Washington (AFP) – Democrats are expected to announce on Tuesday two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, US media reported, after laying out their case at a hearing against a president they branded a “clear and present danger” to national security.
The articles will focus on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, The Washington Post reported Monday, citing three officials familiar with the matter.
It added that the full House of Representatives will vote on the articles next week, ahead of a trial in the Senate.
CNN said a third article on obstruction of justice was still being debated, and the network’s sources cautioned that plans were still being finalized.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Monday night that high-ranking Democrats, including Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler and Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff, would hold a press conference the next day to “announce the next steps” in the impeachment process.
Four months after a whistleblower sparked the investigation of Trump for seeking illicit political favors from Ukraine, Democrats said at Monday’s hearing there was abundant evidence he had committed bribery, abused his power and obstructed the investigation.
“President Trump’s persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security,” said Daniel Goldman, counsel for the Democrats.
Facing an almost certain vote to make Trump the third American leader impeached and placed on trial, top Republican Doug Collins countered that the effort was simply “a good PR move” for Democrats ahead of next year’s presidential elections.
“It’s all political,” Collins said. “Where’s the impeachable offense? Why are we here?”
The allegations came in a contentious House Judiciary Committee hearing in which Republicans repeatedly punched back, while Trump himself denounced the inquiry as a “disgrace” and a “hoax.”
Fueling the partisan divisions in Washington, the Republicans marshaled a Department of Justice report released Monday as ammunition for a counteroffensive.