WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – President Trump could soon join the ranks of the two other impeached U.S. presidents in country history after House leaders announced articles of impeachment against him Tuesday.
“Today, in service to our duty to the Constitution and to our country, the House Committee on the Judiciary is introducing two articles of impeachment, charging the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, with committing high crimes and misdemeanors,” announced the chairman of the committee, U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY.
Democrats defended the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress articles they drafted, but Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-LA, argued his colleagues are the ones abusing their power.
“They’re not impeaching the president because they can list an impeachable offense,” Scalise said. “They’re impeaching him because they’re afraid he will get reelected.”
U.S. Rep. David Kustoff, R-TN, said the impeachment threat goes back to the 2016 election.
“We’ve had members of Congress going back talking about impeaching President Trump since the day he put his hands on the Bible,” Kustoff said.
President Trump maintains he has done nothing wrong, calling the entire process a witch hunt and focusing on the 2020 election.
“Polling is showing that the American people aren’t standing for impeachment, especially in a lot of the battleground states,” said White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham. “So this is really backfiring on the Democrats.”
The Senate is likely to have a trial early next year, something Grisham said President Trump wants because he will get a “fair shake” in the Republican-controlled chamber. However, she would not confirm if the president would greenlight White House administration officials, like acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, to participate.
“I’m not going to get ahead of the legal strategy, but you can probably bet that we’ll be a little more cooperative. Yes,” Grisham said.
Before a Senate trial, the House has to hold its final impeachment vote, which is expected to happen next week.
The floor vote should be down party lines, but some Democrats in districts the president won in 2016 are still weighing their options.