Democrats introduce two articles of impeachment against Trump

Democratic leaders announced Tuesday they will bring two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress to set in motion the third impeachment of a US president in history.

Posted: Dec 10, 2019 6:26 AM
Updated: Dec 10, 2019 9:00 AM

(CNN) -- House Democratic leaders announced Tuesday they will bring two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress to set in motion the third impeachment of a US president in history.

The announcement of impeachment articles marks the culmination of an intense, fast-moving investigation into the President's dealings with Ukraine and represents a historic choice for lawmakers with less than a year before the next election.

LIVE UPDATES: Democrats to unveil articles of impeachment

The six House Democratic chairs who have led the investigations against the President this year unveiled the impeachment articles on Tuesday morning with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and they were formally introduced by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler.

"Today, in service to our duty to the Constitution and to our country, the House Committee on the Judiciary is introducing two articles of impeachment, charging the President of the United States Donald J. Trump with committing high crimes and misdemeanors," Nadler said.

Democrats charge that Trump abused his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals ahead of the 2020 election while withholding a White House meeting and $400 million in US security aid from Kiev. And they say that Trump then obstructed the investigation into his misconduct with a blanket blockade of subpoenas and refusing to allow key senior officials to testify before Congress.

Tuesday's introduction sets the stage for a dramatic impeachment vote on the House floor next week, after the House Judiciary Committee debates and approves the articles beginning on Thursday.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said the evidence against Trump was "overwhelming and uncontested," and argued Democrats cannot wait for the judicial branch to rule on the witnesses and documents the Trump administration is blocking from Congress.

"The argument why don't you just wait amounts to this: why don't you just let him cheat in one more election?" said Schiff, a Democrat from California. "Despite everything we have uncovered, the President's misconduct continues to this day, unapologetically and right now."

The White House slammed the introduction of the impeachment articles and said Trump would "address these false charges in the Senate" after the President did not participate in the House proceedings.

"The announcement of two baseless articles of impeachment does not hurt the President, it hurts the American people, who expect their elected officials to work on their behalf to strengthen our nation," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. "The President will address these false charges in the Senate and expects to be fully exonerated, because he did nothing wrong."

This is the fourth time a US president is staring down the serious prospect of impeachment. The House voted to impeach Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, who were both acquitted by the Senate, while President Richard Nixon resigned before impeachment articles went to the House floor.

The announcement of impeachment articles from Pelosi came just minutes before the speaker then announced a deal Tuesday to advance President Donald Trump's renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement — handing the President a victory at the same time Democrats are moving to impeach him.

The two articles are included in a nine-page resolution accusing Trump of unprecedented misconduct and calling for his removal from office.

"Donald J. Trump has abused the powers of the Presidency, in that: Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States presidential election," the first article says. "Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law."

The article on obstruction of Congress charged that Trump "directed the unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives pursuant to its 'sole power of impeachment.' "

"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,'" the Democrats wrote.

The introduction of articles of impeachment comes after a two-month investigation into Ukraine that was sparked by an anonymous whistleblower complaint alleging Trump solicited election help from Ukraine on a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The 17 witnesses who testified during the House impeachment inquiry described a broader effort in Ukraine in which the President directed his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to push Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and the 2016 election.

Following the investigation led by the House Intelligence Committee, which included public hearings with 12 witnesses, the House Judiciary Committee held two hearings laying out the case for impeachment and the evidence against the President.

The impeachment vote is likely to split largely along party lines, with a handful of potential Democratic defections. No Republicans appear likely to vote to impeach the President after an investigation congressional Republicans denounced as unfair and biased against the President.

"It is not difficult to defend this President because this President did nothing that is impeachable," said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican. "This is not a day that America will be proud about."

Democrats had debated adding a third article of impeachment on obstruction of justice, which would have captured the allegations against Trump that were detailed in former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Pelosi and her top lieutenants ultimately decided to keep the articles focused narrowly on Ukraine, out of concern for moderates who only backed an impeachment inquiry once the Ukraine scandal spilled into public view.

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Engel told reporters that adding an obstruction of justice charge to the impeachment articles would be a "mixed bag of tricks," and that it didn't have broad consensus in the caucus — meaning it could be tough to get the votes to pass.

Still, Judiciary Committee Democrats said the episodes detailed in the Mueller report were reflected in the articles to show how Trump's actions in Ukraine were part of a broader pattern of misconduct that began during the 2016 election and still continues today. Mueller was not mentioned explicitly, however.

"These actions were consistent with President Trump's previous efforts to undermine United States government investigations into foreign interference in United States elections," Democrats wrote in the obstruction of Congress article.

Judiciary members said that the abuse of power charge was so all-encompassing that it covered all of Trump's behavior.

"The pattern of conduct of asking a foreign government to cheat certainly will be reflected, and his pattern of obstruction also will be part of the case that we make," said Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat on both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. "This is just what he does when he gets caught."

Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, a Democrat on the Judiciary panel, said that the conduct Mueller documented was "terrible" but that Ukraine was "even more egregious because he's sitting here and continuing to do it."

"We want to give the Senate the strongest possible case that they can have while he's in the White House abusing his power, inviting a foreign ally to interfere in our elections, but not the first time," she said.

This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5060048

Reported Deaths: 74129
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152429427102
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581500
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
Out of CA00
Medford
Partly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 44°
Brookings
Mostly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 53°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 44°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 44°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 32°
Mild and brighter day on Sunday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Ducks survive late Beaver surge, win 125th rivalry game

Image

Saturday, November 27th Weather

Image

SOU Men out shoot Antelope Valley, Women win 4th-straight

Image

Friday, November 26th Evening Weather

Image

Friday, November 26 weather

Image

Thursday, November 25th Evening Weather

Image

Pet of the Week: Bat, Hunk & Keith

Image

Thursday, November 25 afternoon weather

Image

Thursday, November 25 morning weather

Image

2021-2022 StormWatch 12 Winter Forecast