Top moments from historic House impeachment debate

The House spent six hours Wednesday debating two articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald TrumpPredictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure A review of President Biden's first year on border policy  Hannity after Jan. 6 texted McEnany 'no more stolen election talk' in five-point plan for Trump MORE before ultimately passing both on a largely party-line vote.

While much of the debate rehashed both parties' well-practiced talking points, there were also lively moments, clashes between lawmakers, applause and boo's, and eyebrow-raising comparisons. 

Here are the top moments from the floor debate:


Gohmert vs. Nadler

In his remarks to the House, Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertFocus on Perry could mean more subpoenas, challenges for Jan. 6 panel Members of Congress not running for reelection in 2022 House Ethics panel dismisses security screening fine issued to GOP lawmaker MORE (R-Texas), visibly perturbed, said impeachment proceedings were being used to "stop the investigation of the U.S. Department of Justice and Ukraine into the corruption of Ukraine interference into the U.S. election in 2016."

Rep. Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerAndrew Cuomo attorney says AG investigation was 'shoddy,' outcome was 'predetermined' Democrats quietly explore barring Trump from office over Jan. 6  The Memo: Nation's racial reckoning plays out in 2021's big trials MORE (D-N.Y.) – the ranking member on the Judiciary panel – replied after Gohmert's time had expired: "I am deeply concerned that any member of the House would spout Russian propaganda on the floor of the House."


Nadler's response apparently didn't sit well Gohmert who began to yell and point his finger at the New York Democrat. Debate moderator Rep. Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGetteNebraska Republican tests positive for COVID-19 in latest congressional breakthrough case The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Voting rights week for Democrats (again) Maryland Democrat announces positive COVID-19 test MORE (D-Colo.), put down Gohmert's outburst by banging her gavel and repeatedly saying the "House will come to order."

Both career Russia experts who testified in the House impeachment inquiry and reports from intelligence officials have refuted Gohmert's claims. Fiona Hill, a former top Russia analyst for the White House, fiercely disputed Republican claims of Ukraine meddling, warning during an impeachment hearing last month that Russia is benefiting from the spread of this "fictional narrative."

Pelosi gets standing ovation

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi says she's open to stock trading ban for Congress Manchin: Biden spending plan talks would start 'from scratch' Reps. Massie, Grijalva test positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-Calif.) opened the floor debate by describing the House as the "custodians of the Constitution." 

"Our founders' vision is under threat from actions at the White House," Pelosi told her colleagues.

"That is why today as Speaker of the House, I sadly and solemnly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States," she continued.


Pelosi, along with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCIA says 'Havana syndrome' unlikely a result of 'worldwide campaign' by foreign power The Hill's Morning Report - Biden to make voting rights play in Atlanta Democrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit MORE (D-Calif.), have been the driving forces of House Democrats' impeachment proceedings.

As Pelosi walked off the House floor, Democrats praised her with a standing ovation.

Trump reacts 


When asked by the press pool if President Trump would be watching the House proceedings, White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamThe Hill's Morning Report - Voting rights takes center stage for Democrats Lawmakers take stock of election laws in wake of Jan. 6 anniversary Raskin: Grisham told Jan. 6 panel about 'names that I had not heard before' MORE he "will be working all day. He will be briefed by staff throughout that day, and could catch some of the proceedings between meetings.”

Soon after Grisham's statement, the president took to Twitter. In all-caps, he tweeted: "SUCH ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT, DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS. THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA, AND AN ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!"

GOP lawmaker compares impeachment to crucifixion of Christ 

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) during his remarks compared the impeachment proceedings against President Trump to the "sham" biblical trial of Jesus.

“When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers," Loudermilk told his congressional colleagues.

"During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus, than Democrats have afforded this president in this process," he continued.

Later in the debate another lawmaker, Rep. Mike KellyGeorge (Mike) Joseph KellyMomentum builds to prohibit lawmakers from trading stocks Pelosi faces pushback over stock trade defense Nunes resignation sets off GOP scramble on Ways and Means MORE (R-Pa.), said that like the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Wednesday was a day that "would live in infamy."

"Smoking Gun"
Judiciary Committee member Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalDesperate Dems signal support for cutting Biden bill down in size Sanders, 50 Democrats unveil bill to send N95 masks to all Americans Centrist Democrats urge progressives to tamp down rhetoric MORE (D-Wash.) refuted the Republican talking point that the president withheld the nearly $400 million in congressional aid to Ukraine because he was concerned about political corruption with the country.
"The facts in front of us are clear," she said. "This president, Donald J. Trump, coerced a fragile foreign ally to investigate his political opponent and interfere in our elections and he leveraged critically needed congressionally-approved military aid to Ukraine."
She added: "He solicited foreign interference before, he is doing it now and he will do it again. The president is the smoking gun."
Schiff channels Hamilton
Judiciary Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) didn't take the floor until roughly halfway through the allotted debate time and when he addressed the chamber he began with a passage from founding father Alexander Hamilton:
"When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits—despotic in his ordinary demeanor—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of the day—It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind."
This passage, Schiff asserted, aptly described the president and that if the President's actions weren't impeachable, "then nothing is."