Judiciary Committee returns for final vote after Jerry Nadler gives Republicans a midnight surprise
Reading the proposed articles of impeachment took less than ten minutes. The nonsense that followed, in which Republicans introduced a series of nonsense amendments and revisions then spent the maximum time dragging out each inevitable rejection, stretched on for over twelve hours. And then, when the all the long day of intentional distractions and repeated lies had left the Republicans hoarse-voiced and looking pummeled … there was a surprise. With midnight looming and the end in sight, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler suddenly gavelled the hearing closed without calling for a final vote on the articles.
Throughout the day, Republicans had many moments of over-the-top histrionics, with ranking member Doug Collins of Georgia swinging between mocking laughter and storming out of the chamber in his quest to produce the perfect fifteen seconds for Fox News. But what Nadler did when the last possible minutes of objections, points of order, and “I rise for the purpose of striking the last word” had finally been exhausted left the Republicans genuinely roaring and sputtering as the Democrats left the room just short of midnight.
«It is now very late at night,» said Nadler. «I want the members on both sides of the aisle to think about what has happened over these last two days, and to search their consciences before we cast their final votes.” So Nadler closed the hearing with the announcement that they would take up the vote at 10 AM and “let history be our judge.» Then he left, with Republicans who thought they had safely buried the vote in the literal middle of the night sputtering in his wake.
Even with the hearing officially closed, Collins continued shouting his objections and emerged in the hallway to claim that “this is why” people don’t like Congress. Collins also described the action as a “Kangaroo court.” Because Nadler moved the vote to … where it’s more visible and more public. That might not make sense, but then neither did the feeble arguments that Republicans mounted all through Thursday.