Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that House Democrats will be drafting articles of impeachment, which is sure to please Donald Trump, who tweeted the following this morning:
.....trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business. We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is. I was elected to “Clean the Swamp,” and that’s what I am doing!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2019
The Do Nothing Democrats had a historically bad day yesterday in the House. They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country. But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy. Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2019
Trump wants a speedy impeachment in the House because he appears confident he’ll be cleared in the Senate, where Republicans hold the majority with a slim 52 to 46 edge. Pelosi didn’t balk at this or any of Trump’s previous threats, stating in her speech, “In the course of today’s events, it becomes necessary for us to address, among other grievances, the president’s failure to faithfully execute the law.”
The articles of impeachment will do exactly that: House Democrats will be drafting the articles, or basically “charges,” against Trump. It’s a way of putting to paper all of the evidence of wrongdoing we’ve been hearing about in the past few weeks of impeachment hearings and condensing them into terms to be used in trial.
Pelosi stated that Trump’s attempt to “corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit” is an “abuse of power … in defiance of the vision of our founders and the oath of office that he takes to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” She cited impeachment as a way of combating tyrannical power.
The Judiciary Committee will likely follow the models of previous modern impeachments by drawing up at least four articles (per Vox). For Richard Nixon in 1974, the Judiciary Committee drew up five articles of impeachment and approved three of them. For Bill Clinton in 1998, the Committee drew up four articles and approved them all. The impeachment articles against Trump could look like this:
On the screen in the hearing room…future articles of impeachment?The first two are likely, the third is still being debated by Democrats pic.twitter.com/89d1dg82Hw— Jeremy Herb (@jeremyherb) December 4, 2019
The Judiciary Committees articles will then have to be approved by the full House. Only one article of impeachment has to be approved for Trump to be impeached, and the House then shifts the process to the Senate for trial. The House will likely try to draft the articles before the holidays, which means the Senate would start trial proceedings in the new year.
Watch Pelosi announcing the drafting of the articles of impeachment below.