House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that Democrats will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Trump, declaring that the president’s conduct “leaves us no choice but to act.”
The announcement comes after a heated House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday featuring four law professors — most of them Democrat-invited witnesses who presented arguments for impeachment. Pelosi claimed the facts are now “uncontested” that Trump “abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security” by alleging using aid as leverage to seek an investigation of the Bidens from Ukraine.
“Today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment,” Pelosi stated during her brief address, referring to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.
“The president’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution,” she said. “His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution.”
The three professors called upon by the Democratic majority on Wednesday expressed an urgency to impeach the president. “If we cannot impeach a president who abuses his office for personal advantage, we no longer live in a democracy—we live in a monarchy, or we live under a dictatorship,” Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman said.
But the GOP’s witness, Jonathan Turley of George Washington University, warned Democrats not to rush into impeachment, explaining that a stronger foundation was needed to take such a drastic step.
Turley even accused lawmakers of doing “precisely” what they’re condemning Trump for doing. “It’s your abuse of power,” he warned the House should they move to impeach. Turley conceded that it was possible Trump had set up an illicit and impeachable quid pro quo — but he asserted there was simply no evidence in the record to prove the claim.
At the heart of the case is the allegation that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate the Bidens for political gain, while using U.S. aid as leverage. The records demonstrate that Trump sought that investigation, but Trump maintains there was no quid pro quo for aid and witnesses have not directly linked him to one.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., cited another reason why Democrats should not move forward with impeachment right now — the House’s failure to pass vital bills amid the impeachment fight.
“Franky, we’d love to govern with you,” he said to Democratic colleagues on Wednesday. “We’d love to pass USMCA, we’d love to put out a helping hand to our seniors and lower prescription drug prices. It’s the will of the people you ignore when you continue down this terrible road of impeachment.”