House Democrats unveil articles of impeachment against Trump
The move puts the Judiciary Committee on track to approve the articles later this week, with a full House vote expected next week, just ahead of the holiday recess.
The unveiling of the articles comes a day after impeachment investigators presented their evidence to the Judiciary panel, with Democrats accusing Trump of placing his personal political interests over U.S. national security when he sought to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.
Democrats have said the articles would reveal a “pattern” of alleged misconduct by the president.
While the inquiry has centered on the Ukraine allegations, Democrats were considering drafting a separate article focusing on the obstruction of justice allegations laid out in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Although early indications suggest Democratic leaders have decided against charging Trump with obstruction of justice, Judiciary Committee Democrats say they are hopeful the narrower set of articles is written to reflect some of the evidence Mueller uncovered.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the panel, said the articles must reflect Mueller’s findings as part of a broader indictment of the president’s efforts to thwart investigations into his conduct. That strain of evidence, along with findings that Trump was “dragging foreign governments into American politics” and “elevating his personal political ambitions above the interests of the country” will be the heart of the articles, he said.
“I want to make sure all three of those patterns are built into the articles,” Raskin said. “I’m less concerned with the formality of how many there are.”
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), another Judiciary Committee member, said the final mix of articles will reflect “the consensus of the committee.”
“I think so long as the articles reflect the evidence we collected and demonstrate that the president abused the power of his office, soliciting a foreign actor to interfere in an American presidential election — that is the heart of it,” he said.
“To me the articles have to capture that as well as the effort the president engaged in to prevent Congress from investigating and gathering evidence in this process,” Cicilline added.