By Miriam Raftery
December 13, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – The House Judiciary today voted to send two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the full House. The causes for impeachment listed are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress including the President ordering the White House, executive branch agencies and officials to defy subpoenas and withhold documents and records.
“In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate `High Crimes and Misdemeanors’, the obstruction of Congress article state, noting that federal agencies including State, Defense, and others “refused to produce a single document or record.” Trump also banned witnesses from testifying. “This abuse of office served to cover up the President’s own repeated misconduct and to seize and control the power of impeachment – and thus to nullify a vital constitutional safeguard vested solely in the House of Representatives,” the article continues.
The other impeachment article, abuse of power, accuses Trump of ”conduct for corrupt purposes in pursuit of personal benefit” that “compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process,” also injuring the interests of the nation. Specifically, the article accuses Trump of soliciting interference in the 2020 election by pressuring the Ukraine to announce investigations of his rival’s son, Hunter Biden. Trump suspended $381 million in military aid approved by Congress in a bipartisan vote to help Ukraine oppose Russian aggression. The vital military funds were withheld, along with a promised visit with the Ukrainian president at the White House, according to the article.
Judiciary Chairman Gerald Nadler stated, “Today is a solemn and sad day. For the third time in a little over a century and a half, the House Judiciary has voted articles of impeachment against the President for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The House will act expeditiously.”
The articles were approved 23-17 on a party-line vote in the Judiciary Committee. The full House will likely vote next week, which will mandate that a trial be held in the Senate. If two-thirds of the Senators present during the vote support impeachment, then Trump would be removed from office and Vice President Mike Pence would become president.
“There is no chance the president is going to be removed from office,” Mitch McConnell, Senate Pro Tem president of the Republican-controlled Senate, has told Fox News.
Trump called the impeachment vote “a sham, hoax.”
Republicans on the Judiciary Committee focused largely on criticizing the process, not disproving the actual allegations. They faulted Democrats for relying in part on hearsay despite the fact that witnesses to the President’s actions were prohibited by the President from testifying or turning over records, in violation of lawfully issued subpoenas.
A spokesperson for Vice President Pence called the testimony “one-sided,” the Washington Post reports, adding, “Democrats in Congress should heed the voice of the American people and reject this partisan impeachment that has been a complete waste of time. Democrats in Congress need to get back to work for the American people!”