Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened the House's formal debate on impeaching President Trump on Wednesday, stating on the floor: "It is a matter of fact that the president is an ongoing threat to our national security and the integrity of our elections, the basis of our democracy."
"For centuries, Americans have fought and died to defend democracy for the people. But, very sadly now, our founders' vision of a republic is under threat from actions from the White House. That is why today, as speaker of the House, I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States. If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty. It is tragic that the president's reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice."
The big picture: Pelosi's statement marks the beginning of six hours of debate on two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The votes are expected to take place close to 7 pm ET, just as Trump takes the stage for a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan.