Democratic speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday that she had asked for articles of impeachment to be drawn up against the 45th president by the House Judiciary Committee. "The president leaves us no choice but to act".
The 300-page report from Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee makes the case that Trump misused the power of his office and, in the course of their investigation, obstructed Congress by stonewalling the proceedings.
After being told that Senator Collins said that "Democrats are doing this simply because they don't like the guy", Pelosi returned to the microphone. "The president has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections", Pelosi charged.
On Wednesday, Pelosi met behind closed doors with her Democratic caucus, asking, "Äre you ready?"
The lawmakers responded with a rousing "Yes", according to the Associated Press news agency. Republicans in both chambers have stuck with the president, blasting the impeachment effort as an attempt to undo his surprise victory in the 2016 election. The White House said they would not be participating in today's nor any future judiciary committee hearing.
"If you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business", Trump tweeted. "He struck at the very heart of what makes this a republic to which we pledge allegiance", she added.
Democrats are also weighing whether to bring forward an obstruction of justice charge that would include the allegations against Trump detailed in former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
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The hearing on Wednesday was the committee's first to examine whether Trump's actions qualify as "high crimes and misdemeanors" punishable by impeachment under the U.S. Constitution.
The war of words between Trump and Pelosi will likely continue as the Judiciary Committee begins drafting the articles of impeachment.
The hearing will focus on constitutional grounds for impeachment of a president with testimony from four experts in constitutional law.
President Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
"The odds of him leaving office before the end of his first term are at 4/1 as an impeachment won't necessarily lead to him being forced out, however, it's sure to be an uncomfortable time ahead for Donald Trump". They think this alleged pressure on a vulnerable United States ally constitutes an abuse of power.
In other words, Trump didn't actually care if Joe Biden or his son were investigated for corruption. Both episodes, they said, demonstrated a pattern of behavior by which Trump invited foreign governments to interfere in USA elections and obstructed investigations into his actions.
Two previous presidents - Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton - were impeached by the House but acquitted in the Senate.