House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump over his contacts with Ukraine: Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
“Today, in the service to our duty to the Constitution and to our country, the House Judiciary Committee is introducing two articles of impeachment, charging the President of the United States of committing high crimes and misdemeanors,” Rep Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said, flanked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and other House committee chairs.
“It is an impeachable offense for a president to use the powers of his office to seek a personal benefit,” he added.
The charges — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — stem from second-hand allegations brought forth in a whistleblower complaint by a partisan CIA officer, who alleged President Trump attempted to pressure the leader of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, in exchange for U.S. military aid. Both President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have both vehemently denied any pressure was applied during their July 25 telephone conversation at the center of the impeachment inquiry. The White House released a transcript of the president’s call with Zelensky as evidence that no wrongdoing occurred.
Notably absent from the articles were any mention of bribery, which House Democrats accused the president of committing in his dealings with Ukraine. Also absent was an article regarding past claims that the president obstructed special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into now-debunked criminal conspiracy between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia.
Schiff spoke after Nadler, explaining that Congress had no choice but to pursue impeachment expeditiously because the 2020 election is one year away.
Schiff said: “The argument ‘Why don’t you just wait?’ amounts to this: ‘Why don’t you just let him cheat in one more election? Why not let him cheat just one more time? Why not let him have foreign help just one more time?'”
House Democrats leaders concluded their press conference without taking any questions from reporters, nor did they provide any text or indication when it will be released.
President Trump reacted to the House Democrats’ press conference by slamming Nadler’s accusations as “ridiculous.”
“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!” he tweeted, before calling the process a “WITCH HUNT!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2019
President Trump has repeatedly denounced the impeachment process as a “hoax” being used by the Democrats to hinder his re-election prospects.
“The impeachment thing is a hoax, it has turned out to be a hoax. It is done for purely political gain, they are going to see whether or not they can do something in 2020 because otherwise they are going to lose,” the president told reporters when asked about impeachment during the NATO summit in London last week.