US Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment against Trump

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Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives were expected to unveil two articles of impeachment against Republican President Donald Trump on Tuesday, a senior Democratic aide said, setting the stage for a possible vote this week on impeachment.


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The House aide spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday night and declined to give any details.

Democrats were expected to draft articles of impeachment on abuse of power and on obstruction of Congress, the aide told Reuters. The Washington Post first reported the expected articles, citing three unidentified officials.

Trump is accused of pressuring Ukraine to initiate a probe of a Democratic political rival and then of obstructing Congress' efforts to investigate his actions.

Democratic committee leaders met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the last scheduled impeachment hearing concluded on Monday evening.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel said Democratic lawmakers planned to make an announcement on articles of impeachment on Tuesday morning. He would not elaborate as he left Pelosi's office.

Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, closed the nine-hour hearing on Monday with a condemnation of Trump's actions soliciting help from Ukraine against Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential rival Joe Biden.

Democrats described Trump's actions as a "clear and present danger" to national security and the upcoming U.S. election.

"The facts are clear. The danger to our democracy is clear and our duty is clear," Nadler said in his closing statement.

The Judiciary panel could vote this week on whether to send formal charges, known as articles of impeachment, to the full Democratic-led House.

If the House approves the articles, as expected, the Republican-controlled Senate would hold a trial to decide whether to remove the president from office. A conviction is considered unlikely.

Trump denies wrongdoing and has called the impeachment probe a hoax.


Monday's hearing was punctuated by shouting and recriminations from Trump's fellow Republicans, unhappy with the process they said was unfair.

Republicans accused Democrats of embarking on a politically driven mission to oust Trump from office without direct evidence he had abused his power, obstructed Congress or committed other impeachable offenses.

"They're desperate to have an impeachment vote on this president," said Representative Doug Collins, the top Republican on the panel.

Republicans said there was no proof Trump improperly pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden.

They also argued there was no first-hand evidence Trump withheld $391 million in military aid or a White House meeting to get his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, as well as a debunked theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

Republicans repeatedly called for testimony by Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, whose panel led the investigation and held five days of hearings last month. Nadler rejected Republicans' request to call Schiff as a witness, so Republicans put up a poster with his picture on a milk carton under the word, "Missing."

The White House has refused to participate in the hearings in the House because it says the process is unfair. Nadler denied Republicans' request for eight witnesses to appear before the inquiry, saying they were either not necessary for Monday's hearing or beyond the scope of the inquiry.

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