Pelosi announces ‘there is no choice’ but to move forward in Donald Trump's impeachment
After the public hearing of three constitutional law experts, the Democratic leadership has decided to take the next step in the president's impeachment.
Knowing what to expect from President Donald Trump's impeachment is not exactly straightforward, especially since it is a unique situation in the country's history.
While other presidents in similar proceedings, such as Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton, demonstrated the reach of the Justice Department and the malleability of bipartisanship, nothing is written in stone in the Trump era.
Nixon resigned and was acquitted by the Senate, but what happens to Donald Trump remains to be seen.
Because of Attorney General William Barr's refusal to investigate Trump's alleged abuse of power in asking for favors from the Ukrainian president in exchange for money approved by Congress, the House of Representatives has decided to conduct the investigation on its own, spending the last two months evaluating evidence and questioning witnesses, concluding that there is sufficient basis to write articles of impeachment.
In a 300-page report, the House Intelligence Committee explained step-by-step how Trump's conduct qualifies as bribery and other serious crimes that make him incompatible with the office of president.
The document, written in a manner intelligible to the public, also accuses Trump of obstructing the committees' investigative process by refusing to cooperate and blocking the testimony of White House officials.
In addition, the report highlights the severity of the bipartisan split and Republican tribalism:
"Today, we may be witnessing a collision between the power of a remedy meant to curb presidential misconduct and the power of faction determined to defend against the use of that remedy on a president of the same party,” Committee Chairman Adam Schiff wrote in the foreword.
Although the report is written in plain language, the House Judiciary Committee invited four experts in constitutional law to evaluate the evidence and give their views on it.
Again, the Republican Party sought to discredit the knowledge and reason in favor of the only panelist prone to save the president.
Stanford University professor Pamela Karlan, George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley, and professors Noah Feldman and Michael Gerhardt responded to questions from the committee about whether the president's conduct and evidence were sufficient reason to remove him from office.
Everyone agreed except Turley, the witness invited by the Republicans and a well-known Fox News commentator, who said that even though the description of the alleged charges did justify impeachment, the evidence was not sufficient.
Democrats, for their part, seem to have heard enough.
At a press conference Thursday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that President Trump “leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit.”
Pelosi added that Trump "has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections.”
"Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our Founders and our heart full of love for our America, today I am asking our Chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment,” she concluded.
The next step will be a vote in the House of Representatives and, if approved, the process will go to a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate.