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Dec. 9, 2019, 10:01 p.m. EST

Democrats poised to unveil 2 impeachment articles against Trump

One charge would accuse the president of abuse of power and another of obstruction of Congress

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By Associated Press


Associated Press
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, listens to ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., after a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

House Democrats are poised to unveil two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

That’s according to two sources familiar with the discussions but unauthorized to discuss the proceedings and granted anonymity.

Democrats are expected to put forward one charge against the president of abuse of power and another of obstruction of Congress, according to one of the people.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi convened the House chairmen leading the impeachment inquiry in her office after a daylong Judiciary Committee hearing laid out the case against Trump. Democrats warned of the risk his actions toward Ukraine now pose to U.S. elections and national security. Chairmen left the meeting late Monday at the Capitol some saying an announcement would come in the morning.

“I think there’s a lot of agreement,” Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the Democratic chairman of the Foreign Affairs committee, told reporters. “You’ll hear about about some of it tomorrow.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler of the Judiciary Committee and others have not disclosed how many articles of impeachment are being prepared, but Democrats are expected to put forward at least two articles of impeachment against the president — of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

What remains uncertain is whether Pelosi will reach beyond the Ukraine probe to former special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings of Trump’s actions in the report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“A lot of us believe that what happened with Ukraine especially is not something we can just close our eyes to,” Engel said. “’This is not a happy day. I don’t get any glee at this. But I think we’re doing what we have to do. We’re doing what the Constitution mandates that we do.”

Democrats are pushing ahead toward impeachment votes following an acrimonious, nearly 10-hour hearing at the Judiciary Committee. Democrats say Trump’s push to have Ukraine investigate rival Joe Biden while withholding U.S. military aid ran counter to U.S. policy and benefited Russia as well as himself.

Trump and his allies railed against the “absurd” proceedings, with Republicans defending the president as having done nothing wrong ahead of the 2020 election.

The outcome, though, appears increasingly set as Democrats prepare at least two, if not more, articles of impeachment against Trump. A Judiciary committee vote could come as soon as this week.

“President Trump’s persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security,” said Dan Goldman, the director of investigations at the House Intelligence Committee.

Republicans rejected not just Goldman’s conclusion as he presented the Intelligence Committee’s 300-page report on the Ukraine matter; they also questioned his very appearance before the Judiciary panel. In a series of heated exchanges, they said Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, should appear rather than send his lawyer.

“Where’s Adam?” thundered Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee. “We want Schiff,” echoed Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.

From the White House, Trump tweeted repeatedly, assailing the “Witch Hunt!” and “Do Nothing Democrats.”

The hearing set off a pivotal week as Democrats march toward a full House vote expected by Christmas.

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