Published: Sun, December 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Democrats huddle to draft impeachment charges against Donald Trump

Democrats huddle to draft impeachment charges against Donald Trump

A former CIA, Pentagon and National Security Council before winning election to the House a year ago, Slotkin helped launch the House inquiry into President Donald Trump's Ukraine scandal by co-writing an opinion column calling for a probe after an intelligence community whistleblower accused the president of abusing his office.

The report says that a number of "inaccurate claims" have circulated about how impeachment works under the Constitution.

Democrats say the pressure on a vulnerable U.S. ally constitutes an abuse of power.

Republicans have called for a full day of proceedings to examine their own evidence, including a 110-page report saying the inquiry had found no evidence of an impeachable offence.

"There is considerable direct evidence", Nadler told CNN on Sunday morning of impeachment, adding that "it ill behooves a President or his partisans to say you don't have enough direct evidence when the reason we don't have even more evidence is the President has ordered everybody in the executive branch not to cooperate with Congress in the impeachment inquiry".

Saturday's second Democratic document takes on Republican claims, including that Ukraine didn't know until August that the Trump administration was withholding military assistance; that Trump was concerned about Ukraine corruption; and that it was Ukraine, not Russian Federation, that conspired to interfere in the 2016 USA presidential election.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced Thursday that she had asked committee chairmen to craft articles of impeachment against the president.

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If these are put to a vote in the Democrat-held House of Representatives and pass, the Senate will be forced to hold a trial - possibly early in January.

Democratic lawmakers and aides are working behind closed doors over the weekend as the articles are being drafted and Judiciary Committee members are preparing for hearings and votes expected next week. The Republicans who control the Senate have shown little sign of supporting Trump's removal.

Impeachment - all you need to know What is Mr Trump accused of?

"President Trump abused his power, betrayed our national security, and corrupted our elections, all for personal gain", he said.

The impeachment inquiry stemmed from an anonymous whistle-blower complaint, made public in September, that alleged from secondhand information that Trump engaged in an improper phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over the summer. They have denied wrongdoing and the allegations have not been substantiated.

Democrats also have accused Trump of abusing his power by withholding $391 million United States in congressionally approved security aid to Ukraine - a vulnerable USA ally facing Russian aggression - and holding back a coveted White House meeting with Zelensky as leverage to pressure Kyiv into investigating the Bidens. Nadler, however, is considered unlikely to call them.

During the impeachment proceedings for former Presidents Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon in 1998 and 1974 respectively, committee staff wrote similar reports outlining the grounds for impeachment. None previous were removed from office, although Richard Nixon resigned as he faced nearly certain impeachment in 1974 over the Watergate scandal.

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