AFTER IMPEACHMENT VOTE, MARK MEADOWS THROWS IN THE TOWEL: Republican congressman Mark Meadows, a top ally to President Donald Trump, said Thursday that he won't seek reelection. His announcement comes just a day after the U.S. House voted to impeach Trump on charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress. In a statement, the North Carolina congressman said he struggled with the decision and came to it after discussion with his family. “My work with President Trump and his administration is only beginning. This President has accomplished incredible results for the country in just three years, and I’m fully committed to staying in the fight with him and his team to build on those successes and deliver on his promises for the years to come," Meadows said in the statement. “I’ve always said Congress is a temporary job, but the fight to return Washington, DC to its rightful owner, We The People, has only just begun."
ELIZABETH WARREN SAYS "SHAME ON THE UNC BOG" IN NC STOP: Warren also waded into the North Carolina controversy over the UNC system’s $2.5 million payment for the preservation and display of the Silent Sam statue as it gave the monument to a Confederate group. The Massachusetts senator drew thousands to her first North Carolina campaign rally held in November at Broughton High School in Raleigh. She also held events with a Latino group in Raleigh and at N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro. On Wednesday, Warren again commented on North Carolina politics in a tweet, sharing a News & Observer story about the UNC Board of Governors payouts to a trust for the North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans, saying “Shame on the UNC Board of Governors — and the Republican legislators who used a power grab to appoint this radical board. Public funds should be used for students, not paying off Confederate groups.”
ONLY A FEW HOUSE DEMOCRATS VOTED AGAINST IMPEACHMENT: On the first article, abuse of power, two Democrats, Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, who is considering switching parties to become a Republican, and Collin Peterson of Minnesota voted against impeaching Trump. On the second article, obstruction, those two and freshman Rep. Jared Golden of Maine voted against. Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who is running for president, voted “present” on both. What Pelosi called a sad and solemn moment for the country, coming in the first year after Democrats swept control of the House, unfolded in a caustic daylong session that showcased the nation’s divisions. The House impeachment resolution laid out in stark terms the articles of impeachment against Trump stemming from his July phone call when he asked the Ukrainian president for a “favor” — to announce he was investigating Democrats including potential 2020 rival Joe Biden. Narrow in scope but broad in its charges, the impeachment resolution said the president “betrayed the nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections,” and then obstructing Congress’ oversight like “no president" in U.S. history.
PELOSI MAY HOLD IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES UNTIL SENATE PROMISES TO HAVE GENUINE TRIAL: Moments after a historic vote to impeach President Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House could at least temporarily withhold the articles from the Senate — a decision, she suggested, that could depend on how the other chamber chooses to conduct its trial on Trump’s removal. “We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side,” she said, referring to the House “managers” who present the case for removal to the Senate. “So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us. So hopefully it will be fair. And when we see what that is, we’ll send our managers.” The comments came as a group of House Democrats pushed Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other leaders to withhold the articles — a notion that has gained traction among some on the political left as a way of potentially forcing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to conduct a trial on more favorable terms for Democrats. And if no agreement is reached, some have argued, the trial could be delayed indefinitely, denying Trump an expected acquittal.
TRUMP TRIES TO JOKE ABOUT IMPEACHMENT AT MICHIGAN RALLY, BUT ANGRY RANTS SEEP IN: President Trump angrily responded to the impeachment he had long been dreading on Wednesday, lashing out at his Democratic accusers in a rambling two-hour speech and calling for their defeat in November. Moments after the House passed two articles of impeachment against him, he told a campaign rally in a state he won in 2016 that is crucial to his re-election that the vote was an attempt to “nullify the ballots of tens of millions of patriotic Americans.” But in his mostly unscripted remarks, Mr. Trump claimed he was enjoying himself. “They said there’s no crime,” he said. “There’s no crime. I’m the first person to ever get impeached and there’s no crime. I feel guilty. It’s impeachment lite.” He paused before adding, “I don’t know about you, but I’m having a good time.” But more often he seemed embittered, mocking the physical appearance of his rivals, attacking the news media, calling a female protester a “slob” and a “disgusting person,” and suggesting that John D. Dingell Jr., a Democratic congressman from Michigan who died in February after serving 59 years in the House, had gone to hell.