Katherine Tully-McManus

Do chatty senators really face jail time during impeachment?

Despite a dramatic daily warning, if senators fail to stay silent during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, it’s unlikely that they’ll end up arrested. And no, there is not a Senate jail.

At the beginning of each trial day, Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger will declare, “Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! All persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment.”

Lack of official guidance on impeachment press restrictions causes confusion

The absence of any written guidance regarding media restrictions and  conflicting information from Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms staff have created an atmosphere of frustration and arbitrary enforcement as Senate action on impeachment began Thursday. 

Some senators heading to their final legislative vote before impeachment proceedings began were armed with a notecard printed with a script of phrases to use to fend off members of the media, including “please move out of my way,” “please excuse me, I am trying to get to the Senate floor,” and “please excuse me, I need to get to a hearing/meeting.”

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick seeks treatment for alcohol addiction after fall
Arizona Democrat is taking a leave of absence from her office

Arizona Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick will take a leave of absence from her office to seek treatment for her alcohol addiction, she announced Wednesday.

“I am finally seeking this help after struggling to do so in the past, and I am ready to admit that I, like countless other Americans, suffer from this disease. Hard work and determination — which have brought me success in life — have not been enough to win this battle,” she said in a statement.

Impeachment trial security crackdown will limit Capitol press access
Press pens and ‘no walking and talking’ draw criticism from press corps advocates

The Senate sergeant-at-arms and Capitol Police are launching an unprecedented crackdown on the Capitol press corps for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, following a standoff between the Capitol’s chief security officials, Senate Rules Chairman Roy Blunt and the standing committees of correspondents.

Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael C. Stenger will enact a plan that intends to protect senators and the chamber, but it also suggests that credentialed reporters and photographers whom senators interact with on a daily basis are considered a threat.

Senators look to clear legislative decks before impeachment trial
Notice requirements could give just enough time

The Senate appears set to try to clear the decks of pending legislative business before diving into the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

That could include delivering a big policy victory to the president on trade.

Impeachment articles’ path to Senate governed by rules and precedent
Before trial starts, expect pomp, circumstance and ceremony

Correction appended Jan. 14, 2:10 p.m. | The expected House vote this week to name impeachment managers for the Senate trial and authorize them to spend House funds will set in motion a set of established steps that will guide the articles of impeachment from the House to the Senate.

The resolution, which won’t be released until Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with her caucus Tuesday morning, will appoint managers who will act as prosecutors during the Senate trial that will determine whether the impeached President Donald Trump is removed from office. They will present the case for the House impeachment articles, approved in December, which charge the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Road Ahead: Impeachment trial imminent and war powers debate continues
Pelosi ready to send articles to Senate this week

Impeachment action is bound for the Senate this week, ending the long standoff between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the framework of President Donald Trump’s trial. Pelosi intends to send the House’s articles of impeachment to the Senate and name impeachment managers, launching a trial that could begin before the week is out.

The impeachment articles, which the House approved in December, charge the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

House to vote on war powers Thursday
Two Senate Republicans side with Democratic measure after ‘insulting’ briefing

Corrected 7:53 p.m. | The House will vote Thursday on a resolution that would limit President Donald Trump’s authority to take future military action against Iran without congressional authorization, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday.

House lawmakers received a briefing from key administration officials following the Tuesday night attack on two bases in Iraq that house U.S. troops and the preceding U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

McConnell: Senate has votes to proceed without Democrats in impeachment trial
The vote would be similar to the Clinton trial, but would not have Democratic support

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he has the votes required to establish ground rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, without support from Democrats.

McConnell first made the comments during a closed-door GOP lunch before confirming in a public announcement.

Former Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, brother of Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, dead at 56
Pennsylvania Republican was consistently rated one of the most bipartisan lawmakers

Former Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick, brother of current Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, has died at age 56.

The Pennsylvania Republican represented Bucks County from 2005 to 2007, losing his seat to Patrick Murphy in a 2006 Democratic wave driven by unrest over the Iraq War. But he returned to Congress in 2010, winning his seat back and holding it again from 2011 to 2017. His death was confirmed to The Bucks County Courier Times by Pat Poprik, the county Republican Party chairwoman. 

