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Tue. 9:35 a.m.: Democrats unveil 2 articles of impeachment against Trump

From left House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal and Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Adam Schiff, D-Calif., unveil articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump during a news conference minutes ago on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment this morning against President Donald Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — pushing toward historic votes over charges he corrupted the U.S. election process and endangered national security.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, flanked by the chairmen of the impeachment inquiry committees, stood at the Capitol in what she called a “solemn act.” Voting is expected in a matter of days in the Judiciary Committee and by Christmas in the full House.

Trump insisted he did “NOTHING” wrong. Trump tweeted ahead of the announcement that impeaching a president with a record like his would be “sheer Political Madness!”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the Judiciary chairman announcing the charges, said, “He endangers our democracy, he endangers our national security. Our next election is at risk… That is why we must act now.”

In drafting the articles of impeachment, Pelosi is facing a legal and political challenge of balancing the views of her majority while hitting the Constitution’s bar of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Some liberal lawmakers wanted more expansive charges encompassing the findings from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Centrist Democrats preferred to keep the impeachment articles more focused on Trump’s actions toward Ukraine. House Democrats have announced two articles of impeachment charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The charges unveiled this morning stem from accusations that Trump put U.S. elections and national security at risk by asking Ukraine to investigate his rivals, including Democrat Joe Biden, while withholding needed military aid. They say he then tried to obstruct Congress’ investigation.

Trump has said the charges are not true.

When Pelosi was asked Monday if she has enough votes to impeach the Republican president, Pelosi leader said she would let House lawmakers vote their conscience.

“On an issue like this, we don’t count the votes. People will just make their voices known on it,” Pelosi said at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council. “I haven’t counted votes, nor will I.”

The outcome appears increasingly set as the House prepares to vote, as it has only three times in history against a U.S. president.

Trump, who has declined to mount a defense in the impeachment proceedings, tweeted this morning, “To Impeach a President who has proven through results, including producing perhaps the strongest economy in our country’s history, to have one of the most successful presidencies ever, and most importantly, who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness! #2020Election.”

The president also spent part of Monday tweeting against the impeachment proceedings. He and his allies have called the process “absurd.”