Trump impeachment looms as US house committee approves charges
The US House of Representatives have taken President Donald Trump closer to being impeached after approving two charges against him on Friday, in relation to his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.
The house judiciary committee voted 23-17 in favour of charging Trump with abuse of power and obstructing House Democrats’ efforts to investigate the Ukraine scandal.
Trump will become the third US President to be impeached if the full Democratic-led House votes against him next week, which would set up a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate.
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The Republicans have so far shown no sign of wanting to remove him from office, however.
Trump is accused of endangering the US Constitution, jeopardising national security and undermining the integrity of the 2020 election by asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate rival Biden.
“Today is a solemn and sad day,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler, the judiciary committee’s Democratic chairman. “For the third time in a little over a century and a half, the House Judiciary Committee has voted articles of impeachment against the president.”
Republicans have accused the Democrats of a politically motivated stunt to overturn Trump’s surprise 2016 election victory a year out from the next election.
“Impeachment is a hoax. It’s a sham,” Trump told reporters at the White House after the committee’s vote. “There was nothing done wrong. To use the power of impeachment for this nonsense is an embarrassment to this country.”
It would see Trump go on trial in the Senate in January just as his re-election campaign picks up speed.
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The President said Americans “are absolutely disgusted” with the process, but added that it was benefiting him.
“It’s a very sad thing for our country, but it seems to be good for me politically,” Trump said.
Former vice-president Biden is the leading Democratic candidate to face Trump in the next election.