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'Abuse of Power' and 'Obstruction of Congress': Democrats Announce Articles of Impeachment Against Trump

"We stand here today because the president's continuing abuse of his power has left us no choice."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks next to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) as they announce articles of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump during a press conference at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on December 10, 2019. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

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House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled two articles of impeachment accusing President Donald Trump abusing the power of his office and obstructing Congress, misconduct that Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said amounts to "high crimes and misdemeanors."

"Our president holds the ultimate public trust," Nadler, a Democrat from New York, said during a press conference. "When he betrays that trust and puts himself before country, he endangers the Constitution, he endangers our democracy, and he endangers our national security."

Nadler summarized the two articles of impeachment, which are expected to be released in full later Tuesday:

The first article is for abuse of power. It is an impeachable offense for the president to exercise the powers of his public office to obtain an improper personal benefit while ignoring or injuring the national interest. That is exactly what President Trump did when he solicited and pressured Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 presidential election.

This gives rise to the second article of impeachment, for obstruction of Congress.... A president who declares himself above accountability, above the American people and above Congress' power of impeachment—which is meant to protect against threats to our democratic institutions—is a president who sees himself as above the law.

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The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the articles of impeachment as early as Thursday.

Watch the press conference:

The two articles came after seven days of House impeachment hearings in which former and current Trump administration officials as well as legal scholars testified under oath about the president's efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden—among his top political rivals in the current U.S. presidential campaign.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday that Trump's "continuing abuse of his power has left us no choice."

"We stand here today because the president's continuing abuse of his power has left us no choice," said Schiff. "To do nothing would make ourselves complicit in the president's abuse of his high office, the public trust, and our national security."

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