Democrats to announce abuse of power, obstruction of Congress articles of impeachment against Trump

Five people familiar with the discussions said Democrats plan to bring two articles against the president: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Image: House Dem Mueller Presser
The House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., heard from lawyers for both parties for more than nine hours on findings from the Intelligence Committee's impeachment inquiry.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images file

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By Alex Moe, Alex Johnson, Geoff Bennett, Heidi Przybyla and Leigh Ann Caldwell

Democrats plan to announce two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — against President Donald Trump on Tuesday, multiple sources told NBC News on Monday night.

The House Judiciary Committee heard from lawyers for both parties for more than nine hours on findings from the Intelligence Committee's impeachment inquiry over allegations that Trump withheld aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

Democrats said during the hearing that the president violated his oath of office by jeopardizing national security for personal gain and by trying to interfere in the 2020 election. They also laid out a case for obstruction of Congress by highlighting Trump's refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas in the impeachment inquiry.

Five sources familiar with the impeachment discussions disclosed the plans on condition of anonymity after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., met with leaders of committees involved in the impeachment inquiry, including Adam Schiff of California, chairman of the Intelligence Committee; Jerrold Nadler of New York, chairman of the Judiciary Committee; Eliot Engel of New York, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Maxine Waters of California, chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee.

Pelosi's office announced late Monday that the leaders of the various committees would "announce the next steps in the House impeachment inquiry" during a 9 a.m. ET news conference on Tuesday.

The sources cautioned that the plans weren't final until an official announcement is made. But asked whether the announcement on Tuesday would be about articles of impeachment, Engel said: "Yeah, everything."

"I can make the case for two articles," Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., who serves on the Judiciary Committee, said on MSNBC Monday night.

In closing statements during the marathon Judiciary Committee hearing, Doug Collins of Georgia, the committee's ranking Republican, denounced what he called "an impeachment scam" and questioned Democrats' motives.

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"We have become a rubber stamp," he said, alleging that Democrats were acting out of spite over Trump's election in 2016.

But Nadler argued that Trump violated his oath of office by pressuring Ukraine to announce an investigation into Biden and other Democrats, jeopardizing national security and the integrity of U.S. elections.

"I am struck by the fact that my Republican colleagues have offered no serious scrutiny of the evidence at hand," he said. "They have talked about everything else, but they have offered not one substantive word in the president's defense."

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee plan to meet early Tuesday to continue discussions.