House Democrats on Tuesday announced just two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his Ukraine pressure campaign.
The articles did not appear to impeach the President for anything in Robert Mueller’s report, which presented evidence that Trump had obstructed the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. The written articles against Trump said only that his Ukraine conduct was “consistent” with his previous invitations of foreign interference, as well as his previous efforts to undermine investigations into foreign interference.
In a press conference Tuesday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announcing the articles of impeachment, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said Trump had violated his oath of office.
“Our President holds the ultimate public trust,” Nadler said. “When he betrays that trust and puts himself before country, he endangers the constitution, he endangers our democracy, and he endangers our national security.”
Trump has sought to obtain personal benefit using his public office, Nadler said, referring to the pressure Trump and others under his direction put on Ukraine to investigate Democrats.
“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,” Nadler said.
Pelosi and Nadler were joined by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY), Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Finance Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA).
The Democrats did not take questions at Tuesday’s announcement. Nadler said the Judiciary Committee would consider the articles “later this week.”
Schiff, whose led the impeachment inquiry before passing it to Nadler’s panel, said “the evidence of the President’s misconduct is overwhelming and uncontested,” pointing to Trump’s own words on a July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian President.
Schiff also addressed critics of the impeachment inquiry who urged House Democrats to wait for witnesses and documents the White House had blocked from the inquiry. Schiff pointed out that it had taken eight months for a single court ruling over former White House Counsel Don McGahn’s testimony. He predicted longer battles over impeachment witness testimony.
“The argument, ‘Why don’t you just wait?’ amounts to this: ‘Why don’t you just let him cheat in one more election? Why not let him cheat just one more time? Why not let him have foreign help just one more time?’” Schiff said.
Later Tuesday, the Judiciary Committee published the articles online. Read them below:
This post has been updated.