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‘We must act’: Democrats unveil Trump impeachment charges

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    From left House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal and Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Adam Schiff, D-Calif., unveil articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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    From left, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chair Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., announce they are pushing ahead with two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — charging he corrupted the U.S. election process and endangered national security in his dealings with Ukraine, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., departs after the House Judiciary Committee heard investigative findings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., departs after the House Judiciary Committee heard investigative findings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., joined at right by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the ranking member, convenes the panel to hear investigative findings in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, gathers his papers as ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., talks after the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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    Republican staff attorney Steve Castor, left, and Democratic staff attorney Daniel Goldman and are sworn in to testify as the House Judiciary Committee hears investigative findings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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    House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., speaks as the House Judiciary Committee hears investigative findings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP)

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    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, listens as ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., gives an opening statement as the House Judiciary Committee hears investigative findings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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    A protestor speaks out as the House Judiciary Committee hears investigative findings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, listens to ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., after the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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    House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., speaks as the House Judiciary Committee hears investigative findings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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    Democratic staff attorney Daniel Goldman testifies as the House Judiciary Committee hears investigative findings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., gavels the end of the House Judiciary Committee hearing of investigative findings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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    In this Dec. 6, 2019, photo, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., discusses her recent visit to the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain, at the Capitol in Washington. Washington’s impeachment drama is dominating the news, but key figures on Capitol Hill such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also have their day jobs to do. The California Democrat faces a testing time over the next two weeks, toggling between impeachment and ripe legislative issues such as trade, a government-wide funding bill, and the annual defense policy bill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Published December 10. 2019 01:00PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment Tuesday against President Donald Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — pushing toward historic votes over charges he threatened the integrity of the U.S. election system and endangered national security in his dealings with Ukraine.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, flanked by the chairmen of the impeachment inquiry committees, declared at the U.S. Capitol that thy were upholding their solemn oath to defend the Constitution. Voting is expected in a matter of days in the Judiciary Committee and by Christmas in the full House.

Trump swiftly responded in a capital-letters tweet with the words he uses repeatedly to decry the investigations against him: “WITCH HUNT!” The White House said the charges were “baseless,” and his reelection campaign called them “rank partisanship.”

In outlining the charges, Democrats said they had no choice but to act because Trump has shown a pattern of behavior that, if left unchecked, poses risks to the democratic process ahead of the 2020 election.

“ Our president holds the ultimate public trust. When he betrays that trust and puts himself before country, he endangers the Constitution; he endangers our democracy; he endangers our national security,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the Judiciary chairman, announcing the charges before a portrait of George Washington. “Our next election is at risk. ... That is why we must act now.”

Nadler said, “No one, not even the president, is above the law.’’

Chairman Adam Schiff of the Intelligence Committee said, “We stand here today because the president’s abuse of power leaves us with no choice.”

Trump’s allies immediately plunged into the fight that will extend into the new year. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said Democrats are trying to “overthrow’’ the administration. Campaign manager Brad Parscale said Democrats are “putting on this political theater because they don’t have a viable candidate for 2020 and they know it.” The president’s son, Eric, embraced his father’s penchant for name calling, assailing Pelosi and “her swamp creatures.”

As the House chairmen arrived at a closed-door meeting of the chamber’s Democrats after the announcement, they were greeted with applause.

The outcome appears increasingly set as the House prepares for voting, as it has only three times in history against a U.S. president. Approval of the charges would send them to the Senate in January, where the Republican majority would be unlikely to convict Trump.

Democratic leaders say Trump put his political interests above those of the nation when he asked Ukraine to investigate his rivals, including Democrat Joe Biden, and then withheld $400 million in military aid as the U.S. ally faced an aggressive Russia. They say he then obstructed Congress by stonewalling the House investigation.

Trump insisted in a new tweet that when he asked Ukraine’s president “to do us a favor” with the investigations he was requesting, “‘us’ is a reference to USA, not me!” Democrats, however, say Trump’s meaning could not have been clearer in seeking political dirt on Biden, his possible opponent in the 2020 election.

