Democrats take major step in drafting articles of impeachment on Trump

It’s only the fourth time in U.S. history that Congress has tried to remove a president

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive on Air Force One on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., following a trip to the NATO Summit in England. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive on Air Force One on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., following a trip to the NATO Summit in England. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

The U.S. House is pressing forward to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday.

“Our democracy is what is at stake,” Pelosi said somberly. “The president leaves us no choice but to act.”

Pelosi delivered the historic announcement in solemn tones, drawing on the Constitution and the Founding Fathers, as Democrats push toward a vote, possibly before Christmas.

“The president’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution,” she said from the speaker’s office at the Capitol. “He is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit. The president has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections .”

“Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment,” Pelosi said.

At the core of the impeachment probe is a July call with the president of Ukraine, in which Trump pressed the leader to investigate Democrats and political rival Joe Biden as the White House was withholding military aid to the country bordering an aggressive Russia.

Pelosi emphasized the Russia angle at a news conference later, saying that it’s Russia and President Vladimir Putin who benefited most from Trump’s actions toward Ukraine

“All roads lead to Putin. Understand that,” she declared. “That was the a-ha moment.”

Asked as she was leaving if she hates Trump, Pelosi stiffened, returned to the podium and responded sharply that the president’s views and politics are for the voters at elections to judge, but “this is about the Constitution.” She said that as a Catholic, she does not hate the president but rather is praying for him daily.

READ MORE: Trump’s ‘serious misconduct’ takes centre stage at hearing

Eager to fight, Trump quickly tweeted back that he didn’t believe her.

Earlier, he tweeted that if Democrats “are going to impeach me, do it now, fast.” He said he wanted to get on to a “fair trial” in the Senate.

At the White House, press secretary Stephanie Grisham accused Pelosi of ignoring issues Americans care about to focus on removing Trump from office. She asked, “How many Democrats will join her driving right off the cliff with this illegitimate impeachment hoax?”

Drafting articles of impeachment is a milestone moment, only the fourth time in U.S. history Congress has tried to remove a president, and it intensifies the deeply partisan undertaking that is consuming Washington and dividing the nation.

Once reluctant to pursue impeachment, warning it was too divisive for the country and needed to be a bipartisan endeavour, Pelosi is now leading Congress into politically riskier waters for all sides ahead of an election year.

Republican are standing lock-step with Trump, unwilling to be swayed that his actions amount to wrongdoing, let alone impeachable offences, leaving Democrats to go it alone in a campaign to consider removing the 45th president from office.

Trump’s allies argue that voters, not lawmakers, should decide the president’s future. But Democrats say the nation cannot wait for the 2020 election, alleging Trump’s past efforts to have foreign countries intervene in the presidential campaign is forcing them to act to prevent him from doing it again. Pelosi said the still-anonymous whistleblower’s complaint about Trump’s Ukraine call changed the dynamic, creating the urgency to act.

The number of articles and the allegations they will include will be both a legal and political exercise as lawmakers balance political dynamics while striving to hit the Constitution’s bar of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanours.”

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Longlake Chateau in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak now over at seniors’ facility in Nanaimo

Island Health commends Longlake Chateau for containing the spread of the virus

Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigator Mark Jonah probes the scene of a blaze that destroyed two apartments on Sunday, April 18. The cause of the blaze has not been determined. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: RCMP say Wakesiah Avenue fire was arson, suspect has been arrested

35-year-old man arrested for allegedly starting fire lived in the complex

The City of Nanaimo will further investigate an initiative to set up two 12-cabin sites to create transitional emergency housing for people experiencing homelessness. (Black Press file photo)
City of Nanaimo will ask for expressions of interest to operate tiny cabin sites

Staff expresses concern about workload, councillor says sheltering people must take priority

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial into 2016 Campbell River killing underway in Victoria

Ricky Alexander is charged with the first-degree murder of John Dillon Brown

..
Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

Alex Mah of Chemainus spends a sunny day at Kin Beach reading to daughter Beatrice Mah. 3. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Vancouver Island’s mini-summer poised to fade

Cooler and damper this weekend, summer-like conditions not likely to return until late June

A native-to-B.C. wild queen bee (bombus melanopygus for those in the know) feeds on a periwinkle flower. (Submitted/Sarah Johnson, Native Bee Society of BC)
B.C.’s wild bees need messy gardens to survive

The year-long nesting period makes habitat a primary concern for wild bees

A wildfire has started near Gold River, and B.C. Wildfire Service crews are on scene. Photo courtesy Coastal Fire Centre
Small wildfire burning in difficult terrain near Gold River

Coastal Fire Centre investigating, but confirms blaze is human-caused

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Most Read