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WATCH: Nadler’s full opening statement in House Judiciary markup of the impeachment articles

Kicking off the House Judiciary Committee’s markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, committee chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., emphasized the need to move forward with impeachment to preserve the integrity of the 2020 election.

“If our elections are corrupt, everything is corrupt,” Nadler said, defending his party against Republican criticism that Democrats are rushing the impeachment process.

Democrats on Tuesday unveiled the two articles of impeachment –abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The first article accuses Trump of withholding U.S. military aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine in an attempt to pressure that nation to investigate his political rivals.

The second article alleges Trump impeded Congress’ efforts to investigate his actions through the impeachment inquiry. Nadler argued during Wednesday’s committee hearing that Trump’s refusal to cooperate with lawmakers is unprecedented.

“We have never, in the history of our nation, see a president categorically defy Congress in this manner,” Nadler said.

The House Judiciary Committee is marking up the articles Wednesday and Thursday. The committee is then expected to approve the articles, which would then send them to the full House of Representatives for a vote.