House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) officially directed the chairmen of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees to proceed with articles of impeachment.
Standing in front of a cluster of American flags in the Speaker’s Balcony Hallway, Pelosi delivered the directive, and suggested that House Democrats’ articles of impeachment may focus primarily on abuse of power.
“Our democracy is what is at stake. The President leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit,” she said.
“The President has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections,” she continued. “Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and our heart full of love for America, today I’m asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment.”
Pelosi asks Chairman Nadler to proceed with articles of impeachment pic.twitter.com/IBzQ5Komjh
— Nicole Lafond (@Nicole_Lafond) December 5, 2019
Pelosi was expected to deliver an impeachment inquiry status update on Thursday morning and spent Wednesday evening privately meeting with members of her caucus to survey what articles to pursue. Democrats are currently considering abuse of power and bribery, obstruction of Congress and obstruction of justice, according to people familiar with the meeting who spoke to CNN.
The White House responded to the announcement in a statement on Thursday afternoon, calling out Pelosi for using the airtime to announce the articles — or her own “selfish political desires” — rather than making an announcement on prescription drug prices or the USMCA agreement.
“Democrats’ sham impeachment is a blatant, purely partisan attempt to overturn the results of a free and fair election. By their own admission, Democrats say they have to ‘impeach the President’ because they cannot defeat him at the ballot box,” the statement said. “How many Democrats will join her driving right off the cliff with this illegitimate impeachment hoax? Speaker Pelosi’s instruction to advance this impeachment process – one that has violated every precedent — moves this country toward the most partisan and illegitimate subversion of the Constitution in our history.”