House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment Tuesday, charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The charges, announced by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., stem from Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rivals as he withheld aid to the country.
“It is an impeachable offense for the president to exercise the powers of his public office to obtain an improper personal benefit while ignoring or injuring the national interest,” Nadler said. “That is exactly what President Trump did when he solicited and pressured Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 presidential election.”
The move comes after the House Intelligence Committee heard lengthy testimony from current and former officials, both behind closed doors and in public hearings. The committee’s 300-page report of the impeachment inquiry released last week alleges that Trump misused the power of his office and, in the course of their investigation, obstructed Congress by stonewalling the proceedings.
In the nearly 10-hour hearing at the Judiciary Committee on Monday, Democrats said Trump’s push to have Ukraine investigate Biden while withholding U.S. military aid ran counter to U.S. policy and benefited Russia as well as himself.
Dan Goldman, the director of investigations at the House Intelligence Committee, presented the findings of the report.
“President Trump’s persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security,” said Goldman.
Republicans rejected not just Goldman’s conclusion of the Ukraine matter; they also questioned his very appearance before the Judiciary panel.
In a series of heated exchanges, they said Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, should appear rather than sending his lawyer.
From the White House, Trump tweeted repeatedly, assailing the “Witch Hunt!” and “Do Nothing Democrats.”
Democrats say Trump abused his power in a July 25 phone call when he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for a favor in investigating Democrats. They say that was bribery since Trump was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid that Ukraine depended on to counter Russian aggression.
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.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., was blunt as he opened Monday’s hearing, saying, “President Trump put himself before country.”
Nadler said at the end of the daylong hearing that Trump’s conduct “is clearly impeachable.”
Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the committee, said Democrats are racing to jam impeachment through on a “clock and a calendar” ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
“They can’t get over the fact that Donald Trump is the president of the United States, and they don’t have a candidate that can beat him,” Collins said.
When asked if she has enough votes to impeach the Republican president, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would let House lawmakers vote their conscience.
“On an issue like this, we don’t count the votes. People will just make their voices known on it,” Pelosi said Monday at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council. “I haven’t counted votes, nor will I.”
The outcome, though, appears increasingly set as the House prepares to vote, as it has only three times in history against a U.S. president.
Delivered by The Daily Sheeple
We encourage you to share and republish our reports, analyses, breaking news and videos (Click for details).
Contributed by Sean Walton of The Daily Sheeple.