Democrats to draft articles of impeachment against Trump
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Democrats to draft articles of impeachment against Trump

House Speaker Pelosi says ‘the president leaves us no choice but to act’ by moving forward with charges over putting personal political gain over national security interests

US President Donald Trump during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, November 22, 2019,(Susan Walsh/AP)
US President Donald Trump during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, November 22, 2019,(Susan Walsh/AP)

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the House of Representatives is moving forward to draft articles of impeachment against US President Donald Trump.

“Our democracy is what is at stake,” Pelosi said. “The president leaves us no choice but to act.”

Pelosi delivered the historic announcement as Democrats push toward a vote, possibly by Christmas.

She said she was authorizing the drafting of articles of impeachment “sadly but with confidence and humility.”

“The president’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution,” Pelosi said.

At the heart of the impeachment probe is a July call with the president of Ukraine, in which Trump pressed the leader to investigate Democrats and political rival Joe Biden as Trump was withholding aid to the country.

“The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit. The president has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections,” Pelosi charged.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announces that the House will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the Speaker’s Balcony in the US Capitol December 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP)

White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in response that “Democrats should be ashamed,” after their leader pulled the trigger on impeaching Trump.

Echoing comments made earlier by the US president, Grisham said that once the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives votes on impeachment, Trump looks forward to “a fair trial in the Senate,” where his Republican party holds power.

Trump tweeted before Pelosi’s anouncement that if Democrats “are going to impeach me, do it now, fast.” He said he wants to get on to a “fair trial” in the Senate. The president also said that Democrats have “gone crazy.”

On Wednesday, Pelosi met behind closed doors with her Democratic caucus, asking, “Äre you ready?”

The answer was a resounding yes, according to those in the room.

Three leading legal scholars testified Wednesday to the House Judiciary Committee that Trump’s attempts to have Ukraine investigate Democratic rivals are grounds for impeachment, bolstering the Democrats’ case.

A fourth expert called by Republicans warned against rushing the process, arguing this would be the shortest of impeachment proceedings, with the “thinnest” record of evidence in modern times, setting a worrisome standard.

Trump is alleged to have abused the power of his office by putting personal political gain over national security interests, engaging in bribery by withholding $400 million in military aid Congress had approved for Ukraine’ and then obstructing Congress by stonewalling the investigation.

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