House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said that she is asking her colleagues to pursue articles of impeachment against President Trump for his “failure to faithfully execute the law” in his dealings with Ukraine.
“Our democracy is what is at stake,” Pelosi said in a prepared statement delivered on Capitol Hill. “The president leaves us no choice but to act, because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit.”
Pelosi’s remarks came less than three months after she announced a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump, and a day after the sixth public hearing in the probe.
“Over the past few weeks,” Pelosi said, “the American people have heard the testimony of truly patriotic career public servants, distinguished diplomats and decorated war heroes, some of the president’s own appointees.
“The facts are uncontested,” she continued. “The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security by withholding military aid and a crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival.”
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee convened its first impeachment hearing, during which three constitutional scholars testified that they believe Trump committed impeachable offenses. (Another witness dissented, saying more evidence is needed.)
Pelosi said the legal scholars “illuminated without a doubt” that Trump’s actions have “seriously violated the Constitution.”
“His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution: a separation of powers, three coequal branches, each a check and balance on the other,” she said.
Earlier Thursday, Trump issued a prebuttal of sorts on Twitter.
“The Do Nothing Democrats had a historically bad day yesterday in the House,” the president tweeted. “They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country. But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy. Therefore 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. We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is. I was elected to ‘Clean the Swamp,’ and that’s what I am doing!”
After Pelosi’s announcement, Trump again responded with a pair of tweets.
“The Do Nothing, Radical Left Democrats have just announced that they are going to seek to Impeach me over NOTHING,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “They already gave up on the ridiculous Mueller ‘stuff,’ so now they hang their hats on two totally appropriate (perfect) phone calls with the Ukrainian President. This will mean that the beyond important and seldom used act of Impeachment will be used routinely to attack future Presidents. That is not what our Founders had in mind. The good thing is that the Republicans have NEVER been more united. We will win!”