House Democratic leaders on Tuesday unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump: one charge relates to his abuse of power, and the other is tied to his obstruction of Congress.

The move sets the foundation for a historic vote that could make Trump the third U.S. president to be impeached, after Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton (Richard Nixon resigned before he could be officially impeached and removed from office). Throughout their impeachment inquiry, Democratic lawmakers have determined Trump abused his authority by pressuring Ukraine’s government to investigate his political opponents, including former Vice President Joe Biden. 

The second charge relates to Trump’s efforts to stop Congress from investigating his dealings with Ukraine. Several judges and impeachment witnesses — including legal experts and members of the president’s owner inner circle — have testified that Trump attempted to exercise the same level of power as a king when engaging in certain actions with foreign governments.

House Democrats mulled introducing a third article of impeachment against Trump on his obstruction of justice during former special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. However, lawmakers ultimately decided to only unveil articles related to the president’s dealings with Ukraine because of their concerns over moderate voters who only began voicing support for an impeachment probe after the scandal involving Trump’s quid pro quo with the country became publicly known.


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“Our president holds the ultimate public trust,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-New York) said in a press conference on Capitol Hill while announcing the two articles of impeachment. “When he betrays that trust and puts himself before country, he endangers the Constitution, he endangers our democracy, and he endangers our national security.”

In making the announcement, Nadler was joined by other top House Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-California).

The House Judiciary Committee hopes to start debating the articles on Wednesday and could hold a vote as soon as next Thursday in order to submit them to the entire lower chamber of Congress for a last approval. A trial in the Senate could then potentially begin in early January. CNN reported that White House aides are pushing for a Christmas trial, but Senate Republicans are expected to reject this request.

The Judiciary Committee will publicly release the full text of the articles later on Tuesday.

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