House Democrat leaders on Tuesday pulled the trigger on their months-long impeachment inquiry and announced two official articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, one for alleged abuse of power and the second for alleged obstruction of Congress, The Hill reported.
Articles of impeachment
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), flanked by a number of top committee chairs, including Adam Schiff (D-CA) from Intelligence and Jerry Nadler (D-NY) from Judiciary, held a press conference Tuesday morning to present the articles. Democrats accuse the president of violating his oath of office by abusing his powers and of obstructing efforts by Congress to investigate the purported abuses.
“It is an impeachable offense for a president to use the powers of his office to seek a personal benefit,” Nadler, whose committee drafted the articles, said. “And when he was caught, when the House investigated and opened an impeachment inquiry, President Trump engaged in unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance of the impeachment inquiry.”
“We stand here today because the president’s continuing abuse of his power has left us no choice,” said Schiff, who led the investigation that resulted in the articles. “To do nothing would make ourselves complicit in the president’s abuse of his high office, the public trust, and our national security.”
“Abuse of power” and “Obstruction”
The two articles of impeachment are centered on the contrived controversy over President Trump’s July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president. The “abuse of power” article asserts that Trump “solicited the interference of a foreign government” in the 2020 election by way of requesting certain investigations into corruption from Ukraine.
In exchange for those investigations into alleged 2016 election interference and alleged corruption involving the Biden family — both of which ostensibly would benefit the president politically — Trump purportedly applied “pressure” by way of temporarily withholding authorized military aid for Ukraine and an invitation to the White House for the Ukrainian president.
As for the article on “obstruction of Congress,” the Democrats portrayed ordinary things like the separation of powers and executive privilege as being “unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance” of Congressional subpoenas for documents and witness testimony.
Rather than wage a legal battle in court over those subpoenas, as has been done in prior administrations, Democrats insisted on impeaching Trump for not simply handing over any and everything that was demanded of him, regardless if he had legitimate reasons to withhold such things or not.
Trump fires back
Unsurprisingly, President Trump took to Twitter following the announcement and wrote, “To Impeach a President who has proven through results, including producing perhaps the strongest economy in our country’s history, to have one of the most successful presidencies ever, and most importantly, who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness!”
In separate tweets, Trump accused Nadler of including things in the articles that he knew were false and referred to Schiff as a “totally corrupt politician” who will “eventually have to answer for this!”
For all of the talk in recent weeks and months about “quid pro quo,” “treason,” and other poll-tested terms like “bribery,” not to mention supposed impeachable offenses uncovered by the Mueller investigation, none of it was mentioned in the two articles of impeachment.
In the end, however, this is all a waste of time, as President Trump would almost certainly be acquitted in a Senate trial. That’s assuming these articles even make it out of the House — a growing number of moderate Democrats are already signaling their lack of support.