House Democrats impeach Trump, Pelosi floats holding up Senate trial

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Trump impeached over Ukraine dealing, as Pelosi floats holding up Senate trial
Without any Republican support, the House on Wednesday night voted to impeach President Trump for "abuse of power" and "obstruction of Congress" related to his dealings with Ukraine, making Trump the third American president ever to be impeached.

The separate votes on the two counts teed up an all-but-certain acquittal in the Senate, should House Democrats forward the charges to the GOP-controlled chamber. They also fulfilled a promise made by some Democrats ever since Trump's inauguration to impeach him, even as polls have shown a decline in public support for the action.

However, late Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, floated the possibility that the House would not send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., likely would oversee a strong defense of the president that could prove politically damaging for vulnerable Democrats.

"We’ll make a decision ... as we go along," Pelosi told reporters, adding that "we'll see what the process will be on the Senate side." "We have acted," Pelosi continued, repeatedly refusing to commit to sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate. "Now, they'll understand what their responsibilities are, and we'll see what that is.”

In 1998, after the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, the House sent the charges off to the Senate within minutes. This time around, the House may want to hold onto the articles as leverage to extract concessions from Senate Republicans -- or to bury impeachment as it proves increasingly unpopular among moderates in key battleground states.

Pelosi insisted that Republicans would need to run a fair trial if the matter made its way to the Senate, without explaining what exactly she was seeking. Republicans, including McConnell, this week condemned Democrats for rushing to impeach and rejected the idea that they would do Democrats' work for them in the Senate. The Senate majority leader has openly said there was no chance Trump would be removed from office.

The historic impeachment votes were tallied as a defiant Trump was holding a rally on friendly turf in downtown Battle Creek, Mich., where thousands lined up hours in advance -- with some reportedly sleeping in tents beginning Tuesday night so they could guarantee a seat.

"By the way, it doesn't really feel like we're being impeached," Trump said at the rally. "The country is doing better than ever before. We did nothing wrong."

Pelosi and House Democrats, he said, were on a "political suicide march" and noted that three Democrats had voted against impeachmentClick here for more on our top story.

House impeaches Trump: How each representative voted

Federal appeals court strikes down ObamaCare rule, setting up Supreme Court showdown
A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s ruling that a key aspect of the ObamaCare law is unconstitutional -- setting up another likely Supreme Court showdown in a presidential election year.

The 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals by a 2-1 vote concluded the original law’s key funding mechanism known as the individual mandate — requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance or face a tax penalty — was properly eliminated by Congress and therefore the entire law could not be enforced. The appeals panel sent the issue back to the lower court to decide whether other aspects of the Affordable Care Act must fall. Click here for more.

Smaller group of 2020 Democrats set to final debate of 2019
Just seven Democrats will take the stage Thursday for the sixth and final round of presidential primary debates in 2019. That's down from 20 candidates six months ago.

The seven candidates who qualified this time are: former Vice President Joe Biden; U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; billionaire executive Tom Steyer; and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Given that it is taking place the day after Trump's impeachment and less than a week before Christmas, Thursday's debate may be the most overshadowed.

PBS NewsHour and Politico will co-host the debate, which will be held at the Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and simulcast on CNN. A labor dispute between food service workers and their employer at Loyola Marymount University that had threatened to derail the debate before an agreement was settled Tuesday.

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Laura Ingraham dissects the impeachment "lies" Democrats have told throughout their investigation of President Trump and argues that Joe Biden should not get a "free pass" from Ukraine scrutiny because he's running for president.

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Fox News First is compiled by Fox News' Bryan Robinson. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! Enjoy your day! We'll see you in your inbox first thing on Friday morning.