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Democrats announce impeachment charges against Trump

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 10, 2019 - Duration: 02:51s

Democrats announce impeachment charges against Trump

Democrats announced formal charges against President Donald Trump on Tuesday that accuse him of abusing power and obstructing Congress, making him only the third U.S. president in history to face impeachment.

Jonah Green reports.

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Democrats announce impeachment charges against Trump

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JERRY NADLER, CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE SAYING: “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.” After a months-long investigation, Democrats unveiled formal charges against President Donald Trump on Tuesday that accuse him of abusing power and obstructing Congress, making him only the fourth U.S. president in history to face impeachment.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described it as a solemn duty.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: “On this solemn day, I recall that the first order of business for members of Congress is the solemn act to take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Democrats accuse Trump of abusing power by pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to launch investigations into his political rival, Joe Biden, and into an unfounded theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election - while withholding military aid and a White House meeting.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JERRY NADLER, CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE SAYING:“ It is an impeachable offense for the president to exercise the powers of his public office to obtain an improper personal benefit, while ignoring or injuring the national interest.

That is exactly what President Trump did when he solicited and pressured Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 presidential election.” Democrats have moved rapidly in their impeachment inquiry since launching an investigation on Sept.

24 into allegations.

On Tuesday, Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff pushed back against Republican critics who have said Democrats have moved too fast.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) INTELLIGENCE CHAIRMAN ADAM SCHIFF, SAYING: “The argument ‘why don’t you just wait?’ amounts to this: Why don’t you just let him cheat in just one more election?" Republicans argue the Democrats have not proved their case, that there is not sufficient evidence of a shakedown, and that the president did not abuse his power.

They say Democrats of seeking to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSE MINORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY, SAYING: “Back in 2016, the Democrats called those who supported Donald Trump deplorables.

Now they’re trying to disqualify their votes…and even their own witnesses, when asked, ‘name me something that’s impeachable’ they could not name it!” The full House of Representatives is expected to vote on the charges, or articles of impeachment, next week.

The Democratic-run chamber is almost certain to vote to impeach the Republican president, setting the stage for a dramatic trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, which is likely to begin in January.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said Tuesday the president would fight the charges in the Senate and expects full exoneration.

While two presidents have been impeached, none have ever been removed from office.

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