By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch
Top House Democrats on Tuesday announced two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
“Today, in service to our duty to the Constitution and to our country, the House Committee on the Judiciary is introducing two articles of impeachment, charging the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, with committing high crimes and misdemeanors,” the committee’s chairman, Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, said at a news conference.
Nadler said his panel will meet later this week to consider the articles and make a recommendation to the full House.
“The argument ‘Why don’t you just wait’ amounts to this: Why don’t you just let him cheat in one more election?” House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said. “Why not let him cheat just one more time? Why not let him have foreign help just one more time?”
If the full House votes to impeach Trump, he would become only the third American president to have been impeached formally by Congress, joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Neither Johnson nor Clinton was found guilty in an ensuing impeachment trial in the Senate, and that’s widely expected to be the case for Trump with the current Republican-controlled Senate.
The manager of the president’s re-election campaign, Brad Parscale, blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues following their news conference.
“For months, Nancy Pelosi said she wouldn’t move forward on impeachment because it was too divisive and it needed bipartisan support,” Parscale said in a statement. “Well, it is divisive and only the Democrats are pushing it, but she’s doing it anyway. Americans don’t agree with this rank partisanship, but Democrats are putting on this political theater because they don’t have a viable candidate for 2020 and they know it.”
Trump, for his part, sounded off on Tuesday’s development on Twitter, saying “WITCH HUNT!” in one tweet .
House Democrats “have never paid attention to the facts,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican. “History will not be kind to them.”
“The president did nothing impeachable. He did nothing wrong,” McCarthy also said.
The Democrats’ impeachment effort centers on Trump’s pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch investigations into Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as into a theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
The two charges had been expected, and as they were announced Tuesday before the stock market’s open there wasn’t much change in U.S. stock futures /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.04% /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.24% .
Trump’s re-election prospects may be rising as the impeachment efforts escalates, said Capital Alpha Partners analysts in a note. New Republican polls show impeachment may be helping Trump’s 2020 campaign in the battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, the analysts said.