House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced today that she’s asked House Democrats to start drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump because he “leaves us no choice but to act.”
“Sadly, but with confidence and humility … today I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment,” Pelosi said.
“The facts are uncontested,” she said. “The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security by withholding military aid and a crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival.”
“His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our constitution,” she added. “Our democracy is what is at stake. The president leaves us no choice but to act.”
“If we allow a president to be above the law, we do so at the peril of our republic,” she said.
The announcement tees up a House floor vote in the coming weeks that would make Trump just the fourth president in American history to face an impeachment vote, and the third to be impeached by the House of Representatives.
“In America, no one is above the law,” Pelosi said.
“The president has engaged in abuse of power undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections. His actions are in defiance of the vision of our Founders and the oath of office that he takes to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States,” she said.
About an hour later, President Trump tweeted his first reaction, saying that Democrats are focused on impeachment after they “gave up on the ridiculous Mueller ‘stuff.'” He said that impeachment is rarely used and suggested impeaching him will set a bad precedent for future presidents.
However, all political experts except the most hopelessly optimistic note that once the impeachment case comes to trial in the Senate it has virtually zero chance of convicting Trump, who now has such complete control over his party that a recent poll thinks Trump is a better President that onetime GOP icon Abraham Lincoln.
It is no secret that Pelosi was quietly assessing House Dems’ desires on how to proceed with impeachment. Democrats’ impeachment argument has recently contained a new basic strand — that Trump is a threat to American democracy and that his impeachment is urgent. But, again, Senate nonconviction is as certain a certainty as we’ve seen in U.S. politics. Meanwhile, the White House is preparing for an aggressive defense.
Here is her full announcement:
What impact is this having politically? The Daily MSN tracking poll shows it hasn’t enormously or even significantly damaged Trump’s support that that the political divide continues to be extremely close.
The rush to an impeachment vote ignores the fact that speed is Trump’s friend, writes @SykesCharlie: He counts on a dizzying cycle of news, outrage and disinformation to move past damaging stories before they are fully absorbed or placed into context. https://t.co/pY3A9A9zxf
— POLITICO Magazine (@POLITICOMag) December 5, 2019
For those who want to skip ahead: The House will impeach @POTUS by the end of the year because what he did warrants it. The Senate will hold a trial in January but not convict, regardless of evidence, because he has absolute control of his party.
And then we will move on.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) December 5, 2019
Interesting thread on timing of impeachment strategy and SCOTUS opinions. https://t.co/MTIMD8yqTV
— Aaron Astor (@AstorAaron) December 5, 2019
This morning, @SpeakerPelosi quoted part of this line by George Mason fearing that a future president may cheat his way to power.
“The man who practiced corruption & procured his appointment in the first instance” might “be suffered to escape punishment, by repeating his guilt.”
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) December 5, 2019
Republican senators should NOT be accepting bribes (campaign donations) from trump or raised by trump before his Senate trial ends. It’s a rigged system already. Now it’s worse as trump is openly BRIBING the jury. https://t.co/7M3WLKg244
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) December 5, 2019