WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment Tuesday against President Donald Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — pushing toward historic votes over charges he corrupted the U.S. election process and endangered national security.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, flanked by the chairmen of the impeachment inquiry committees, stood at the Capitol in what she called a “solemn act.” Voting is expected in a matter of days in the Judiciary Committee and by Christmas in the full House.
“He endangers our democracy, he endangers our national security,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the Judiciary chairman announcing the charges before a portrait of George Washington. “Our next election is at risk… That is why we must act now.”
The charges unveiled Tuesday stem from Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rivals as he withheld aid to the country.
Trump tweeted ahead of the announcement that impeaching a president with a record like his would be “sheer Political Madness!”
The outcome, though, appears increasingly set as the House prepares for voting, as it has only three times in history against a U.S. president.
In drafting the articles of impeachment, Pelosi is facing a legal and political challenge of balancing the views of her majority while hitting the Constitution’s bar of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Some liberal lawmakers wanted more expansive charges encompassing the findings from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Centrist Democrats preferred to keep the impeachment articles more focused on Trump’s actions toward Ukraine. House Democrats have announced two articles of impeachment charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.in seeking foreign interference in elections from Mueller’s inquiry of the Russia probe to Ukraine.
In his report, Mueller said he could not determine that Trump’s campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia in the 2016 election. But Mueller said he could not exonerate Trump of obstructing justice in the probe and left it for Congress to determine.
Arkansas Third District Congressman Steve Womack released the following statement after Democrats unveiled articles of impeachment against President Trump today:
“It has been abundantly clear that since President Trump’s election in 2016, House Democrats have been hell-bent on removing him from office. Even today, after articles of impeachment were filed, one member was already predicting another effort should the Senate acquit. The articles filed today are baseless and unsurprising. They won’t go anywhere in the Senate. It is sad that instead of focusing on issues that contribute to our nation, Speaker Pelosi and her lieutenants are consumed with removing a duly-elected President. I predict that they will pay a dear political price for this misguided attempt to overturn the will of the American people.”
Arkansas Second District Congressman French Hill released the following statement in opposition to articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrat leadership:
“Today’s announcement is another step by Speaker Pelosi and her Democrat colleagues in their race to undo the 2016 elections before Christmas. It has been clear from day one that this was an inquiry in search of a crime–and that any crime would do. Instead, the facts did not demonstrate any offense sufficient to justify removing a duly elected U.S. president from office. No testimony produced evidence of bribery, extortion, or a high crime or misdemeanor.
“This partisan inquiry was flawed from the start when House Democrats blatantly deviated from historical precedent by altering the process used to establish impeachment proceedings against both President Nixon in 1974 and President Clinton in 1998. Additionally, the results of Speaker Pelosi’s inquiry failed to meet criteria she herself established this past March for impeachment, requiring ‘something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan.’ The only bipartisan voting record that exists in the House is against the impeachment inquiry.
“If House Democrats wanted to conduct oversight of President Trump’s foreign policy, they should have held oversight hearings in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Instead, their decision to pursue a partisan and prejudged impeachment inquiry has delayed the important work of Congress and contributed to more civic division.”