House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California said in a Thursday morning press conference that she is asking House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump .
“Over the past few weeks…the American people have heard the testimony of career public servants,” Pelosi said. “The facts are uncontested: the president abused his power for his own personal benefit at the expense of national security.”
“The president leaves us with no choice but to act,” Pelosi added, decrying Trump’s actions as “in defiance of our founders.”
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee held its first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry into Trump.
Lawmakers and witnesses used the hearing to lay out the case for and against impeachment, with panel of four constitutional law experts testified on “the constitutional grounds for presidential impeachment,” according to a release from the judiciary committee.
Three of the constitutional scholars testified that the results of the inquiry so far has shown that Trump has committed multiple impeachable offenses in violation of his oath of office and should be impeached.
Stanford Law Professor Pamela Karlan testified that “based on the evidentiary record, what has happened in the case before you is something that I do not think we have ever seen before: a president who has doubled down on violating his oath to ‘faithfully execute’ the laws and to ‘protect and defend the Constitution.'”
At the outset of the investigation in September, Pelosi designated Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, to lead the inquiry, which at that point was focused on the contents of a whistleblower complaint about a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The complaint detailed concerns that Trump, days after withholding a nearly $400 million military-aid package previously appropriated by Congress, used the call with Zelensky to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.
Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian oil and gas company , from 2014 to 2019. Trump and his allies have, without evidence, accused Joe Biden of using his power as vice president to urge Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma in order to protect Hunter Biden.
The intelligence committee held a number of public and private hearings last month with more than a dozen fact witnesses, all of whom were career nonpartisan national-security and foreign-service officers.