The United States House Judiciary Committee on Friday approved two impeachment charges against President Donald Trump, setting up the process for a full House of Representatives vote, AFP reported.
The two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of the Congress – are likely to be voted on next week.
Trump is the fourth president in the United States’ history to face impeachment charges, according to BBC. Democrats and Republicans voted along party lines with 23 to 17 votes for the two impeachment articles.
The president is accused of obstructing Congress by not cooperating with the investigation of the House. Democratic Party politicians said that Trump had “betrayed the nation” as he had acted “corruptly”.
Allegations against Trump include that the president tried to coerce his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in a corruption case. Joe Biden is a frontrunner for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidency.
Trump allegedly tried to use military aid sought by Ukraine, which is facing Russian military aggression, as leverage to put pressure on Zelensky. The House Intelligence Committee has already concluded that Trump abused his power.
A Senate hearing to decide whether the United States president will be removed from office is expected early next year, The Guardian reported.
Following the vote on Friday, the White House called the actions a “desperate charade” with Trump’s Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham saying that the committee’s approval of the impeachment articles “has reached its shameful end”, according to AFP. “The President looks forward to receiving in the Senate the fair treatment and due process which continues to be disgracefully denied to him by the House,” Grisham said.
Trump and the White House have consistently alleged that the impeachment is politically motivated, and the president has called it a “witch hunt”.