December 5, 2019

Pelosi announces House will move forward with articles of impeachment

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Gage Skidmore

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaking with attendees at a Trump Tax Town Hall hosted by Tax March at Events on Jackson in Phoenix, Arizona. Flickr/cc

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the U.S. House of Representatives would start drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump over his withholding of foreign aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigating the son of a political rival.

The announcement came after an investigation by the House, which began in late September. At the end of October, all three of New Mexico’s members of the House, all Democrats, voted to support the impeachment inquiry. The investigations included closed door meetings by House committees and more recently public hearings of the House Intelligence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.

Ben Ray Luján, the Assistant Speaker in the U.S. House of Representatives, supported the announcement.

“The United States Congress has a responsibility to uphold our Constitution and protect this country from irrevocable harm. The American people have heard from firsthand witnesses of President Trump’s corruption and seen his abuses of power laid bare,” Luján said. “It is now an uncontested fact: The President put his political interests ahead of the interests of our nation. Inaction in the face of this lawlessness would be a dereliction of our oath of office, which is why the President’s behavior mandates that the House moves forward with articles of impeachment.”

U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland said she would vote to approve the articles of impeachment. 

“No president should be able to abuse the power of the presidency for personal gain. However, as we’ve moved through the impeachment inquiry, the facts are indisputable and have proven over and over that President Trump betrayed his oath of office by putting our national security at risk with a bribe for his personal and political gain,” Haaland said in a statement. “Not only that, he corrupted and abused the office of the President.”

U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small declined to comment.

Republican Party of New Mexico chair Steve Pearce said Pelosi’s announcement was “a disgrace.”

“There’s been no extortion, no bribery, no abuse of power by the President and no evidence whatsoever that Democrats can turn to,” Pearce said. “Why can’t the Democrats focus on jobs, USMCA and real issues instead of this farce?”

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, is Trump’s proposed trade deal to replace NAFTA. 

If the House votes to impeach Trump, then a trial would be held in the Senate. It would take a two-thirds majority in the Senate to convict Trump as well as to remove Trump from office.

Republicans control the Senate and it’s unlikely that they would vote to convict Trump. But a trial would take place next year, the same year Trump is up for reelection.