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Pelosi OKs drafting of impeachment articles against Trump

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    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., makes a statement at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. Pelosi says the House is drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., center, and House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., right, talk during a break in a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. Democratic Counsel Norm Eisen is left. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., joined at left by Democratic counsel Norm Eisen, arrives at a hearing on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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    Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, joined at left by Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., makes his opening statement during a hearing on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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    Constitutional law expert and George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley arrives to testify before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, on the on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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    Constitutional law experts University of North Carolina Law School professor Michael Gerhardt, left, talks with George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley as they arrive to testify during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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    Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, talks to ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., before the start of a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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    From left, Constitutional law experts, Harvard Law School professor Noah Feldman, Stanford Law School professor Pamela Karlan, University of North Carolina Law School professor Michael Gerhardt and George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley testify during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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    Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., talks on the phone during a break in a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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    Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., talks during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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    Harvard Law School professor Noah Feldman, Stanford Law School professor Pamela Karlan and George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley talk during a break in a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee 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., looks over to Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, as he speaks during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. Republican counsel Paul Taylor, right. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Published December 05. 2019 09:43AM

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the House is moving forward to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

‘‘Our democracy is what is at stake,” Pelosi said. “The president leaves us no choice but to act.”

Pelosi delivered the historic announcement as Democrats push toward a vote, possibly by Christmas.

She said she was authorizing the drafting of articles of impeachment “sadly but with confidence and humility.”

“The president’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution,” Pelosi said.

At the heart of the impeachment probe is a July call with the president of Ukraine, in which Trump pressed the leader to investigate Democrats and political rival Joe Biden as Trump was withholding aid to the country.

“Our democracy is what is at stake,” Pelosi said in her solemn announcement. “The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit. The president has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections.”

The Democratic leader drew from the constitution and the intent of the Founding Fathers. She made the morning statement from the speaker’s offices at the Capitol, the same location where she declared the formal launch of the House investigation into Trump’s actions toward Ukraine.

Trump tweeted that if Democrats “are going to impeach me, do it now, fast.” He said he wants to get on to a “fair trial” in the Senate. The president also said that Democrats have “gone crazy.”

On Wednesday, Pelosi met behind closed doors with her Democratic caucus, asking, “Äre you ready?”

The answer was a resounding yes, according to those in the room.

Democrats are charging toward a Christmastime vote on removing the 45th president, a situation Pelosi hoped to avoid but which now seems inevitable. She is to make a public statement on impeachment at 9 a.m.

Three leading legal scholars testified Wednesday to the House Judiciary Committee that Trump’s attempts to have Ukraine investigate Democratic rivals are grounds for impeachment, bolstering the Democrats’ case.

A fourth expert called by Republicans warned against rushing the process, arguing this would be the shortest of impeachment proceedings, with the “thinnest” record of evidence in modern times, setting a worrisome standard.

Trump is alleged to have abused the power of his office by putting personal political gain over national security interests, engaging in bribery by withholding $400 million in military aid Congress had approved for Ukraine; and then obstructing Congress by stonewalling the investigation.

Across the Capitol, the polarizing political divide over impeachment, only the fourth such inquiry in the nation’s history, was on display.

Democrats in the House say the inquiry is a duty. Republican representatives say it’s a sham. And quietly senators of both parties conferred on Wednesday, preparing for an eventual Trump trial.

“Never before, in the history of the republic, have we been forced to consider the conduct of a president who appears to have solicited personal, political favors from a foreign government,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., chair of the Judiciary panel, which would draw up articles of impeachment.

Nadler said Trump’s phone July 25 call seeking a “favor” from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wasn’t the first time he had sought foreign help to influence an American election, noting Russian interference in 2016. He warned against inaction with a new campaign underway.

“We cannot wait for the election,” he said. “ If we do not act to hold him in check, now, President Trump will almost certainly try again to solicit interference in the election for his personal political gain.”

Trump, attending a NATO meeting in London, called the hearing a “joke” and doubted many people would watch because it’s “boring.”

