WASHINGTON — Speeding toward impeachment, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said Sunday he expects the committee to vote soon on charges against President Donald Trump that will focus on abuse of power on Ukraine and obstruction in the congressional inquiry.
“We’ll bring articles of impeachment presumably before the committee at some point later in the week,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.,
Democrats have been working through the weekend as articles are being drafted and committee members prepare for a hearing Monday to hear evidence from the House Intelligence Committee, which investigated Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
Democrats say Trump abused his power in the July 25 phone call when he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for a favor and engaged in bribery by withholding nearly $400 million in military aide that Ukraine depends on to counter Russian aggression.
Nadler, in two television interviews, declined to say ultimately how many articles of impeachment Democrats will present but said they will involve “certainly abuse of power” and likely “obstruction of Congress.” He said final decisions will come after Monday’s hearing, based on the level of evidence as well as discussions with House leadership and the Democratic caucus.
He would not commit to including the evidence of obstruction of justice in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report as part of the articles of impeachment. In that report, Mueller said he could not determine that Trump’s campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia. But Mueller said he could not exonerate Trump of obstructing justice in the probe and left it for Congress to determine.
“We have to make sure the next elections are conducted with integrity and not with foreign assistance,” Nadler said. “There’s overwhelming evidence, uncontested by the Republicans that the president put himself before the country.”
“He completely defied participation in the congressional investigation in order to hide his role,” Nadler said.
If the Judiciary Committee approves articles by Friday that would set up a final impeachment vote in the days before Christmas.
Nadler spoke on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CNN’s “State of the Union.”