House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has announced that the Democrat-majority House of Representatives will move forward with drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
In remarks delivered on Thursday morning, Pelosi said, “if we allow a president to be above the law, we do so surely at the peril of our republic.”
“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 said.
“At the Judiciary Committee, the American people heard testimony from leading American constitutional scholars who illuminated, without a doubt, that the president’s actions are a profound violation of the public trust.”
Pelosi went to say that she was “asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment” against Trump, arguing that he “has engaged in abuse of power undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections.”
In response to the announcement, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham took to social media to say that she believed House Democrats “should be ashamed.”
“[Trump] has done nothing but lead our country — resulting in a booming economy, more jobs and a stronger military, to name just a few of his major accomplishments,” Grisham tweeted Thursday.
Grisham added that the Trump administration “look forward to a fair trial in the Senate,” where Republicans hold a majority of the seats.
Trump also took to Twitter to criticize the decision, saying the impeachment proceedings are over “nothing” and come from “The Do Nothing, Radical Left Democrats.”
“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,” the president added.
“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 said.
In October, Pelosi announced that the House would hold impeachment hearings against the president, with the House Intelligence Committee beginning their hearings in November.
At issue were claims of mistreatment of a whistleblower and concerns over Trump asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into Ukraine's meddling in the 2016 election and to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son's dealings in Ukraine. Biden had publicly boasted that as vice president, he threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loans to Ukraine until they fired Viktor Shokin, the prosecutor who was investigating the Burisma energy company that was paying his son, Hunter, $50,000 a month to serve on its board. The rough transcript of that conversation can be read here.
“The actions of the Trump presidency revealed dishonorable facts of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections,” Pelosi said in October.
In testimony described by many as a “bombshell,” U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testified that the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky included an unlawful “quid pro quo.”
“I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a 'quid pro quo?' As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes,” Sondland said.