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Why today’s impeachment hearing worked

The House Judiciary Committee is in the midst of a marathon session that will, eventually, end with a final vote on the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

You might think that a hearing that began at 9 a.m. ET and could easily extend past the 12-hour mark might be overwhelming. Or filled with partisan vitriol and name-calling. And there was some of that! I mean, Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is on this committee, after all!

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But taken as a whole, the mark-up hearing — essentially a series of attempts to change small or large parts of the language of the articles of impeachment — was packed full of information. You had a constitutional law professor (Maryland Democratic Jamie Raskin) debating with a constitutional law litigator of the other party (Louisiana Republican Mike Johnson). You had an extended debate about the origins of executive privilege and how it should be understood in the context of this impeachment hearing against Trump. You had a long back-and-forth over the separation of powers and just how much the legislative (or executive) branch should have within our government.

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