House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Tuesday, declaring he “betrayed the nation” with his actions toward Ukraine as they pushed toward historic proceedings that are certain to help define his presidency and shape the 2020 election.
The specific charges aimed at removing the 45th president of the US: Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, flanked by the chairmen of impeachment inquiry committees at the US Capitol, said they were upholding their solemn oath to defend the Constitution. Trump responded angrily on Twitter: “WITCH HUNT!”
Voting is expected in a matter of days by the Judiciary Committee, which begins deliberations on Wednesday, and by Christmas in the full House. The charges, if approved, would then be sent to the Senate, where the Republican majority would be unlikely to convict Trump, but not without a potentially bitter trial just as voters in Iowa and other early presidential primary states begin making their choices.
In the formal articles announced on Tuesday, the Democrats said Trump enlisted a foreign power in “corrupting” the US election process and endangered national security by asking Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, including Democrat Joe Biden, while withholding US military aid as leverage. That benefited Russia over the US as America’s ally fought Russian aggression, the Democrats said.
Trump then obstructed Congress by ordering current and former officials to defy House subpoenas for testimony and by blocking access to documents, the charges say. By his conduct, Trump “demonstrated he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, “the nine-page impeachment resolution says.