In drafting the articles of impeachment, Pelosi faced a legal and political challenge of balancing the views of her majority while hitting the Constitution’s bar of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Some liberal lawmakers wanted more expansive charges encompassing the findings from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Centrist Democrats preferred to keep the impeachment articles more focused on Trump’s actions toward Ukraine.

When asked during a Monday evening event if she had enough votes to impeach the Republican president, Pelosi said she would let House lawmakers vote their conscience.

“On an issue like this, we don’t count the votes. People will just make their voices known on it,” Pelosi said at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council. “I haven’t counted votes, nor will I.”

Trump, who has declined to mount a defense in the actual House hearings, tweeted Tuesday just as the six Democratic House committee chairmen prepared to make their announcement.

“To Impeach a President who has proven through results, including producing perhaps the strongest economy in our country’s history, to have one of the most successful presidencies ever, and most importantly, who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness,” he wrote on Twitter.

The next steps are expected to come swiftly after months of investigation into the Ukraine matter, which followed Mueller’s two-year Russia probe.

Pelosi convened a meeting of the impeachment committee chairmen at her office in the Capitol late Monday following an acrimonious, nearly 10-hour hearing at the Judiciary Committee, which could vote as soon as this week.

“I think there’s a lot of agreement,” Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the Democratic chairman of the Foreign Affairs committee, told reporters as he exited Pelosi’s office. “A lot of us believe that what happened with Ukraine especially is not something we can just close our eyes to.”

At the Judiciary hearing, Democrats said Trump’s push to have Ukraine investigate Biden while withholding U.S. military aid ran counter to U.S. policy and benefited Russia as well as himself.

“President Trump’s persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security,” said Dan Goldman, the director of investigations at the House Intelligence Committee, presenting the finding of the panel’s 300-page report of the inquiry.

Republicans rejected not just Goldman’s conclusion of the Ukraine matter; they also questioned his very appearance before the Judiciary panel. In a series of heated exchanges, they said Schiff should appear rather than sending his lawyer.

The president focused Monday on the long-awaited release of the Justice Department report into the 2016 Russia investigation. The inspector general found that the FBI was justified in opening its investigation into ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia and that the FBI did not act with political bias, despite “serious performance failures” up the bureau’s chain of command.

Democrats say Trump abused his power in a July 25 phone call when he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for a favor in investigating Democrats. That was bribery, they say, since Trump was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid that Ukraine depended on to counter Russian aggression.

Pelosi and Democrats point to what they call a pattern of misconduct by Trump in seeking foreign interference in elections from Mueller’s inquiry of the Russia probe to Ukraine.

In his report, Mueller said he could not determine that Trump’s campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia in the 2016 election. But Mueller said he could not exonerate Trump of obstructing justice in the probe and left it for Congress to determine.

Comments
Wait one minute. They say Trump put his political interests above those of the nation when he asked Ukraine to investigate his rivals? Who is his rival? They have not decided who his rival is until they hold the primary election. The assumption that good ole Joe will win ought raise eyebrows. Old uncle Joe will take himself out if he doesn't first stroke out in a push-up contest.
The fat lady has not even stepped up to the mic yet. Let's watch and see after all is done.
This is a failed case, and though they throw that first punch, they will fail, just watch.
Of course Biden is a rival. And he also asked that Ukraine announce that they are investigating the claim that the DNC manufactured the Russian election meddling story in conjunction with Ukraine. We can accept that the DNC is Trump’s rival, no?

