Nancy Pelosi says House will move forward with articles of impeachment against Trump

Scott J. Applewhite/APHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a press conference on Thursday morning that she would ask Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
  • “Over the past few weeks … the American people have heard the testimony of truly patriotic career public servants,” Pelosi said, adding, “The facts are uncontested: The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security.”
  • On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee held its first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry into Trump.
  • Three constitutional scholars testified that the inquiry so far showed that Trump had committed multiple impeachable offences in violation of his oath of office and should be impeached.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a press conference on Thursday morning that she would ask Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

“Over the past few weeks … the American people have heard the testimony of truly patriotic career public servants,” Pelosi said, adding, “The facts are uncontested: The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security.”

Pelosi said that “the president leaves us no choice but to act,” decrying Trump’s actions as “in defiance of the vision of our founders.”

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee held its first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry into Trump.

At the centre of the investigation are a whistleblower complaint and a July 25 phone call during which Trump repeatedly pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate a political opponent and a bogus conspiracy theory alleging Ukrainian interference in the 2016 US election. Meanwhile, the president withheld a nearly $US400 million military-aid package to Ukraine and a White House meeting that Zelensky desperately sought.

Career foreign-service and national-security officials have testified that the phone call was just one data point in months-long campaign spearheaded by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani at Trump’s direction. Gordon Sondland, the US’s ambassador to the European Union, said that “everyone” was in the loop on Trump and Giuliani’s pressure campaign, including top brass at the State Department and within the White House.

Lawmakers and witnesses used Wednesday’s hearing to lay out the case for and against impeachment, with a panel of four experts in constitutional law describing the “constitutional grounds for presidential impeachment.”

Three of the constitutional scholars testified that the inquiry so far showed that Trump had committed multiple impeachable offences in violation of his oath of office and should be impeached.

Pamela Karlan, a Stanford Law School professor, testified that “based on the evidentiary record before you, what has happened in the case today is something that I do not think we have ever seen before: a president who has doubled down on violating his oath to faithfully execute the laws and to protect and defend the Constitution.”

In September, Pelosi designated Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, to lead the inquiry, which at that point appeared limited to the whistleblower’s complaint and the phone call.

With just a few weeks left before the holiday recess, the House faces a time crunch for impeachment and wrapping up other legislative priorities.

After Pelosi’s announcement, the White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, tweeted that Pelosi and “the Democrats should be ashamed.”

Trump “has done nothing but lead our country – resulting in a booming economy, more jobs & a stronger military, to name just a few of his major accomplishments,” Grisham said. “We look forward to a fair trial in the Senate.”

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