Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said President Donald Trump “leaves us no choice” except to move forward with impeaching him after he lobbied Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and Biden’s family.
“The president has engaged in abuse of power undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections,” Pelosi said Thursday morning from the Capitol in Washington, D.C., according to The New York Times. “His actions are in defiance of the vision of our founders and the oath of office that he takes to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
“Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment,” Pelosi continued.
Not long after Thursday’s speech, Trump tweeted that he was being harangued over “NOTHING” but he nonetheless said he looked forward to a speedy trial in the Senate which would end in his exoneration.
It remains unclear when the Democratic House will vote on articles of impeachment against Trump, though Pelosi’s statement Thursday signaled leadership there was prepared to move quickly.
A vote is possible before Christmas.
Once articles — analogous to charges — are drafted, the House will vote on them and if they pass, President Trump will be impeached, or accused of those same crimes. He will then be tried in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority vote is necessary to remove him.
Impeachment has become a near certainty to many observers, after public opinion began shifting toward it since October and after a procession of government officials testified in the House broadly corroborating the case against Trump over Ukraine.
However, conviction in the Senate is far less likely given the Republican majority there.
The president has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing — urging other Republicans not even to cede that he may have acted improperly but not illegally — and conservatives have offered a series of shifting defenses about Trump and Ukraine. They’ve also said they would not be party to what they argued was merely a scheme of revenge by liberals who couldn’t abide losing the 2016 election.
Not so, Pelosi said Thursday.
“The facts are uncontested,” she said. “The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security, by withholding military aid [to Ukraine] and crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival.”
“If we allow a president to be above the law, we do so surely at the peril of our republic,” Pelosi said. “In America, no one is above the law.”