House Democrats Unveil Formal Impeachment Charges Against Trump

Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives have unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

While announcing the charges on December 10, Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said that the Republican president “sees himself as above the law.”

Trump, who is accused of withholding aid to Ukraine for domestic political reasons, responded to the announcement by calling the accusations “ridiculous” and renewing his familiar claim that he is the victim of a “WITCH HUNT!”

Separately, the White House said Trump will address the two “baseless” impeachment charges during the Senate trial phase of the proceedings.

The full House is expected to vote on the charges, or articles of impeachment, next week.

If approved, the charges would make Trump the third U.S. president to be impeached and placed on trial in the Senate.

However, Trump’s conviction and removal from office remain extremely unlikely with a two-thirds majority vote required and the Senate controlled by the Republican Party.

A congressional inquiry into Trump began on September 24 and has focused on whether the president had sought foreign help for personal political benefit.

A July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is the focal point of the investigation. During the call, Trump allegedly prodded the Ukrainian president to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, who had been a paid board member of a Ukrainian energy firm.

In return for those investigations, Democrats say Trump offered two bargaining chips: $400 million of military aid that had already been allocated by Congress, and a White House meeting for President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Trump’s fellow Republican lawmakers have accused Democrats of trying to reverse the 2016 presidential election in an effort to oust the president from office without sufficient evidence.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, the BBC, and AFP
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Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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