Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, let loose on Democrats during Wednesday’s historic debate on the articles of impeachment against President Trump – shouting at House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., after he apparently accused the Republican of delivering "Russian propaganda" on the House floor.
Gohmert had just finished speaking on the floor when Nadler said he was "deeply concerned that any member of the House would spout Russian propaganda on the floor of the House."
Nadler’s comment set Gohmert off; he could be seen returning to the dais to shout down Nadler for his comment. The microphone on the Republican side was turned off at the moment when Gohmert approached, but he could be heard telling Nadler to take down his comment before the House returned to order.
The dust-up between Gohmert and Nadler was one of the more fiery moments of Wednesday’s House session with lawmakers heading toward an evening vote to impeach Trump.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. D-Calif., invoked the Pledge of Allegiance and the Preamble to the Constitution in arguing that the Founders' vision for a republic was threatened by Trump's actions in the White House.
"Today we are here to defend democracy for the people,'' she said to applause from Democrats in the chamber. "I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States."
Republicans swiftly came to the president's defense.
Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia warned that the Founders were just as concerned about a purely partisan impeachment wielded by the power of a majority party.
"This is not a solemn occasion,” he mocked. "You've been wanting to do this ever since the gentlemen was elected.''
The rare undertaking to impeach a president, unfolding over a long day of debate, has split lawmakers largely in the same way it's divided Americans over Trump's presidency. Final votes were expected in the evening.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.