The Democrats dropped the hammer this morning on President Trump, announcing two articles of impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The mood was best expressed by Maxine Waters’s glorious side-eye:
House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler explained the charges: President Trump solicited Ukraine to announce an investigation into rival Joe Biden, which Democrats say is an abuse of power. The president’s ensuing efforts to hide those actions obstructed Congress, said Nadler. Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Nadler framed their actions as safeguarding the Constitution. “Unlike President Trump, we understand that our duty first and foremost is to protect the Constitution and to protect the American people. That is why we must take this solemn step today,” said Nadler.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) December 10, 2019
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff had a different take, saying that Trump forced their hand: “The actions of President Trump left Congress no choice,” he said. “To do nothing would make us complicit.” He called the evidence “overwhelming and uncontested” and explained that the other procedural option, waiting for months-long legal action over the White House witnesses and documents, would be tantamount to “letting him cheat in one more election.”
Trump tweeted prolifically during and after the press conference that the charges are “ridiculous,” “political madness” and a “WITCH HUNT,” emphasizing that he “has done NOTHING wrong.”
Next up, the Judiciary Committee will consider the charges and make a recommendation to the House of Representatives, which is expected to vote on them next week.
Our eyes were on Waters. As the press conference closed and reporters’ questions descended, a hot mike caught her prodding her colleagues off the stage: “Lets go lets go lets go.”