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The impeachment of Donald Trump brings against him congressional charges that he abused his power as president and obstructed Congress in its investigation of his conduct in relation to Ukraine. The House voted in December to pass the articles of impeachment, or charges, and these articles were delivered to the Senate in January as the case for the prosecution, in preparation for the Senate’s trial of the president.
The full articles can be read here, and are summarized below.
Article 1: abuse of power
The constitution provides that the House of Representatives “shall have the sole power of impeachment” and that the president shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
In his conduct of the office of president of the United States and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of president of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, Donald J Trump has abused the powers of the presidency, in that: Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States presidential election.
He did so through a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations that would benefit his re-election, harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 United States presidential election to his advantage. President Trump also sought to pressure the government of Ukraine to take these steps by conditioning official United States government acts of significant value to Ukraine on its public announcement of the investigations.
President Trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct for corrupt purposes in pursuit of personal political benefit. In so doing, President Trump used the powers of the presidency in a manner that compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process. He thus ignored and injured the interests of the nation.
Article 2: obstruction of Congress
Donald J Trump has directed the unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives pursuant to its sole power of impeachment.
As part of this impeachment inquiry, the committees undertaking the investigation served subpoenas seeking documents and testimony deemed vital to the inquiry from various executive branch agencies and offices, and current and former officials. In response, without lawful cause or excuse, President Trump directed executive branch agencies, offices and officials not to comply with those subpoenas. President Trump thus interposed the powers of the presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested by the constitution in the House of Representatives.