Trump impeachment has moved to next stage, Pelosi says
The process of impeaching President Donald Trump has formally moved to the next stage, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said.
She added that “the president leaves us no choice but to act” as she said the House of Representatives was moving forward to draft articles of impeachment.
It comes after Donald Trump told Democrats earlier on Thursday that if they are going to impeach him “do it now, fast”, saying he wants to expose “how corrupt our system is”.
Writing on Twitter, the US president claimed his political rivals “have no impeachment case and are demeaning our country”.
“But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy,” he added.
“Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our country can get back to business.”
Mr Trump claimed an impeachment trial would reveal “for the first time how corrupt our system really is”.
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“I was elected to ‘clean the swamp,’ and that’s what I am doing!”, he tweeted.
Ms Pelosi met behind closed doors with her Democratic caucus on Wednesday when she asked: “Are you ready?”, the Associated Press news agency reported.
The answer was a resounding yes, people in the room told AP.
The party has claimed Mr Trump used his position to solicit foreign interference to boost his chances of re-election next year.
In its impeachment report released earlier this week, Democrats say that not only did the president seek overseas help for his re-election campaign, but that he undermined national security in doing so.
The report said there was evidence that Mr Trump had conducted a “month’s long effort” to “use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election”.
During Congress impeachment hearings, Mr Trump was accused of trying to put political pressure on Ukraine to dig up dirt on the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
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Democrats say that Mr Trump used the offer of military aid and the prospect of a visit to the White House to encourage the Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to find information that would politically benefit his election campaign next year.
Laying out their impeachment case against the president, the party has argued Mr Trump “placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States”.
They add that the president has made an “unprecedented” effort to obstruct the investigation after he refused to provide testimony from himself, or his advisers.
The president has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.