US Speaker directs drafting of articles of impeachment against Donald Trump
Pelosi’s announcement advances the impeachment process rapidly towards a vote in the House of Representatives before Christmas.Updated: Dec 06, 2019 15:00 IST
The Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday that she has directed her top Democratic party leaders to begin drafting the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, a major step towards removing him from office for high crimes and misdemeanor.
The president has “abused power for his own personal benefit at the expense of our national security”, the speaker said in a short and formal address. “His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution.”
She added: “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.”
The impeachment inquiry against Trump is focussed on his efforts, and of those deputed by him, to coerce Ukraine into investigating former vice-president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden and the Democratic National Committee by withholding military aid of nearly $400 million and a high-profile White House meeting with the newly elected Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
Pelosi’s announcement advances the impeachment process rapidly towards a vote in the House of Representatives before Christmas. The Democratic-led chamber will vote to recommend articles of impeachment — kind of indictment, a charge-sheet — for the president to be tried on in the Senate, in January when Congress reconvenes after the holidays.
President Trump, who has been lashing out at the probe and calling Democrats names, was at it again on Thursday morning, on his return from a disastrous trip to London for a NATO summit. This time, he went further and demanded the inquiry be speeded up so as to give Republicans, who control the Senate, the chance to depose witnesses they have been denied thus far.
“I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business,” he wrote in a string of tweets. “We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is.” He was referring there to Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee, which conducted the first leg of the impeachment inquiry.