Articles of impeachment are officially on the table. House Democrats announced they’ll move to charge Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, setting in motion the third presidential impeachment in American history.
WASHINGTON D.C. (Times Media Mexico/CNN) – Democratic leaders decided to forego adding another article on obstruction of justice related to the Mueller investigation, to keep the impeachment focus tight and appease moderate members who are still hesitant about the whole situation. The charges most likely will go to a full House vote next week and must likely split along party lines, some moderate Democrats are reportedly discussing the articles and Trump is preparing for a fight, with the White House saying the he will “address these false charges in the Senate.”
House Democratic leaders announced Tuesday they will bring two articles of impeachment against Trump, charging him with “abuse of power“ and “obstruction of Congress“ to set in motion the third impeachment of a US president in history.
The announcement of impeachment articles marks the culmination of an intense, fast-moving investigation into the President’s dealings with Ukraine and represents a historic choice for lawmakers with less than a year before the next election.
The six House Democratic chairs who have led the investigations against the President this year unveiled the impeachment articles on Tuesday morning with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and they were formally introduced by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler.
Democrats charge that Trump abused his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals ahead of the 2020 election while withholding a White House meeting and $400 million in US security aid from Kiev. And they say that Trump then obstructed the investigation into his misconduct with a blanket blockade of subpoenas and refusing to allow key senior officials to testify before Congress.
Tuesday’s introduction sets the stage for a dramatic impeachment vote on the House floor next week, after the House Judiciary Committee debates and approves the articles beginning on Thursday.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said the evidence against Trump was “overwhelming and uncontested,” and argued Democrats cannot wait for the judicial branch to rule on the witnesses and documents the Trump administration is blocking from Congress.
“The argument why don’t you just wait amounts to this: why don’t you just let him cheat in one more election?” said Schiff, a Democrat from California. “Despite everything we have uncovered, the President’s misconduct continues to this day, unapologetically and right now.”
The White House slammed the introduction of the impeachment articles and said Trump would “address these false charges in the Senate” after the President did not participate in the House proceedings. “The announcement of two baseless articles of impeachment does not hurt the President, it hurts the American people, who expect their elected officials to work on their behalf to strengthen our nation.” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
This is the fourth time a US president is staring down the serious prospect of impeachment. The House voted to impeach Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, who were both acquitted by the Senate, while President Richard Nixon resigned before impeachment articles went to the House floor.
The announcement of impeachment articles from Pelosi came just minutes before the speaker then announced a deal Tuesday to advance President Donald Trump’s renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement — handing the President a victory at the same time Democrats are moving to impeach him.
The two articles are included in a nine-page resolution accusing Trump of unprecedented misconduct and calling for his removal from office.
“Donald J. Trump has abused the powers of the Presidency, in that: Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States presidential election,” the first article says. “Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.”
The article on obstruction of Congress charged that Trump “directed the unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives pursuant to its ‘sole power of impeachment. In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate ‘high crimes and misdemeanors“ the Democrats wrote.
The impeachment vote is likely to split largely along party lines, with a handful of potential Democratic defections. No Republicans appear likely to vote to impeach the President after an investigation congressional Republicans denounced as unfair and biased against the President.
The Yucatan Times