House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump about two and a half months after Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., first announced a formal impeachment inquiry into the president.
What We Know:
- Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., announced that his committee will consider two articles of impeachment — one for abuse of power and the other for obstruction of Congress — charging Trump “with committing high crimes and misdemeanors.” Nadler said the articles of impeachment were being filed in response to Trump allegedly soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election, compromising national security, threatening the integrity of the upcoming election and concealing evidence from Congress and the American people. Trump, he said, violated his oath of office. Nadler said, Trump exercised “the powers of his public office to obtain an improper personal benefit” and engaged in “indiscriminate defiance of the impeachment inquiry.”
- Trump, in typical form, fired back within an hour of the announcement, tweeting, “WITCH HUNT!”
Nadler just said that I “pressured Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 Election.” Ridiculous, and he knows that is not true. Both the President & Foreign Minister of Ukraine said, many times, that there “WAS NO PRESSURE.” Nadler and the Dems know this, but refuse to acknowledge!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2019
- The White House, Trump campaign and allies swiftly pushed back also. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham called the articles of impeachment “baseless” and said Trump “will address these false charges in the Senate and expects to be fully exonerated, because he did nothing wrong.” Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, said in a statement that Democrats “are putting on this political theater because they don’t have a viable candidate for 2020 and they know it.” Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said Pelosi “can invent whatever false charges she wants, but the American people see this for what it is: yet another partisan attempt to overthrow a duly-elected president and rob voters of the chance to re-elect him in 2020.”
- The announcement comes a day after the Judiciary Committee held its second public impeachment hearing, in which lawyers for the Democrats and the Republicans took turns summarizing the cases they’ve built. NBC News reported Monday night that Democrats had settled on bringing two articles of impeachment against the president.
- Congress is slated to leave Washington by the end of next week, Democrats are expected to move swiftly to hold a vote in the Judiciary Committee to adopt and recommend the articles to the House for a floor vote before the holiday break. Once the articles come to the floor, they are expected to be adopted by the Democratic-controlled House. Once that happens, the process moves to the Republican-held Senate, which is then expected to hold a trial on whether to remove Trump from office. So far, Senate Republicans have shown no sign they will break with the president on impeachment.
Democrats had been wrestling with whether to make the articles narrow, focusing only on the president’s alleged misconduct in Ukraine, or expanding them to include issues such as obstruction of justice, raised in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report, or alleged violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution.