By Frederick H. Lowe
The House Judiciary Committee today announced two articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump to remove him from office for high crimes and misdemeanors as outlined in the U.S. Constitution.
The language in the articles signal that this is shaping up to be bruising battle between the Executive Branch and House of the Representatives, one of two houses of Congress. The other is the Senate, where the trial for impeachment will be held.
U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, read the articles of impeachment today during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Article 1 charged Trump with abuse of power by soliciting the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election.
“He did so through a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the Government of Ukraine to announce investigations that would benefit his re-election publicly, harm the election prospects of a political opponent, influence the 2020 United States Presidential election to his advantage.”
Article 1 also charged that Trump sought to pressure the Government of Ukraine to take these steps by conditioning official United States Government acts of significant value to Ukraine on its public announcement of the investigations.
Furthermore, President Trump, acting both directly and indirectly and through his agents within and outside the United States government—corruptly solicited the Government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Biden vice president under President Barack Obama, currently is the leading candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 2020.
Article II of the Articles of impeachment charged that President Trump obstructed Congress, one of three equal branches of government outlined in the U.S. Constitution. The Executive and Judicial Branches are the other branches of government.
“Donald J. Trump has directed the unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance of a lawful subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives pursuant to its “sole power of impeachment,” reports Article II of impeachment.
“President Trump directed executive branch agencies, offices, and officials not to comply with those subpoenas. President Trump thus interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the “sole Power of Impeachment” vested by the Constitutions in the House of Representatives.
“President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States,” Article II reported.
Two presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, have been impeached, but neither was convicted of impeachment by the U.S. Senate.
Johnson, the nation’s 17th president who served April 15, 1865, to March 4, 1869, escaped conviction of impeachment in a trial in the U.S. Senate. Johnson, president during Reconstruction, was accused of violating the Tenure of Office Act, which prohibits the president from removing certain office holders without the U.S. Senate’s approval.
Clinton, the nation’s 42 president, faced articles of impeachment for lying under oath and obstruction of justice in 1999. There were not enough votes to convict him of impeachment. Clinton served in office from 1993 to 2001.
Despite belief by many, President Richard M. Nixon was not impeached. Nixon, the nation’s 37th president, resigned from office before Congress accused him of impeachment.
House debate on the two articles of impeachment concerning President Trump is scheduled to begin Wednesday.
If the House approves the articles of impeachment, the proceedings move to the Senate where a trial will be held.