House will draft Trump impeachment articles, Pelosi says

The U.S. House is pressing forward to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday.

Posted: Dec 5, 2019 12:11 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. House is pressing forward to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday.

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

Pelosi delivered the historic announcement in solemn tones, drawing on the Constitution and the Founding Fathers, as Democrats push toward a vote, possibly before Christmas.

“The president’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution,” she said from the speaker’s office at the Capitol. “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 .”

“Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment,” Pelosi said.

At the core 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 the White House was withholding military aid to the country bordering an aggressive Russia.

Pelosi emphasized the Russia angle at a news conference later, saying that it’s Russia and President Vladimir Putin who benefited most from Trump’s actions toward Ukraine

Youtube video thumbnail
“All roads lead to Putin. Understand that,” she declared. “That was the a-ha moment.”

Asked as she was leaving if she hates Trump, Pelosi stiffened, returned to the podium and responded sharply that the president’s views and politics are for the voters at elections to judge, but “this is about the Constitution.” She said that as a Catholic, she does not hate the president but rather is praying for him daily.

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

At the White House, press secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted that Pelosi and the Democrats “should be ashamed,”″ then she, too, looked past the likely impeachment in the Democratic-majority House to trial in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., criticized Democrats for focusing on impeachment over other issues, though many House-passed bills are waiting for action in his chamber. “It’s all impeachment, all the time,” he said.

Drafting articles of impeachment is a milestone moment, only the fourth time in U.S. history Congress has tried to remove a president, and it intensifies the deeply partisan undertaking that is consuming Washington and dividing the nation.

Once reluctant to pursue impeachment, warning it was too divisive for the country and needed to be a bipartisan endeavor, Pelosi is now leading Congress into politically riskier waters for all sides ahead of an election year.

Republican are standing lock-step with Trump, unwilling to be swayed that his actions amount to wrongdoing, let alone impeachable offenses, leaving Democrats to go it alone in a campaign to consider removing the 45th president from office.

Trump’s allies argue that voters, not lawmakers, should decide the president’s future. But Democrats say the nation cannot wait for the 2020 election, alleging Trump’s past efforts to have foreign countries intervene in the presidential campaign is forcing them to act to prevent him from doing it again.

The number of articles of impeachment and the allegations they will include will be both a legal and political exercise as lawmakers balance political dynamics while striving to hit the Constitution’s bar of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Pulling from the House’s investigation, Democrats are focusing on at least three areas.

They argue that Trump abused the power of his office by putting personal political gain over national security interests, engaging in bribery by holding out $400 millionin military aid thatCongress had approved for Ukraine; and then obstructing Congress by stonewalling the investigation.

Some liberal Democrats want to reach further into Trump’s actions, particularly regarding the findings from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. That could produce an additional article of obstruction not only of Congress, but also of justice.

But more centrist and moderate Democrats, those lawmakers who are most at risk of political fallout from the impeachment proceedings, prefer to stick with the Ukraine matter as a simpler narrative that Americans can more easily understand.

The chairmen of the House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry will begin drafting the articles, and some lawmakers are expecting to remain in Washington over the weekend.

Members are preparing to vote on the articles of impeachment in the Judiciary Committee, possibly as soon as next week. The committee set a Monday hearing to receive the Intelligence Committee’s 300-page report outlining the findings against the president.

The House is expecting a full vote by Christmas. The would send the issue to the Senate for a trial in the new year.

___

Associated Press writers Matthew Daly, Zeke Miller, Alan Fram, Andrew Taylor, Colleen Long, Eric Tucker and Padmananda Rama contributed to this report.

