House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) surprised his colleagues and the media by announcing late Thursday night that the votes on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump would be postponed until 10:00 a.m. Friday morning.
Republicans exploded in outrage. Ranking Member Doug Collins (D-GA) protested angrily that the sudden schedule change had not been discussed with the opposition.
Other Republicans interjected, as Nadler gaveled the hearing closed. “Stalinist!” Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) shouted. Others said that Nadler’s move was symbolic of the arbitrary rule they had come to expect on the committee.
Reporters were also stunned. “We are genuinely surprised, all of us,” MSNBC anchor Brian Williams said. Correspondent Garrett Haake agreed, noting that there had been “genuine anger” from Republicans at being blindsided.
Collins vented his frustration as the cameras rolled. “Chairman Nadler’s integrity is zero. His staff is zero,” Collins told the press. “That was the most Bush-league play I have ever seen in my life, because they just want to get in front of the camera.”
Everyone — Democrats, Republicans, and journalists — had expected a vote, after a debate that began at 7:00 p.m. the night before, continued well into the night, reconvened at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, and ended at about 11:15 p.m.
“They do not care about rules. They have one thing: their hatred of Donald Trump. And this showed it.” Collins said, accusing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) of controlling the schedule instead of Nadler.
It was unclear whether some members had planned to travel to Europe on Friday to attend the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, the larges engagement in the history of the U.S. Army and a decisive moment in the Second World War.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.