House Democrat expects impeachment vote before 2020

A Democrat who serves on one of the three House committees leading the impeachment inquiry said Wednesday that lawmakers will take up articles against President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE by the end of the year, but emphasized that House Democrats still have to build their case for the American people.

“Do you expect an impeachment vote in the House before the new year?” Hill.TV’s Saagar Enjeti asked Rep. Mark DeSaulnierMark James DeSaulnierDemocratic lawmaker laments Hunter Biden's business dealings in Ukraine House Democrat expects impeachment vote before 2020 Democratic congressman talks latest developments in impeachment inquiry MORE (D-Calif.).

“Yes, but it’s important to remember — ultimately the jury is the American people, so we have to build a case just like a prosecutor would build a case to a jury and the jury in this case is the American voter,” DeSaulnier, who is a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said.

“I think more and more the American public — the jury in this case — is seeing that this is unacceptable behavior in the president of the United States,” he added.

Almost all House Democrats have voiced support or signaled that they would back impeachment proceedings, as do nearly half of Americans.

DeSaulnier, who first back Trump’s impeachment in July, defended the inquiry amid ongoing attacks from Republicans and President Trump himself. The California Democrat maintained that House Democrats have to “stand up for a very basic level of constitutional moral authority.”

“The president has been very successful at moving the line in terms of proper and what is improper,” he told Hill.TV. “That’s his personality, that’s I guess what made him successful in the business world but [as] the president of the United States if we keep moving these ethical boundaries and constitutional boundaries, it’s not a slippery slope — it’s a cliff.”

President Trump triggered outrage Tuesday after comparing the impeachment inquiry to a lynching.

“All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching,” Trump tweeted. “But we will WIN!"

Several Democratic lawmakers condemned Trump’s remarks, including one of the most influential lawmakers in Congress.

“I really believe this man is prone to inflammatory statements, and that is one word no president ought to apply to himself,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said later that day when asked about Trump's remarks during an appearance on CNN.

—Tess Bonn