Democrats in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday announced two articles of impeachment focusing on President Donald Trump’s alleged abuse of power against Ukraine for personal political gain and his obstruction of Congress to scuttle the inquiry, local reports say.
The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the articles this week. If approved, a full House vote may take place before Christmas.
Addressing the media, Judiciary Committee chief Jerrold Nadler, above, who played a key role in preparing the articles, said they prove Trump violated the constitution and deserves to be impeached.
The president abused the powers which his office gave him and compromised national security by seeking Ukraine’s help to ensure his victory in the 2020 US presidential election, Nadler said.
When the president realised that he may be impeached, he defied the inquiry and tried to conceal crucial evidence from Congress.
The president betrayed people’s trust and put the country’s constitution and democracy in danger, said Nadler at the press conference in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee head Adam Schiff also spoke.
Democrats’ efforts to oust the president may not succeed as they require two-thirds vote in the 100-member senate where Republicans with 53 seats stand united behind Trump.
However, Democrats can use the impeachment inquiry against Trump as part of their presidential campaign pitch to voters.
Responding to Nadler’s charges, Trump reaffirmed he never pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate into the family of his political rival Joe Biden.
Schiff is “a totally corrupt politician” who will “eventually have to answer for this,” Trump tweeted.
An hour after Nadler’s presser, Pelosi was praised and criticised by Democrats when she said they would back President Trump’s free-trade agreement.
Some Democrats said it showed the party’s willingness to work with the president on important legislation despite the investigation against him. Others said Pelosi undermined the party’s efforts to corner the president by handing him a surprise victory on trade.