Democrats unveil impeachment articles, as White House slams ‘baseless and partisan’ effort
House Democrats on Tuesday introduced two articles of impeachment against President Trump alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress regarding his interactions with Ukraine, touching off a rapid-fire sequence that could result in a momentous floor vote in a matter of days.
“The framers of the Constitution prescribed a clear remedy for presidents who so violate their oath of office,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. “No one, not even the president, is above the law.”
His office later posted text of the articles, which declare Trump’s actions warrant impeachment, trial and removal from office.
The White House swiftly hit back, accusing Democrats of using the Ukraine issue as an excuse for “this partisan, gratuitous, and pathetic attempt to overthrow the Trump Administration and the results of the 2016 election.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., also countered at a GOP press conference that Trump’s actions are “absolutely” not impeachable.
“Other countries admire us because we believe in the rule of law, we believe in due process. But not in Nancy Pelosi’s House when she became speaker,” he said.
The key Democratic committee leaders, along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., outlined their impeachment plans in a brief and pointed statement to the media early Tuesday morning, and left without taking questions.
Nadler previewed two articles “charging the president with high crimes and misdemeanors.” He said the first is dedicated to “abuse of power,” alleging the president has “exercised the powers of his office for his personal benefit while ignoring or injuring the public interest.” Nadler said Trump put himself before country while endangering national security and America’s democracy.
“Trump has engaged in unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance of the impeachment inquiry,” Nadler added, as he announced the second article focused on obstruction of Congress.
The article text posted by his office reflected these statements, while alleging in stark terms that Trump “has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who has led much of the inquiry, called impeachment “an extraordinary remedy.”
“He has given us no choice,” Schiff said of Trump. “To do nothing would make ourselves complicit in the president’s abuse of his high office.”
Trump fired back minutes later, blasting the entire inquiry as a “WITCH HUNT!” — the same term he used for the Russia investigation.
“Nadler just said that I ‘pressured Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 Election.’ Ridiculous, and he knows that is not true. Both the President & Foreign Minister of Ukraine said, many times, that there ‘WAS NO PRESSURE.’ Nadler and the Dems know this, but refuse to acknowledge!” Trump tweeted.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham slammed the announcement as part of Democrats’ bid to “overturn the votes” of 63 million Americans who supported Trump in 2016.
“Today, in a baseless and partisan attempt to undermine a sitting President, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats announced the pre-determined outcome of their sham impeachment – something they have been seeking since before President Trump was inaugurated,” she said in a statement.
While Republicans have blasted the process as partisan, dubbing it the “focus group impeachment” in response to reports that Democrats tested different allegations with focus groups, Democrats are moving swiftly ahead of the holiday break.