Impeachment standoff and Iran escalation dominate start of 2020 session
Briefings expected next week for members on killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq

Tension and division marked the opening of the second session of the 116th Congress with the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani and resulting escalation with Iran, as well as the standoff over an impeachment trial taking center stage in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., opened the Senate session a little after noon by praising the killing of Soleimani.

Pelosi shrugs off GOP gripes about her holding onto articles of impeachment
Speaker takes wait and see approach to Senate process

Just hours after Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would hold off for now on sending articles of impeachment to the Senate, the California Democrat on Thursday said she hopes the Senate can come to a bipartisan agreement on President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial procedures like they did 20 years ago when President Bill Clinton was impeached.

“We would hope that they can come to some conclusion like that, but in any event, we’re ready when we see what they have,” she said, noting she’ll name impeachment managers and transmit the articles to the Senate at that time.

House impeaches Trump
Chamber votes to impeach for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress

Updated 8:56 p.m. — The House voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, making him the third president in U.S. history and the first in 21 years to face such House action.

Trump, who has denied the charges in Twitter screeds during the impeachment inquiry that spanned more than two months, will stand trial in the Senate, where members there will decide whether to convict him, resulting in his removal from office, or acquit him.

House to hold separate votes on Trump impeachment articles
Rules Committee finalizes procedure for Wednesday after contentious hearing spanning more than 10 hours

The full House will debate and vote separately on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, under a process set up by the House Rules Committee on Tuesday night after a contentious hearing that spanned more than 10 hours.

The Rules panel adopted a closed rule in a 9-4 party-line vote just after 9 p.m., which means no amendments to the articles will be considered on the House floor.

Impeachment action moves to tiny Rules Committee hearing room
Panel will set parameters for Wednesday's impeachment floor debate and votes

The articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump — alleging that he abused his power and obstructed Congress — have one more committee hurdle to jump before the full House votes this week for the third time in history to impeach a sitting U.S. president.

The House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. Tuesday for consideration of the articles of impeachment in their tiny hearing room tucked away on the third floor of the Capitol, just across the hall from the House Daily Press Gallery. 

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

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.

House Judiciary to draft abuse of power, obstruction impeachment articles
Panel will consider the articles later this week, Nadler says

House Democrats will bring two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, one saying he abused the power of his office and another that he obstructed Congress in its investigation of his conduct.

The Judiciary Committee plans to begin consideration of the articles, which are official charges against the president, on Thursday, and the full House is expected to vote next week. Opening statements at the Judiciary Committee will begin Wednesday night.

House Democrats hurtle toward Trump impeachment
Judiciary panel could draft articles this week, possibly lining up a full House vote before Christmas

House Democrats are moving swiftly toward the impeachment of President Donald Trump, and lawmakers tasked with drafting articles of impeachment Monday made what could be their final pitch to the American people.

The House Judiciary hearing was the first since Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California called last week on relevant committee heads to “proceed with articles of impeachment.” And the lengthy proceeding, which featured often testy exchanges between members and staff, appeared to be one of the last items on the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry to-do list.

Road ahead: Impeachment articles and spending bills top the agenda
Senators will continue voting on confirming nominations, including for the Ninth Circuit

The House is barreling toward a vote on articles of impeachment, possibly before the holiday recess.

House Judiciary Democrats stayed in Washington over the weekend for impeachment strategy sessions, and a Monday hearing will set the scene for the scope of articles of impeachment.

Following guilty plea, Duncan Hunter barred from voting in the House
Stripped of committee assignments and banned from voting, his role in Congress is diminished

The House Ethics Committee notified Rep. Duncan Hunter that his recent guilty plea means he should no longer cast votes in the House. The instruction is not mandatory, but the panel threatened action against him if he continues to vote.

Hunter last voted on Wednesday, in favor of a measure to crack down on robocalls. He did not weigh in on any of the four roll call votes the House took on Thursday.