Less than one hundred days after House Democrats announced a formal impeachment inquiry, Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler announced on December 10, 2019, that two articles of impeachment will be presented to the Senate. The Senate will determine if President Trump will be removed from the office. Removal of the president will require a 2/3 vote for impeachment, a scenario that many politicians and observers do not believe will occur in a Republican-dominated Senate.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, alongside Oversight Committee members Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff, Carolyn Maloney and members of the Financial Resources Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee and Ways and Means Committee made the impeachment announcement at a press conference.
After a little under three months of investigation, testimony, hearings and report preparation, Congress decided that only two articles of impeachment would be decisive enough to force an impeachment hearing. The two articles implicate the president in wrongdoing regarding his dealings with Ukraine government officials and an attempt to “influence the 2020 United States Presidential election to his advantage.”
The first article of impeachment accuses the president of abuses of power. The article concludes that President Trump, “engaged…in 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.”
The second article accuses the president of obstructing Congress. The evidence used to support this accusation includes references to President Trump’s directives to subordinates and associates to “not comply” with Congressional subpoenas. Congress concludes that these directives “interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives.”
In other words, directing others to ignore or disobey the legally enforced requests of the United States Congress is an abuse of presidential powers.
President Trump has faced impeachment pressures throughout his term in office, however Congressional leadership chose to go forward with only two articles. While some House Democrats would have liked to have seen a greater number of articles, including ones based on the findings of the Mueller Report, two House Democrats have found no cause to support impeachment for any actions taken by the president.
The articles were a huge success. On December 18th, 2019, the House voted to impeach President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It is now up to the Senate to ultimately determine his fate in this next impeachment saga.