House Democrats Announce Articles of Impeachment

WSJ What's News
|

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

The House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment against President trump including abuse of power. Judiciary Committee Chair jerrold Nadler made the announcement is an impeachable offense for the president. Is it into exercise the powers of his public office to obtain an improper personal benefit while ignoring or in injuring during the national interest. That is exactly what President Trump did when he solicited and pressured Ukraine to interfere in our two thousand twenty presidential election thus damaging our national security undermining the integrity of the next election and violating his oath to the American people the second article relates to obstruction of Congress. Democrats alleged president trump prevented at least nine officials goals from testifying and blocked the federal government from sharing documents with lawmakers joining me. Now Is Wall Street Journal reporter Chaban Hughes Chevron what can you tell us about. Democrats strategy in narrowing down to two articles of impeachment against the President and Democrats had a couple of big goals. They wanted to keep their caucus together and they wanted to present a case to the American people that was clear and muddled both of those goals. Help explain why. Democrats limited their articles of impeachment only to focus on obstruction of congress and abuse of power. For what was left out was a charge of obstruction of justice and what's significant about that is obstruction of justice. Is the charge that would have covered did donald trump's actions as detailed and special counsel Robert Muller's report and that report. Mr Muller painted a picture of a president who obstructed justice on at least five occasions according to an analysis by Democrats and others that includes trying to get then White House is counsel Don mcgann to force Robert Mueller out of office to basically take him off of the probe and then in other cases to try to get Mr Muller to narrow his probe that focused only on future meddling and what happened in twenty sixteen for a lot of Democrats especially the thirty one democrats in the district's but Donald Trump won. That would have been a bridge too far it would have been a stretch. Some of those Democrats had said the only reason they were willing to vote for articles. Live impeachment this time with because of the Ukraine probe. Not because of anything that had happened before. And then and that's he Pelosi wanted to keep her caucus together. I'm glad you mentioned that. Because of course this impeachment inquiry is proceeding against the backdrop of heading into the two thousand twenty elections. And I'm curious how much that plays into to the calculus here in terms of which articles to seek and how for Democrats are willing to go here. Democrats have publicly stated that their their motivations are not at all political that they're acting out of a desire to really stand up for the constitution. But it's pretty clear that electoral L. Politics are certainly in the backdrop and that it does help. Democrats limit their risk by focusing only on two articles of impeachment. uh-huh it inoculate them from charges. That Democrats are broadly negative against Mr Trump and are willing to throw an entire book. Look at him without thoughtfulness consideration. Chaban as we look forward to potentially seeing this on the House floor. How might those electoral politics play out out there? Well in a couple of ways most prominently. The politics will play out in terms of the number of votes that has democrats amass. Nancy Pelosi has a reputation for never bringing something to the floor. That won't pass. She said unless you're passing legislation or resolutions. All you're doing is having a conversation but there is still the risk that some of those thirty one democrats could break with her. So what we are watching for are the numbers of Democrats who ended up defecting and then both parties have been saying that the Senate is unlikely to impeach the president we would need a two-thirds majority they're exactly and Republicans have fifty three votes in the Senate compared with forty seven for Democrats. So what this means is a full twenty. Twenty Republicans would have to side with Democrats and vote to convict the president which is why that seems unlikely. Now Democratic senator. Chris Murphy gave a very very interesting interview last week in which he said he thought as many as five Republicans might side with Democrats and vote in favor of conviction so that would show a party. Hardy rift that would be significant but clearly a far cry from the numbers needed for a conviction. If President Trump Wall Street Journal reporter show Von Hughes keeping keeping us up to date on all the impeachment proceedings

Coming up next