Trump, hours before impeachment vote, says 'no crime,' 'crazy!'

The president defended himself as the House Judiciary Committee considers abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges.
Image: President Donald Trump, with first lady Melania Trump, speaks during a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House
President Donald Trump, with first lady Melania Trump, speaks during a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House on Dec. 11, 2019.Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

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By Allan Smith

President Donald Trump insisted Thursday that he committed "no crime," speaking out hours before the House Judiciary Committee is set to vote on articles of impeachment alleging the president abused his power and obstructed Congress.

Trump spent his early morning hours posting his thoughts and retweeting dozens of supporters and allies.

"I did nothing wrong," he tweeted. "This will be the first Impeachment ever where there was no crime. They don't even allege a crime. Crazy!"

"No crime!" he later added.

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Trump's posts came after the Judiciary Committee debated the articles Wednesday night for more than three hours, with Democrats arguing Trump must be held accountable for his efforts to have Ukraine investigate the Bidens, while Republican lawmakers said the only abuse of power was committed by congressional Democrats.

The Judiciary Committee is set to vote on the articles of impeachment later Thursday. If one or more passes the panel, they will go to the floor for a full vote of the House, likely next week. Then the case would go to the Senate for a trial to remove the president, which requires a two-thirds vote.

The White House is suggesting that Trump is open to whatever kind of process the Senate decides on.

"The president has done nothing wrong, and the House should stop this ridiculous illegitimate impeachment sham, but he is absolutely ready for anything in the Senate," deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said.

Privately, a source familiar with the strategy cautions that Trump wants two things: to ensure the process in the Senate is fair, and that a trial gives the president the due process rights that the White House believes he was deprived of in the House.

As some of the Republicans, including Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., have indicated, there's still uncertainty on whether Trump will insist witnesses will be called to testify on his behalf.

On Tuesday, Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against Trump, with Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., saying his committee would consider articles of impeachment on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charging Trump "with committing high crimes and misdemeanors."

Nadler said those articles were in response to Trump allegedly soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election, compromising national security, threatening the integrity of the upcoming election and concealing evidence from Congress and the American people.

The draft articles allege Trump "corruptly solicited the government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations" into the Bidens and a conspiracy theory alleging Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. Trump also "conditioned two official acts on the public announcements that he requested," Democrats wrote, citing almost $400 million in military aid and an official White House meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Hallie Jackson contributed.