Thu | Sep 24, 2020

Trump impeachment heads to full House

Published:Saturday | December 14, 2019 | 12:23 AM
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler exhales after a day of work on Capitol Hill in Washington.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler exhales after a day of work on Capitol Hill in Washington.

WASHINGTON (AP):

Democrats propelled President Donald Trump’s impeachment towards a historic vote by the full United States House as the Judiciary Committee on Friday approved charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It’s the latest major step in the constitutional and political storm that has divided Congress and the nation.

The House is expected to approve the two articles of impeachment next week, before lawmakers depart for the holidays.

The partisan split in the committee vote – 23 Democrats to 17 Republicans – reflects the atmosphere in Congress. The Democratic-majority House is expected to approve the charges against Trump next week, but the Republican-controlled Senate is likely to acquit him after a January trial.

Trump is accused, in the first article, of abusing his presidential power by asking Ukraine to investigate his 2020 rival Joe Biden while holding military aid as leverage, and, in the second, of obstructing Congress by blocking the House’s efforts to probe his actions.

“Today is a solemn and sad day,” Chairman Jerrold Nadler told reporters after the session, marking the third time in US history the panel had voted to recommend impeaching a president. He said the full House would act “expeditiously”.

After the milestone votes, Trump’s press secretary Stephanie Grisham labelled the proceedings a “desperate charade”, saying, “The president looks forward to receiving in the Senate the fair treatment and due process which continues to be disgracefully denied to him by the House.”