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Nancy Pelosi asks House to proceed with articles of impeachment against Trump

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will proceed with “articles of impeachment” against President Trump, saying he leaves Congress no choice.
“Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our Founders and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment,” she said Thursday, referring to Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the leader of the House Judiciary Committee.
“The president’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution,” she continued. “Our democracy is at stake. The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt once again the election for his own benefit.”
“The president has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections. His actions are in defiance of the vision of our Founders and the oath of office he takes to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” she continued.
She noted the House Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry conducted last month in which the American people 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: 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,” Pelosi continued.
“If we allow the president to be above the law, we do so surely at the peril of our republic. In America, no one is above the law,” she said.
Trump, who earlier Thursday called for a “fast” impeachment so the Senate could begin its trial and Congress could get back to work, said the “Do Nothing, Radical Left Democrats” are trying to impeach him “over NOTHING.”
“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,” Trump said on Twitter.
“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!” he added.
The White House responded to Pelosi’s remarks moments after she delivered her statement.
“@SpeakerPelosi & the Democrats should be ashamed. @realDonaldTrump has done nothing but lead our country – resulting in a booming economy, more jobs & a stronger military, to name just a few of his major accomplishments. We look forward to a fair trial in the Senate,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham wrote on Twitter.
Trump’s re-election campaign criticized Democrats for continuing to move on impeachment as the country enters the 2020 presidential election.
“We are less than a year away from Election Day 2020 and Democrats can’t possibly explain to the American people why they want to take the decision of who should be president out of the hands of voters,” campaign manager Brad Parscale said. “But impeaching the president has always been their goal, so they should just get on with it so we can have a fair trial in the Senate.”
Pelosi’s comments come a day after the impeachment inquiry began its second phase during a House Judiciary Committee meeting that heard testimony from four constitutional scholars.
The three called by Democrats agreed that Trump was guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors” for asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and the country’s role in the 2016 presidential election.
The Republican witness, Jonathan Turley, a professor at the George Washington University Law School, characterized the inquiry as “slipshod.”
“That is why this is wrong. It is not wrong because President Trump is right. His call was anything but ‘perfect’ and his reference to the Bidens was highly inappropriate,” Turley said. “It is not wrong because the House has no legitimate reason to investigate the Ukrainian controversy. The use of military aid for a quid pro quo to investigate one’s political opponent, if proven, can be an impeachable offense.”
But Michael Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law and one of the Democrats’ three witnesses, said the evidence is clear of Trump’s wrongdoing.
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“I just want to stress that if what we’re talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable. This is precisely the misconduct that the framers created a Constitution including impeachment to protect against,” he told the panel.
“And if there’s no action, if Congress concludes they’re going to give a pass to the president here … every other president will say, ‘Okay, then I can do the same thing’ and the boundaries will just evaporate,” Gerhardt added.

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