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House Democrats unveil articles of impeachment against Trump

Democrats unveil articles of impeachment against US President Donald Trump
Nancy Pelosi and top House Democratic committee chairs, Dec. 10. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

What's next: The House Judiciary Committee will mark up the articles on Wednesday and will formally vote on them by the end of this week, setting up a full House vote on impeachment next week before Congress breaks for Christmas recess.

What they're saying: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, surrounded by the top Democratic committee chairs, opened the press conference by thanking the work of the committees throughout the impeachment process before handing it off to House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler and House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff to outline the two articles.

  • Nadler: "Throughout this inquiry, [Trump] has attempted to conceal the evidence from Congress and from the American people. ... The framers of the Constitution prescribed a clear remedy for presidents who so violate their oath of office. That is the power of impeachment."
  • Schiff: "The president's oath of office appears to mean very little to him. But the articles put forward today will give us a chance to show that we will defend the Constitution and that our oath means something to us."

The state of play: The announcement of the articles comes one day after Democrats publicly laid out their evidence for impeaching Trump to the Judiciary Committee.

  • They argued that Trump abused the power of his office to pressure Ukraine to announce political investigations to benefit his 2020 re-election campaign — and that he obstructed congressional authority by ordering witnesses to defy subpoenas.

Worth noting: Democrats declined to draft a third article of impeachment charging Trump with obstructing justice, despite having discussed including the evidence outlined in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report.

  • Democratic leaders, hoping to appease some of the more moderate members of the caucus, say they prefer to keep the articles more focused on Trump's actions toward Ukraine.

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