Terre Haute
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 81°
Robinson
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 82°
Indianapolis
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Rockville
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 83°
Casey
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 81°
Brazil
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 81°
Marshall
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 81°
A Breezy, Mild Night
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

King City Royals Cap off Undefeated Season with Championship Title

Image

Medical Minute: Heart Health

Image

Wabash Valley farmer says soybeans are in good shape

Image

Local Vigo County parents speak out against CPR program

Image

All You Need to Know for Tuesday

Image

Rick's Rallies

Image

IU Basketball media day

Image

TH South-West Vigo Soccer

Image

Religion and the COVID-19 vaccine

Image

Next Step Terre Haute - Recovery with the touch of a button

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1618800

Reported Deaths: 27293
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook61736011008
DuPage1046611362
Will880201094
Lake777031062
Kane66333853
Winnebago39340548
Madison38593580
St. Clair35266573
McHenry33333318
Peoria26153363
Champaign26090186
Sangamon24861275
McLean22133209
Tazewell19930326
Rock Island18002350
Kankakee16955235
Kendall15607107
Macon14654245
LaSalle14590279
Vermilion13453190
Adams12764148
DeKalb11778129
Williamson11621162
Whiteside7981176
Jackson779490
Boone766082
Coles7462113
Ogle720487
Grundy707482
Franklin7007100
Clinton684999
Knox6791166
Marion6617138
Macoupin6562101
Henry631374
Effingham619582
Jefferson6154136
Livingston575296
Woodford558591
Stephenson553390
Randolph535197
Monroe511899
Christian498081
Fulton495370
Morgan490596
Logan480174
Montgomery472176
Lee461560
Bureau429888
Perry418372
Saline416567
Fayette407259
Iroquois399373
McDonough358956
Jersey326053
Shelby319943
Crawford310230
Douglas309036
Lawrence305432
Union297947
Wayne279057
White269132
Richland266556
Hancock260734
Pike258556
Clark255238
Cass253829
Bond245624
Clay244148
Edgar238445
Ford236258
Warren228862
Carroll226837
Johnson215925
Moultrie214231
Jo Daviess208126
Washington207228
Wabash205417
Massac201744
Mason201151
Greene200939
De Witt198130
Piatt193114
Mercer192234
Cumberland180626
Menard162612
Jasper154018
Marshall135821
Hamilton130021
Brown10268
Pulaski100011
Schuyler9779
Edwards97016
Stark77627
Gallatin7597
Scott6985
Alexander68211
Henderson66814
Calhoun6472
Hardin56615
Putnam5494
Pope4995
Unassigned1772432
Out of IL90

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 954230

Reported Deaths: 15474
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1298902003
Lake638781106
Allen54326765
Hamilton44326448
St. Joseph42368592
Elkhart33998491
Vanderburgh30740451
Tippecanoe27012251
Johnson23862420
Hendricks22576343
Porter21943348
Clark17657231
Madison17628387
Vigo16465285
Monroe14637193
LaPorte14493241
Delaware14291225
Howard14058274
Kosciusko11562137
Hancock11022168
Warrick10793179
Bartholomew10730171
Floyd10584209
Wayne10169230
Grant9271206
Morgan9000160
Boone8507112
Dubois7823124
Dearborn776391
Henry7749134
Noble7510101
Marshall7452129
Cass7244118
Lawrence7080154
Shelby6701111
Jackson666386
Gibson6233107
Harrison613287
Huntington608397
Montgomery5903106
DeKalb587591
Knox5589105
Miami554889
Putnam547668
Clinton540566
Whitley534054
Steuben506570
Wabash492792
Jasper487763
Jefferson478992
Ripley463477
Adams448868
Daviess4267109
Scott413065
Clay398358
Greene396892
White396158
Wells393285
Decatur391297
Fayette383380
Posey364341
Jennings358857
Washington336847
LaGrange327375
Spencer323037
Randolph320290
Fountain320156
Sullivan311349
Owen289764
Starke287565
Fulton282356
Orange279259
Jay260038
Perry256353
Carroll247129
Franklin244938
Rush238930
Vermillion237751
Parke222421
Tipton214255
Pike214041
Blackford172934
Pulaski170351
Crawford148519
Newton147046
Benton144716
Brown136646
Martin130618
Switzerland127810
Warren116116
Union99511
Ohio80911
Unassigned0494