Democrats object to Meadows passing note to Jordan from dais

Democratic staff on the House Judiciary Committee objected Thursday after Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsRepublicans criticize Pelosi for gifting pens used to sign impeachment articles Trump, Democrats set for brawl on Iran war powers Overnight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers MORE (R-N.C.) went on the dais to pass along a note to one of the GOP members participating in the panel’s markup of impeachment articles for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE.

Staff to Judiciary Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMcConnell locks in schedule for start of impeachment trial Pelosi: Trump's impeachment 'cannot be erased' House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate MORE (D-N.Y.) pushed back against Meadows — who is not a member on the Judiciary — standing behind the dais after he sought to pass a note to Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanSunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Trump's legal team gets set for impeachment trial Five lingering questions as impeachment heads to Senate MORE (R-Ohio), a close ally of Trump. The back and forth, which lasted a few minutes, appeared to get heated.

Meadows claimed that the Democrats were “afraid I was coaching some of the Republicans,” calling such an idea “ridiculous." 

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“I was passing a message to Mr. Jordan and the Democrats objected to me being behind the dais,” Meadows told The Hill.

The North Carolina Republican said he responded by asking the staffers to show him a rule that says he is not allowed to be behind the dais.

“I told him that I know the rules better than they do and if they showed me a rule then I would leave,” Meadows said, noting that there isn’t such a rule. “I could remain as long as I wanted."

While no rule may exist, a Democratic committee aide challenged that Meadows going behind the dais broke with long-standing practices of the committee.

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“The long-standing practice of the Committee, under chairmen of both parties, is that only Committee members are allowed on the dais,” the committee aide said. “Mr. Meadows knows this, in part because he is the only Member in recent memory who has needed multiple reminders on this point.”

The small clash came amid an hours-long debate by the Judiciary Committee over the two articles of impeachment Democrats introduced against Trump this week, which charge him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Democrats allege Trump used a White House meeting and nearly $400 million in U.S. aid to Kyiv as leverage to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open two investigations that would benefit him politically, including one into the son of his 2020 political rival, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden alleges Sanders campaign 'doctored video' to attack him on Social Security record Sanders campaign responds to Biden doctored video claims: Biden should 'stop trying to doctor' public record Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger pens op-ed in defense of Biden: 'I stuttered once, too. I dare you to mock me' MORE.

They say such conduct rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors and that leaving a lawless president in office presents a threat to the country and its interests.

The president and Republicans have denied accusations of a quid pro quo and other claims of wrongdoing, instead alleging that Democrats are seeking to remove Trump from office because they cannot beat him at the ballot box.

The two articles are likely to pass along party lines after hours of debate.