House Democrats have announced two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump: ‘high crimes and misdemeanor” for trying to pressure the Ukraine to get political dirt on Democratic Senator Joe Biden and for obstructing the House’s investigation.
Standing alongside Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Nadler said Trump committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” by soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election and blocking the House’s efforts to investigate the matter. In doing so, Democrats said, Trump betrayed the country and his oath of office, engaged in a “cover up” of his own alleged misconduct, and “ignored and injured the interests of the nation.”
The announcement comes ahead of the Judiciary Committee’s plans to approve the articles later this week — on Thursday, according to multiple Democrats — with a full House vote expected next week.
The articles — written in a nine-page House resolution — state that Trump sought to pressure Ukraine’s government to announce investigations into his political rivals by “conditioning” official acts “of significant value to Ukraine on its public announcement of investigations.”
“In so doing, President Trump used the powers of the presidency in a manner that compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process,” the resolution states, adding that Trump should be removed from office and further disqualified from holding federal office.
The unveiling of the articles comes a day after impeachment investigators presented their evidence to the Judiciary panel, with Democrats accusing Trump of prioritizing his personal political interests over U.S. national security when he sought to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.
This comes at a time when America’s partisan divide is as pronounced as ever. According to Politico, a small group of moderate Democrats uneasy about the impact of impeachment on their re-election changes are floating the idea of censuring rather than impeaching Trump. But it’s highly unlikely that would fly. A recent poll finds impeachment now helping Trump’s re-election prospects in three battleground states.
“We must be clear: No one, not even the president, is above the law,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), head of the committee that drafted the articles. “We do not take this action lightly, but we have taken an oath to defend the Constitution.”
….“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, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law,” the abuse of power article states.
The second charge, obstruction of Congress, focuses on Trump’s attempts to block congressional oversight by prohibiting federal officials from complying with requests and subpoenas for testimony and evidence.
“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 obstruction of Congress article states.
“The president’s continuing abuse of power has left us no choice,” said Schiff, whose committeeconducted the bulk of the investigation into Ukraine. “The evidence of the president’s misconduct is overwhelming and uncontested …. And when the president got caught, he committed his second impeachable act.”
The Republican and White House response:
Republicans argue Trump was working within his authority to direct foreign policy and had legitimate concerns about corruption in Ukraine. They say Democrats had always intended to impeach him and were just looking for a reason.
“There’s nothing that has actually come close to an impeachable offense,” Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) told reporters after the announcement.
Collins was incredulous that Democrats would want to charge Trump with obstructing Congress during such a short investigation and said the charge of abuse of power is too broad.
“I could put anything in there: ‘I don’t like the way he talked to Congress, I don’t like the way he got up in the morning.’ Abuse of power is so amorphous,” Collins said.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that Democrats have announced the “predetermined outcome of their sham impeachment…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. The president will address these false charges in the Senate and expects to be fully exonerated, because he did nothing wrong,” she said.
Go to the link to read the whole story. The full articles of impeachment can be found HERE.
It’s interesting how many people oppose articles of impeachment that they haven’t even read.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) December 10, 2019
“As Democrats unveil impeachment articles, Trump signals corruption will continue.”
— EJ Dionne (@EJDionne) December 10, 2019
There are pluses and minuses to any configuration of the articles of impeachment, but the two being offered are both incontrovertible and fundamental, allow for room to fill in the blanks while making clear the gravity of the charges, and provide a basis for a good Senate trial.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 10, 2019
SOME BUZZ on impeachment markup:
Democrats are leaning toward beginning their markup of articles *Wednesday evening* to allow for opening statements, resuming Thursday with the goal to finish by the end of the day.
Still somewhat in flux.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) December 10, 2019