House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces drafting of articles of impeachment against Trump

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(CNN) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday the House was proceeding with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

“Today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment,” Pelosi said on Capitol Hill. “The President leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt once again the election for his own benefit.”

Pelosi’s statement came one day after the first impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, which heard from legal experts who analyzed whether Trump’s conduct was impeachable.

The committee’s next step is expected to be a look into the evidence presented by the House Intelligence Committee, which released on Tuesday a 300-page report detailing the findings of the House’s two-month investigation into Trump and Ukraine.

Pelosi has been engaging in a stream of private conversations in recent days with her colleagues to get their input on whether they’re ready to impeach Trump and what should be included in the articles of impeachment, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

Speaking to her caucus behind closed doors on Wednesday, Pelosi asked: “Are you ready?”

LIVE UPDATES: The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry

The question focused on whether the Democratic caucus was ready to keep moving forward on the next steps on impeachment, and Democrats were vocal in responding yes, according to sources familiar with the meeting.

Democrats are considering bringing multiple articles of impeachment against the President, including abuse of power and bribery for his actions toward Ukraine, and obstruction of Congress for stonewalling the investigation. Democrats are also weighing whether to bring forward an obstruction of justice charge that would include the allegations against Trump detailed in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The House Judiciary Committee, which took up the obstruction of justice investigation, included questions about Mueller and obstruction of justice at Wednesday’s hearing.

Republicans have continued to slam the impeachment process as an unfair process that’s predetermined to try to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

RELATED: Impeachment puts Trump and Pelosi on track for epic clash

Trump told Democrats in a tweet Thursday to quickly impeach him so they could move onto the Senate trial, where Republicans have a majority.

“They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country,” Trump said. “But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy. Therefore I say, 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.

Trump added the witnesses he’d like to see, including House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden — and even Pelosi.

“We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is. I was elected to ‘Clean the Swamp,’ and that’s what I am doing!” he said.

Oklahoma Representatives Respond

Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced this morning that she is directing chairmen of the relevant House committees to draft articles of impeachment:

“I am disappointed by Speaker Pelosi’s decision to move forward with articles of impeachment to remove President Donald Trump from office. While the details of potential articles are still unclear and the timing of a vote is uncertain, it is now evident that a vote in the House is inevitable.
On something as consequential as impeaching the President of the United States, it is a disservice to the American people for one political party to dictate the terms and make up the rules of the process, as Democrats have done since day one. Based on what I have seen so far, I do not think the House has grounds to move forward on this serious matter. And as things stand today, I will certainly be voting against impeachment when it comes to the floor of the House.
While I am not on the committees responsible for drafting articles of impeachment, I was directly involved in consideration and debate on the impeachment process resolution when it came through the House Rules Committee, where I serve as the top Republican. As I said at that time, the process prescribed solely by Democrats is not fair, open or transparent. Reflecting on how things have played out in the weeks since then further affirms my earlier judgment that this flawed process was crafted to ensure a partisan, pre-ordained result. Certainly, this cannot be viewed as legitimate. It is my hope and expectation that the president will be treated more fairly in the Senate than he has been in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

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