On Tuesday, House Democrats formally announced two articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The articles come after more than two months of investigation into Trump’s conduct regarding Ukraine.
Other House Democrats weighed in on the articles. “I swore an oath to protect the Constitution against anyone who’d erode our democracy,” tweeted U.S.Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Houston, who sits on the Judiciary Committee. “Sadly we know that person is Donald Trump.”
Unsurprisingly, Trump was not pleased, tweeting out “WITCH HUNT!” and calling House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff a “totally corrupt politician.”
The nine-page draft lays out how the president abused the power of the presidency to boost his reelection prospects then tried to prevent Congress from getting to the truth.
The first article, abuse of power, charges the president with trying to strong-arm Ukraine into announcing investigations into his political opponent Joe Biden as well as debunked conspiracy theories. To do so, the president used congressionally-appropriated military aid and the promise of a White House meeting as bargaining chips.
“President Trump abused the powers of the Presidency by ignoring and injuring national security and other vital national interests to obtain an improper personal political benefit,” reads the document. “He has also betrayed the Nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections.”
The document noted that this was consistent with Trump’s previous attempts to solicit foreign interference in US elections.
The second article, obstruction of Congress, centers on the president’s refusal to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. Trump ordered his administration to defy House subpoenas for documents and told witnesses not to testify.
“In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors,’” read the obstruction of Congress article. “This abuse of office served to cover up the President’s own repeated misconduct and to seize and control the power of impeachment—and thus to nullify a vital constitutional safeguard vested solely in the House of Representatives.”
The document concludes that Trump “demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.”
The articles of impeachment will be debated in the Judiciary Committee and they could be voted on as soon as Thursday.
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