It appears we are on the brink of an impeachment vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday she is instructing the House Judiciary Committee chairman to move forward with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
As you can imagine, the Trump team scoffed at the announcement, with White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeting Pelosi and the Democrats "should be ashamed. ... We look forward to a fair trial in the Senate." The Senate, where Republicans hold control, does not appear primed to convict Trump. And Trump doesn't look like he's giving up the fight. In a tweet shortly before Pelosi's announcement, he urged Democrats "If you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business."
All of this came on the heels of testimony Wednesday from legal scholars, several who testified before the House Judiciary Committee that there was indeed a legal basis for impeaching Trump. "If what we are talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable," University of North Carolina Professor Michael Gerhardt said.
But Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University called by Republicans, said the abbreviated inquiry for Trump was "problematic and puzzling" because of the incomplete record and witnesses who weren't yet subpoenaed.
And how did the week start? With House Democrats releasing their impeachment report, which states "The evidence of the President's misconduct is overwhelming, and so too is the evidence of his obstruction of Congress."
This week in What's So Funny?
While the impeachment inquiry moved along, Trump was also focused on the NATO meetings being held in London. But drama there also took over the headlines, after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and others were filmed appearing to mock Trump's behavior earlier in the day. Trump called Trudeau "two-faced" after the video came out, and then called off a planned press conference with NATO leaders.
And then Joe Biden got involved. The former vice president and 2020 candidate for president cut an ad called "Laughed At," where the video of the world leaders was shown with a voice over of Biden calling Trump "dangerously incompetent." The video published 30 minutes after Trump landed back in the U.S.
This week in 2020
The 2020 race saw some dramatic moments this week. Sen. Kamala Harris ended her campaign Tuesday, the first candidate who had a moment in the top tier to call it quits so far. Harris' campaign started with much enthusiasm and high expectations, but failed to capitalize on a viral debate performance this summer and struggled with reported tumult among the campaign's staff.
She wasn't alone. The week started with two lesser-known candidates also dropping out - Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and former Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania. The quick succession of people leaving the race is the latest sign of what the next two months will look like ahead of the Iowa caucuses: Candidates need to match fundraising with strong poll performances, or their campaigns likely will end up on life support.
Moving on to the issues that will decide this race, we've put together a primer on where the candidates stand on health care, gun violence and climate change. Keep an eye out for more issue-related coverage as the 2020 race heats up. Plus, we're talking to the swing voters in key states who might decide whether Trump gets reelected. More to come from them in the next year, too.
Thanks, as always, for reading. Don't get trampled at the mall this weekend. - Annah Aschbrenner
P.S. Are you looking to stay up-to-date on what's going on in Iowa ahead of the first-in-the-nation caucuses? Our friends at the Des Moines Register have just the newsletter for you. You can check out a preview and sign up here to fulfill all of your Iowa caucus needs.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: OnPolitics: There's no going back now