comes a bounty of political meaning. Republicans are calling it a vote for impeachment, pure and simple — and warning that vulnerable Democrats who attach their names to the effort will be effectively ending their careers.

This won’t offer a perfect measure of the support President Donald Trump enjoys in Congress. Few Republicans are likely to break with Trump so long as they can oppose the structure Democrats are creating on impeachment.

The impeachment narrative and the politics surrounding it have moved only in one direction since the Ukraine story broke. That movement is being marked, for the first time, with an actual vote.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Twitter’s CEO said Wednesday that the company would ban the sale of political ads going forward — a move that may have little impact on American political campaigns but could have ramifications beyond the one platform. More likely, it will put pressure on Facebook to consider stricter rules going into the next election year.

Jack Dorsey said the spread of misleading information was occurring at an “increasing velocity, sophistication and overwhelming scale.” It’s a line that seemed cautionary tale and a veiled jab at Facebook.

Jose Luis Magana/AP, File

In this Sept. 5, 2018, file photo Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in Washington.

Facebook is significantly larger and the real center of online campaign messaging and organizing. It’s where campaigns are putting real money to reach voters. And it was Facebook which announced recently that it would not fact-check the political ads it sells, thus allowing ads with factual inaccuracies to run too.

In his announcement this week, Twitter’s CEO also seemed to have a challenge for government, when he wrote how he was worried political advertising online “has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle.”

Several bills are sitting in the Senate aimed at expanding rules and regulations to increase the transparency around online advertising. Maybe the Senate will bring one of them up for robust discussion and a vote.

The TIP with Justin Gomez and Beatrice-Elizabeth Peterson

Mayor Pete Buttigieg frequently talks about the idea of hope and for many it brings people back to 2008 — when the message of hope and change was a movement for a Midwestern U.S. senator by the name of Barack Obama.

Earlier this month, Buttigieg told a crowd of several hundred people in Des Moines, Iowa, “I’m asking you to spread something that I know went out of style a little bit in American politics, and it’s hope. Cause’ running for office is an act of hope. Organizing for somebody running for office is an act of hope. Voting is an act of hope. … Can I look to you to spread that sense of hope, around your community and for everybody that you know?”

Elise Amendola/AP

Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks outside the Statehouse, Oct. 30, 2019, in Concord, N.H.

On Friday night, Buttigieg hopes to mimic one of Obama’s breakout moments in 2007, Larry Grisolano, a senior messaging advisor for Buttigieg who also worked for Obama in 2007, teased Wednesday in a fundraising email. Later Wednesday, Buttigieg said, “in some ways, yes,” he’s looking to recreate the “excitement” of Obama’s speech at the then-Jefferson-Jackson dinner when he attends the Liberty and Justice Celebration in Des Moines.

He acknowledged, however, that “every election cycle is different and, obviously, the environment is a little bit different, but it is the best moment we’ve had since the Steak Fry to get in front of that many Iowa Democrats and a chance to demonstrate the strength of our ground game, and we’re gonna take that opportunity as well as share a message for voters from right there in the room to folks here in New Hampshire and around the country to really get a clear picture of what this campaign is about.”


Attorneys representing President Donald Trump, the House of Representatives and Charles Kupperman, an embattled former national security official, will appear in D.C. federal court on Thursday, in a case which asks the judge to determine whether Kupperman must appear for questioning by the House as part of the ongoing House impeachment inquiry. The court battle stands to further escalate a continued feud between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats over compliance with the congressional impeachment inquiry.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich joined ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and Political Director Rick Klein on the podcast Wednesday and called the next phase of the House’s impeachment push against President Donald Trump, “rigged.” He said the House measure expected on Thursday is a “totally phony” and, “it gives the Republicans no real authority. It gives the president no real authority.” He said that this impeachment inquiry is much different than the one he oversaw two decades ago.

Thursday morning’s episode features ABC News’ Trish Turner, who breaks down what exactly the House will be voting on when they take up an impeachment vote later Thursday.


  • Tim Morrison, the senior director for Europe and Russia on the White House National Security Council is expected to testify before impeachment investigators on Capitol Hill.
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg participates in a town hall at 9:30 a.m. in Derry, New Hampshire.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., files to run in the New Hampshire primary at 11:30 a.m. in Concord, New Hampshire, and then holds a rally at noon. Later, he attends the “Rights & Democracy New Hampshire Forum” at 2 p.m. in Claremont, New Hampshire.
  • Attorneys for the president, the House and former national security official Charles Kupperman will appear in court to determine if Kupperman must appear for questioning as part of the House impeachment inquiry.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., participates in the Des Moines Area Community College presidential forum at 3:30 p.m. (CDT) in Ankeny, Iowa.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden participates in a town hall at 3:45 p.m. (CDT) in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., attends an event with a “special guest” at 6 p.m. in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro attends a comedy show at 6 p.m. (PDT) in Las Vegas.
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will appear on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central.
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