Karen Bass

Impeachment news roundup: Jan. 14
House committees release trove of new documents produced by Lev Parnas

Speaker Nancy Pelosi departs from Tuesday’s Democratic Caucus meeting with House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

House committees investigating President Donald Trump as part of the impeachment process released a trove of documents Tuesday night including phone records, documents and materials produced by Lev Parnas, an associate of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

The evidence the committees released showed Parnas was a key figure, as other witnesses testified, in working with Giuliani to try to get Ukraine to open the investigations Trump wanted.

What to expect as Trump impeachment debate hits the House floor
5 talking points from past few months likely to be repeated in floor speeches

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., holds up a pocket Constitution as she votes yes in the House Judiciary Committee markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. Expect the Constitution to come up frequently during House floor debate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats and Republicans have been making their respective cases for and against impeaching President Donald Trump for months, but it is Wednesday’s debate on the House floor that will be memorialized in history.

Lawmakers have already made their arguments through weeks of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees’ proceedings, news conferences and cable TV appearances, so what they say Wednesday will be repetitive to those who’ve been paying attention. 

Democratic Tri-Caucus to track diversity of witnesses in House hearings
Initiative would have committees send witnesses diversity surveys

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is one of the leaders of the Tri-Caucus, along with Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., and Congressional Asian Pacific Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Callfile photo)

The chairs of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus announced Thursday that starting in January 2020 they will track the diversity of witnesses testifying in House committee hearings. 

Collectively known as the Tri-Caucus, the groups want to ensure diversity of witnesses that help inform policies and legislation to ensure the laws Congress passes are “inclusive and work for Americans of all backgrounds.”

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.

Setting partisanship aside, colleagues gather to honor Cummings
Leaders from both parties praise Baltimore lawmaker's hometown commitment

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, widow of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, pauses at his casket in Statuary Hall during his memorial service on Thursday, October 24, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers joined in bipartisan unity Thursday to remember their colleague, friend and confidante Elijah E. Cummings at a memorial service in the Capitol.

Members of Congress from both chambers and both parties shed tears together as they honored the Maryland Democrat's life and legacy. House votes and impeachment depositions were canceled so that Congress could gather to mourn the African-American lawmaker in a ceremony in Statuary Hall.

Democrats and Republicans criticize Trump after he calls impeachment a ‘lynching’
‘What the hell is wrong with you?’ Democratic Rep. Rush asks president

President Donald Trump makes remarks during the inaugural meeting of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council with Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy Joe Grogan, left, and council Executive Director Scott Turner in the Cabinet Room at the White House in April. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Conjuring memories of racially motivated murders and drawing an immediate bipartisan backlash, President Donald Trump on Tuesday described House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as a “lynching.”

Trump made the statement in a morning tweet that began with a warning that “if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights.”

Cummings unites lawmakers, for the moment, as impeachment inquiry trudges forward
Probe that late Maryland Democrat helped lead continued with witness depositions Thursday

A memorial for the late House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings is seen in the committee’s Rayburn Building hearing room on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House lawmakers dialed down the partisan rancor, at least for a day, as they honored the life of Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who died early Thursday at age 68. But the impeachment inquiry, of which the Maryland Democrat was a key leader, is forging ahead.

The investigation into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine has stoked anger among Republicans who view the probe as illegitimate. Democrats’ frustrations with the president’s conduct and his supporters in Congress are only growing. The death of Cummings, held in deep respect on both sides of the aisle, didn’t put the partisan fighting completely to rest, but it did quell the most inflammatory elements for the moment.

The Democrats who voted to keep impeachment options open
Why those who do not yet favor an impeachment inquiry voted against blocking Green’s articles

Rep. Lori Trahan, D-Mass., voted against tabling Rep. Al Green's impeachment articles to keep the option on the table but she does not yet support opening an impeachment inquiry. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A House vote last Wednesday to block Texas Rep. Al Green’s articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump led to some contortions from Democrats yet to support impeachment or opening an inquiry, but it mostly came down to this: keeping those options open. 

About two dozen Democrats who had not been on the record in favor of impeachment proceedings voted with Green against tabling, or basically killing, his articles. A total of 95 Democrats voted that way, but most of those members had previously called for Trump’s impeachment or an inquiry. 

No one argues for keeping marijuana illegal, but next step divides House panel
As Democrats focus on racial impact, Republicans argue for incremental steps

Rep. Karen Bass said decades of marijuana prosecutions have given millions of citizens second class status. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At a hearing on marijuana Wednesday, no one on the House subcommittee who helps write the criminal code spoke out in clear support of continuing the prohibition that has been part of federal law for decades.

“Personally I believe cannabis use in most cases is ill advised, but many things are ill advised that should not be illegal,” said California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock, the panel's acting ranking member.

Harrowing stories of black youth suicide moved Bonnie Watson Coleman to act
Democratic lawmaker hopes new task force can get to the bottom of the suicide crisis

“I can’t take this,” Bonnie Watson Coleman told her staffers. “Maybe I can’t fix it, but I can sure push it out as an issue.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It started with check-ins on her social media pages. Usually she hears from constituents about charged topics like taxes and health care, just as lawmakers have for years through old-fashioned mail.

But what Bonnie Watson Coleman started to see on Facebook and Twitter disturbed her: heartbreaking stories of black elementary school-age children dying of suicide.