In an historic announcement on Tuesday morning, Democratic leaders announced their intention to issue two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, relating to the Ukraine scandal that was revealed earlier this year.
Trump consistently puts himself above the country,” House Judiciary Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler noted in announcing the articles that were being drafted.
According to reporting from NPR, the first of the two articles will include charging Trump with abuse of presidential power, related to his alleged attempts to coerce Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, by withholding military aid to that nation, to announce investigations that would target Trump’s political opponents. Democrats say that by doing so, the president had attempted to use a foreign power to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.
The second article of impeachment will charge Trump with obstruction of Congress as it attempted to investigate the president’s malfeasances. Trump repeatedly refused to allow individuals from his administration from testifying before Congress, even after they had been subpoenaed by the co-equal branch of government.
“We must be clear: No one — not even the president — is above the law,” Nadler said.
Nadler also expressed reluctance by Democrats in the House to pursue impeachment of the president.
BREAKING: House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler: "Later this week, the Judiciary Committee will meet to consider these articles of impeachment and to make a recommendation to the full House of Representatives." https://t.co/2V1ezjhxUm pic.twitter.com/RaEEdPwGZV
— ABC News (@ABC) December 10, 2019
“We do not take this action lightly, but we have taken an oath to defend the Constitution,” he said. “And unlike President Trump, we understand that our duty, first and foremost, is to protect the Constitution, and to protect the interests of the American people.
Noticeably absent from the articles of impeachment that were announced on Tuesday was any mention of the 10 instances of obstruction of justice that former special counsel Robert Mueller wrote of in his eponymous report from the Russia investigation that concluded earlier this year, Talking Points Memo noted.
Mueller told the Judiciary Committee that Nadler chairs that “the president was not exculpated for the acts he allegedly committed.” He further affirmed that it was “true” that Trump could be prosecutive for the instances of obstruction found in his report after he leaves office, and that a Department of Justice policy wouldn’t have allowed him to prosecute Trump himself, had he determined it was right to do so, prior reporting from HillReporter.com detailed.
The absence of Mueller’s findings will likely confound many impeachment supporters who believed they should have been included. In the spring, Mueller, in his first public statement about the investigation he had led, noted that his findings did not exonerate Trump from allegations of wrongdoing or criminal actions, Rolling Stone reported.
“If we had confidence that the president did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said in May.