On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives would begin drafting the articles of impeachment against President Trump.
“His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution,” Pelosi said during the short morning announcement. “Our democracy is what is at stake. The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit.”
Pelosi said she would ask the chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary to proceed with articles of impeachment. The committee, headed by Jerry Nadler (D-New York) and which includes three Texas congresswoman, including senior member Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston, will ultimately decide what high crimes and misdemeanors to charge the president with.
It’s not yet clear when those articles might be drafted, but so far the impeachment process has been moving with remarkable speed and few interruptions in the Democratic-controlled House.
The decision to begin drafting the articles of impeachment comes after two months of investigation that focused on a July 25 phone call between President Trump and newly elected Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the phone call, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden– the current frontrunner in the Democratic primaries– and his son, Hunter. The call’s revelation by a whistleblower and subsequent release of the transcript set off the impeachment inquiry.
Pelosi announced the formal impeachment inquiry of Trump in September. Since then, Americans have heard key testimony from State Department officials that provide more context behind Trump’s decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine. Witnesses said Trump withheld the critical aid in order to pressure– or bribe– Ukraine into investigating the Bidens.
Trump issued a series of tweets Thursday morning before Pelosi’s announcement, telling Democrats, “if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate…”