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Democrats to introduce articles of impeachment against Trump

Washington, Dec 10 (IANS) US House Democrats will on Tuesday announce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

Two articles of impeachment focusing on abuse of power and obstructing Congress were expected to be unveiled, Xinhua news agency quoted The Washington Post as saying in a report on Monday night citing sources who cautioned the plan was yet to be finalized.

Under the current plan, the House Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for writing articles of impeachment, would vote on the articles on Thursday, the newspaper said in its report.

A full House vote will take place next week, it added.

The news broke out only hours after the House Judiciary panel concluded its second and final hearing in the Trump impeachment proceeding on Monday.

The marathon hearing that lasted nearly 10 hours allowed the attorneys to present their findings from the first phase of the investigation, who provided conflicting accounts of Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, as Democrats and Republicans reiterated their positions.

In his closing statement on Monday evening, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler accused Trump of having “put himself before his country”.

“I am struck by the fact that my Republican colleagues have offered no serious scrutiny of the evidence at hand. They have talked about everything else, but they have offered not one substantive word in the President’s defence,” the said.

Doug Collins, the top Republican on the panel, said it will “be the first impeachment that is partisan, and facts are not agreed to”.

House Democrats have been looking into whether Trump abused his office by pressuring Ukraine into launching investigations that could benefit him politically.

Lawmakers have also been examining whether the Republican conditioned a White House meeting or military aid to Ukraine on those probes.

The White House has not participated in the impeachment proceeding, accusing Democrats of an unfair process.

Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing or a “quid pro quo”, tweeted on Monday that the impeachment proceeding was a “disgrace”.

According to the US constitution, the House will have the sole power of impeachment, while the Senate can try all impeachments.

Trump will be impeached if the House approves any of the articles of impeachment the Judiciary Committee has recommended by a simple majority vote.

But conviction can only happen in the Senate and requires at least two-thirds of its members, or 67 senators, to vote in favour after a trial.

Currently, the Senate has 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two Independents.

–IANS

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