U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thursday told congressional leaders to draw up articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, saying his abuse of power for political benefit “leaves us no choice but to act.”
By asking the House Judiciary Committee chairman to draw up the charges, Pelosi, the top congressional Democrat, signalled that a formal impeachment process against the 45th president is all but assured.
With a majority of members in the Democratic-controlled chamber already signaling their intent to back the deeply divisive procedure, Trump is likely to become just the third president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House of Representatives.
“Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment,” the top congressional Democrat said in a short, somber televised statement, referring to House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler.
.@SpeakerPelosi: "The president leaves us no choice but to act…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." pic.twitter.com/pKljgPu0pJ
— CSPAN (@cspan) December 5, 2019
Democrats have been building a case that Trump should be impeached for trying to leverage a White House meeting and military aid to pressure Ukraine for dirt on Joe Biden, Trump’s potential rival in the 2020 election.
On Wednesday, three constitutional scholars told the House that the president’s actions seeking foreign interference in US elections were clear grounds for removal.
Trump “has engaged in abuse of power, undermined our national security and jeopardized the integrity of our elections,” she said, adding that “the president leaves us no choice but to act.”
Pelosi did not announce the charges, but Trump could face impeachment for bribery, abuse of power, obstruction of Congress and obstruction of justice.
She said that “the president abused his power for his own political benefit at the expense of our national security” by withholding military aid to Ukraine and a White House meeting in exchange for Kiev’s commitment to investigate Joe Biden.
“If we allow a president to be above the law, we do so surely at the peril of our republic,” she added.
Trump’s chief spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham shot back instantly, saying Democrats should be “ashamed” after pulling the trigger on impeachment.