The impeachment of President Donald Trump entered a new phase Tuesday morning after House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment more than two months after Speaker Nancy Pelosi first announced the House inquiry.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) announced two articles of impeachment which included one for abuse of power and a second for obstruction of Congress, charging Trump with "committing high crimes and misdemeanors."
"It is an impeachable offense for the president to exercise the powers of his public office to obtain an improper personal benefit while ignoring or injuring the national interest. That is exactly what president trump did when he solicited and pressured Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 presidential election." Nadler said.
Trump is the fourth president to face impeachment by Congress and may be the third person in the office to face a trial in the Senate should the impeachment articles pass the House (as many expect).
"A president who declares himself above accountability, above the American people and above congress' power of impeachment — which is meant to protect against threats to our democratic institutions — is the President who sees himself as above the law," Nadler said.
Nadler was joined by several ranking Democrats who have been involved with the impeachment process, including House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff, who said Democrats didn't have a choice in pursuing the articles of impeachment.
"We stand here today because the President's continuing abuse of his power has left us no choice. To do nothing would make ourselves complicit in the President's abuse of his high office, the public trust and our national security," he said.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement on the articles of impeachment issued by Democrats.
“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," she 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."
Trump responded to Democrats' press conference on Twitter, writing that it was "sheer Political Madness!" to impeach a president who has had one of the "most successful presidencies ever."
A report issued by the House Intelligence Committee said Trump abused his power of the office when he attempted to pressure Ukraine into launching investigations into his political rivals and then obstructing Congress as they conducted their impeachment inquiry.
The report states that Trump withheld $400 million in military aid and a White House visit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky until he publicly announced that Ukrainian officials were launching corruption investigations into Joe Biden, and his son,Hunter.
The report says that by withholding military aid to a country that is at war with Russia, Trump "endangered U.S. national security."
The military aid was eventually released, and no investigations were announced.
With the articles of impeachment officially announced, the next step will be for Democrats to hold a vote in the Judiciary Committee to adopt and recommend the articles to the House for a floor vote before the upcoming holiday break. Once the articles come to the floor, the process moves to the Senate where a trial will be held on whether to remove Trump from office.
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