Pelosi – who has until recently been cautious about the political ramifications of impeaching the president – announced the decision on Thursday. Two days earlier, the House Intelligence Committee voted to send a report to the Judiciary Committee. The document alleges that the evidence of Trump’s misconduct is “overwhelming.”
Today, Pelosi echoed this sentiment, telling reporters that “the president’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution.”
The impeachment inquiry against Trump centers on a July phone call between himself and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Democrats allege Trump coerced Zelensky into reopening a corruption investigation against Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. Democrats say Trump withheld military aid from Kiev to pressure Zelensky into reopening the probe.
Trump, has repeatedly fired back, saying that his phone call with Zelensky was “perfect,” and showed no evidence of the “quid-pro quo” the Democrats allege. A transcript of the call released by the White House shows no direct evidence of this supposed deal, according to the Republicans and none of the witnesses called by Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff could provide watertight proof of this arrangement so far.
Several of these witnesses had only second- or third-hand knowledge of the infamous call, and the intelligence community whistleblower who was actually privy to the call was not among them.
With the report in the hands of the Judiciary Committee, Democrats called a panel of legal scholars to Capitol Hill to make the case for impeachment. Three of the scholars argued that Trump had committed the “high crimes and misdemeanors” necessary to substantiate an impeachment trial, while one said the Democrats were “lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger.”
It did not take long for Trump to fire back at Pelosi’s Thursday announcement.
“The Do Nothing, Radical Left Democrats have just announced that they are going to seek to Impeach me over NOTHING,” he tweeted.
That is not what our Founders had in mind. The good thing is that the Republicans have NEVER been more united. We will win!
Earlier, Trump goaded the Democratic Party, writing “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.”
For Pelosi and her party, the next step in the process is getting the articles of impeachment past a simple majority vote in the House. From there, Trump can only be ousted from the White House after a trial and two-thirds majority vote in the Senate, an unlikely scenario with Republicans in control.