Once an outsider to the GOP, Trump now has Republicans’ unwavering support. They joined in his name-calling the Judiciary proceedings a “disgrace” and unfair, the dredging up of unfounded allegations as part of an effort to undo the 2016 election and remove him from office.

“You just don’t like the guy,” said Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the panel. Trump rewarded some of his allies with politically valuable presidential tweets as the daylong hearing dragged into the evening.

At the heart of the inquiry is his July phone call asking Ukraine to investigate rival Democrats including Joe Biden as he was withholding aid from the ally, which faced an aggressive Russia on its border.

At Wednesday’s session, three legal experts called by Democrats said impeachment was merited.

Noah Feldman, a Harvard Law School professor, said he considered it clear that the president’s conduct met the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Said Michael Gerhardt, a University of North Carolina law professor, “If what we’re talking about is not impeachable ... then nothing is impeachable.”

The only Republican witness, Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, dissented from the other legal experts. He said the Democrats were bringing a “slipshod impeachment” case against the president, but he didn’t excuse Trump’s behavior.

“It is not wrong because President Trump is right,” Turley said. “A case for impeachment could be made, but it cannot be made on this record.”

New telephone records released with the House report deepened Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s known involvement in what investigators call the “scheme.”

Asked about that, Trump told reporters he doesn’t know why Giuliani was calling the White House Office of Management and Budget, which was withholding the military aid to Ukraine.

“You have to ask him,” Trump said. “Sounds like something that’s not so complicated. ... No big deal.”

Based on two months of investigation sparked by a still-anonymous government whistleblower’s complaint, the Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report found that Trump “sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process and endangered U.S. national security.” When Congress began investigating, it says, Trump obstructed the investigation like no other president in history.

Republicans defended the president in a 123-page rebuttal claiming Trump never intended to pressure Ukraine when he asked for investigations of Biden and his son.

While liberal Democrats are pushing the party to incorporate the findings from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and other actions by Trump, more centrist and moderate Democrats prefer to stick with the Ukraine matter as a simpler narrative that Americans understand.

Democrats could begin drafting articles of impeachment in a matter of days, with a Judiciary Committee vote next week. The full House could vote by Christmas. Then the matter would move to the Senate for a trial in 2020.

Comments
I don't care about the "Democracy" Nancy.
I do concern over the Republic.
Always nice to see Nancy Pelosi leading the troops.
Is it me, or does she look insane to you too?
These Demoncrats crack me up!
Get the popcorn (not corn pop Joe), and watch these fools stifle the governing and replace it with folly. All the while, the prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, as these foolish in heart blurt out folly.
God Help Us
She sounded like a drunk talking as usual. Time to vote her the hell out of Congress!! The problem is she’s in a district where the queers & fags rule in liberal land CA. The earthquake can’t come soon enough.
Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
Nasty Nancy was offended to hear suggestion of hate being the root of all this evil.
Let her speak, she inserts foot daily. Ha Ha Ha
Imagine being represented by the crazy woman.
The Democrats want to deny me and all who voted for Trump the vote. Basically taking away our vote so they can achieve total dominance and power. They have a view of what America should be, has nothing to do with where America started. American voters (we the people) rejected the deplorable reprobates, and now they are punishing us. Refusing us the due process.
In not too distant future, if these Democrats get power, they'll suggest that elections are harmful for the nation. I mean, do they now behave as co-equals? Hello? I didn't think so.
The Little Men as listed above so afraid and intimidated by a Woman in Power.
Are your "P" "P"'s trembling at the thought of a woman in Charge. And soo many problems in this White House. Even Foreign Governments laughing at the President behind his back.
Sorry but only brain challenged people use slurs and name calling because they cant make an intelligent argument and face up to the reality of an incompetent person running this Country.
Oh and you could always ask your MD about Viagra they might have free samples to help your P, P.
CG again u live in fantasy land. Your probably do damn ugly u haven’t been laid in years ha ha!!! Why would we put a woman in charge? You watch to much 📺 TV lmao!!! Strong men like the Donald need to run the country. You have a Trump Derangement syndrome!!! Trump is in your head. Keep America Great. Trump 2024
I believe the Trumper's are the ones with Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Now get that P, P taken care of ! :)

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