House Democrats on Tuesday morning announced two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
The articles charge abuse of power by Trump in the Ukraine affair and obstruction of Congress. It was just the fourth time in U.S. history that a sitting president has been brought to the brink of impeachment.
In a press conference at the Capitol, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York said Trump “consistently puts himself above the country.” He said the president’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” compelled Congress to invoke the constitutional power reserved for the most egregious presidential misconduct.
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The Judiciary Committee is expected to mark up the articles Thursday and formally vote on them Friday, setting up a full House vote on impeachment next week before Congress breaks for Christmas recess.
Other prominent Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have made similar arguments.
NEW: Read the articles of impeachment against Trump https://t.co/ZJ8TD8TyWg
— Axios (@axios) December 10, 2019
In a Judiciary Committee hearing Monday, the Democrats’ counsel argued that Trump abused his office and pressured Ukraine to open investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden for the president’s political benefit.
Meanwhile, House Republicans have dismissed the impeachment process as nothing more than political warfare.
The White House has refused to participate in the impeachment process and sought to limit Democrats’ access to officials and documents.
Republicans respond to the introduction of articles of impeachment
About an hour before Democrats’ announcement, Trump tweeted that it was “sheer Political Madness” to impeach a president who has done “NOTHING wrong” and overseen “perhaps the strongest economy in our country’s history.
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The manager of his re-election campaign, Brad Parscale, called the Democrats’ decision deeply “divisive.”
“Americans don’t agree with this rank partisanship, but Democrats are putting on this political theater because they don’t have a viable candidate for 2020 and they know it,” he said in a statement.
According to reports, Nadler and other progressives fought to add a third article for obstruction of justice based on Trump’s attempts to thwart Robert Mueller’s investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russian election interference in 2016. But the move would have risked losing moderate Democratic votes on the House floor.
Republicans hold a 53 to 47 majority in the Senate, and it would take a two-thirds majority to vote to remove Trump from office.