House Democrats have announced two articles of impeachment charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The charges unveiled Tuesday stem from Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rivals as he withheld aid to the country.
Earlier Tuesday, Trump tweeted he did “NOTHING” wrong and that impeaching a president with his record would be “sheer Political Madness!”
The filing of the articles is a major step in Democrats’ efforts to make Trump the third US president to be impeached. It is only the fourth time in history that Congress has attempted to remove a sitting President from office.
The House Judiciary Committee could vote on the articles later this week, sending them to the House floor where lawmakers will need a majority vote to send them to the Senate.
If the articles pass in the House, the case will move to the Senate for a formal trial likely beginning in January, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Democratic lawmakers announced the charges against Trump at a press conference on Tuesday morning after more than 100 hours of deposition and 17 witnesses.
Notably absent from The Post’s report on the charges was a “bribery” count. Democrats have repeatedly accused Trump of bribing Ukraine with military aid to investigate political rival, Joe Biden. CNN reported that Democrats debated whether to also include another article of “obstruction of justice” related to allegations in the Mueller report.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with her team Monday evening after a 10-hour Judiciary Committee but declined to discuss the articles or the impending announcement.
When asked if she thinks she has enough votes in the House to move the case to the Senate, Pelosi said she has not counted the votes.
“On an issue like this, we don’t count the votes. People will just make their voices known on it,” Pelosi said at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council. "I haven’t counted votes, nor will I.”
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told reporters Monday while exiting Pelosi’s office that “a lot of us believe what happened with Ukraine especially is not something we can just close our eyes to.”
“I think there's a lot of agreement,” he said. "You’ll hear about some of it tomorrow.”
The filing of the articles is a major step in Democrats’ efforts to make Trump the third US president to be impeached.
During Monday’s lengthy judiciary committee, Democrats argued that Trump’s push to have Ukraine investigate Biden while withholding military aid constitutes a violation of US policy and benefitted both himself and Russia.
“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 Dan Goldman, the director of investigations at the House Intelligence Committee.
Republicans dismissed the allegations against Trump. Rep Doug Collins (R-GA), who serves on the judiciary committee, said the impeachment process is like a criminal proceeding with no crime.
“We don’t have a crime; we don’t have anything we actually can defend,” he said.
Collins also accused Democrats of trying to force impeachment before 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.
The White House is refusing to participate in the impeachment process. While Trump’s allies acknowledge that he will likely be impeached in the Democratic-controlled House. However, they expect acquittal in the Republican-controlled Senate.