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Rules set for final impeachment debate

The final vote on whether Donald Trump will become the third U.S. president to be impeached is expected Wednesday.
Credit: AP
House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., speaks during a House Rules Committee hearing on the impeachment against President Donald Trump, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington, as Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., listens. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

The House Rules Committee met Tuesday in a marathon session to set the parameters for the debate over articles of impeachment for President Donald Trump.

The committee hearing begin at mid morning Tuesday with the full House scheduled to debate the articles of impeachment Wednesday.

The House Judiciary Committee accuses Trump of betraying the nation by abusing his office and of blocking lawmakers' efforts to investigate his actions. Trump denies those charges, insisting he has done nothing wrong.

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Trump faces two articles of impeachment. One is for abuse of power after Democrats say he pressured Ukraine to announce an investigation into Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election. The other is for obstruction of Congress after The White House ordered officials to ignore subpoenas for testimony and documents from the House.

If a majority of the House votes in favor on either article, Trump will be impeached. That will set up a Senate trial that could start in early January. 

Trump on Monday continued with familiar theme, tweeting that the impeachment a hoax and that it is "the greatest con job in the history of American politics!"

House Democrats anticipate that a handful of their colleagues will vote against impeachment while Republicans don't expect any of their members to defect and vote yes.

At least one Democrat, Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, says in addition to voting against impeachment, he plans to become a Republican. There is speculation this may be due more to internal polling that showed he likely would not be re-nominated as a Democrat.

Rep. Justin Amash, an independent from Michigan, may be the lone non-Democrat to vote in favor of impeachment. The Trump critic and conservative is a former Republican who left the party in July. He called for Trump's impeachment after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report was released.

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