WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump lashed out at Democrats on Friday shortly after the House Judiciary Committee voted on party lines to approve two articles of impeachment against him, saying the country was "disgusted" with the result.
"It's a scam," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office during a meeting with the president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez. "The people are disgusted."
Trump, who said he watched "quite a bit" of the marathon hearing that took place in the committee Thursday, accused Democrats of "trivializing impeachment" and predicted that "someday there'll be a Democrat president and there'll be a Republican House and I suspect they're going to remember it."
The House Judiciary Committee approved the articles of impeachment against Trump in back-to-back votes Friday morning. One charged the president with abusing his power in his interactions with Ukraine and another charged him with obstructing Congress during the inquiry because he blocked aides from testifying.
Both articles were approved on separate party-line votes, 23-17.
Democrats say Trump pressured Ukrainian officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden – a rival in the 2020 election – in exchange for nearly $400 million in military aid and a White House meeting. Trump has said he did nothing wrong and he has called the impeachment drive a partisan "witch hunt" and a "hoax."
Assuming the full House approves the articles, Trump said he could support a short trial in the Senate. Republicans have been debating internally whether to wrap up a trial quickly or bring in witnesses. A consensus appeared to be emerging this week to keep it quick – possibly as short as a week or two.
"I'll do long or short. I'll do whatever they want to do," Trump said. "It doesn't matter."
Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was spotted at the White House just as the committee approved the articles of impeachment. Giuliani, a key figure in the House impeachment drive, has pushed a debunked claim that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election to help Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into his country's actions in 2016 during a July phone call, which touched off the impeachment inquiry.
The articles now go to the full House of Representatives, where Democrats are expected to approve them as soon as next week. If the articles are adopted, the Senate could hold a trial in January to decide whether to remove Trump from office.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham in a statement called the formal impeachment proceedings a "desperate charade" that "reached its shameful end."
"The president looks forward to receiving in the Senate the fair treatment and due process which continues to be disgracefully denied to him by the House," she added.
Trump offered one thought on the impeachment vote that was likely to unite Republicans and Democrats: "This," he said, "has been a wild week."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Impeachment: Trump slams Judiciary Committee vote as a 'scam'