But the most damning part of this, one that you probably don’t realize, is that trump didn’t ask for investigations, he asked for the announcement of an investigation. He didn’t care if it was investigated, he wanted to be able to say it was being investigated.
What abuse of power?
asking to investigate criminal activity like that of the Clinton's and Biden's and Kerry, is not abuse of power.
Again, facts matter. Trump didn’t hold back aid trying to get an investigation. He held back aid to for an announcement of an investigation into something his justice department already cleared.
You people don't care about aid held back. You all have no heart for Ukraine.
Heck, you bleeding heart liberals said nothing when Barack sat on his hands while Russia took Crimea.
Joe, you bleeding hearts forget 2012, Obama promised Dmitry Medvedev (Nuclear Security Summit hot mic), that after his re-election he would have more "flexibility" to weaken missile defense and otherwise weaken U.S. resistance to Russian?
Bottom line, Obama sent Pop-Tarts and Klenex to Ukraine, like it was a Boy Scout Jamboree !
Trump sent them lethal weaponry. Don't talk so ignorant! Poroshenko even said, "one cannot win the war with blankets."
The news outlets you listen to never mentioned how Ordynovych, Ukraine’s military attache in Washington, said that when Ukraine’s military began using U.S.-provided Javelin anti-tank weapons (Trump issued), the Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers "backed off.”
You people concern for one thing, POWER.

I hope you never get it!

Have a nice day Joe
Obama Obama Obama. I don't care about Obama, I never voted for him. Deflection.

What is fact is that the aid was authorized by congress and trump decided to use it as a chip to elicit election assistance from Ukraine. That's abuse of power.
Oh, did you know Trump is packing an arena tonight in Hershey PA?
Nobody will show up after this news gets out. I'll bet the place will be empty.
(WINK)
MAGA
Bwah ha ha ha ha
One thing is for sure. Because of this clown show I will never vote democrat again.And that includes local elections.
Trump, at Pennsylvania rally, says 'stupid' impeachment indirectly led to USMCA deal.
Another win for America!
Trump on USMCA, "The silver lining of impeachment and this witch hunt, that's the reason they approved USMCA,"
Numerous polls have shown declining support for impeachment in key swing states.
Joe, your camp is getting abandoned.
There were many Democrats in Hershey this evening.
Bwah ha ha ha Impeachment is enhancing Trump's base!
This was never about removing trump from office, the GOP is too lost to do that. It’s about demanding standards of behavior in our president and protecting national security. The democrats are doing the right thing whether supported or not.

But if you want to live by polls, trump will be removed next year anyway. His 41% approval despite him not destroying the Obama economic rally tells you how disliked he is
Really? The demos wanted him out since day 1. If u dont know that get out from that rock n the fact is it's not illegal to seek info bout your rival. All sport due that. Is that call for cheating ? NO
Joe, it is also about the R Wing and Trumpers not defending our Republic and Constitution.
Trump is following the play book of Autocrats, and his followers don't even get it.
And you can't simply let this behavior go unchecked. It is not ok to get a foreign power involved in election politics. You do not serve up a US citizen to a foreign country. If there needed to be investigation, we have a justice department. But wait, our JD already debunked the crap trump is pushing.
Actually you are incorrect, the Trumpists are in denial exactly because they want to be ruled by an autocrat, a dictator as long as the dictator gives them a license to hate. As in any cult the leader is seen as supreme and his words and actions can never be questioned. His followers can never bring themselves to accept anything negative about their father figure, like naive children they have a false view of those they see as an infallible and godlike. They have replaced their love of country and constitution with a love of Trump, they have a convoluted view of Trump as the country so when they experience anyone questioning Trump they falsely believe they are defending the country by defending him at all cost. Their psychosis is dangerous in that their inability to discern between country and Trump will manifest itself again in a cult like mindset of ignorance that can lead to the very destruction of the country. Simply look at the people and their interactions at his rallies, you will see no intellect, no rational thought, only abnormal primal violent separatists expressions of hatred. As the old saying goes, misery loves company and so does pathology, Trump is abnormal, insecure, uncaring and delusional and the throngs that stand before him suffer from the same affliction, they have become a clear and present danger to the republic.
The Trumpers care more about this Nut Case than they do about Government Employees protecting our Republic. Unbelievable. That should be the Word of the year.
OK kids... Democrats Tried to Impeach Every Elected GOP President Since Eisenhower
That should end the discussion.
Democrats will do anything for power, and God I hope they Never get it.

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