US House panel battles over Donald Trump impeachment articles

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Tribe reiterated his call to impeach in a November op-ed for Newsweek in which he referred to Trump as America's "anti-president", an embodiment of the "demagogue" whom Alexander Hamilton predicted would one day require impeachment to be removed from office.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham insisted Thursday that he doesn't need "any witnesses at all" if the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump come before his committee and that his goal is to stop the matter as "soon as possible for the good of the country". The full Democratic-led House is likely to follow suit next week, making Trump the third president in USA history to be impeached. Democratic leadership sources say they could lose more than at least two moderate Democrats on the impeachment votes, but there's no concern about major defections that could endanger the articles.

Republicans also moved to strike the first charge of abuse of power but the committee rejected it on a party-line vote.

Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) saying "the rules have been thrown out the window here in this process" while slamming the "closed-door hearings in the basement" held by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). "This committee is amazingly now on such a clock and calendar process that they don't care - facts be damned".

The first article accuses Trump of withholding US military aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine in an attempt to pressure that nation to investigate his political rivals.

But it was not yet clear whether Trump was ready to abandon his demand for witnesses, such as Biden, which would trigger demands from Democrats for high-profile Trump administration witnesses.

"President Trump has not only abused his power in the upcoming election he has used a foreign power to do it", said Representative Zoe Lofgren, a senior Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee. They said "abuse of power" was a catch-all for Democratic complaints about Mr Trump.

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"I believe the president abused the power of his office, putting his own interest above the needs of our nation", McBath said.

Democrats chided Republicans for their loyalty to Mr Trump. "We're here because President Trump tried to sabotage that fragile process". Democrats have alleged that Trump withheld aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigations into the former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company that has always been accused of corruption, which the Trump administration and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials have denied. Voters in the United Kingdom are turning out for a general election.

"This is the articles that we wrote after all of these hearings and all these grand pronouncements and all these thoughts of crimes in plain sight?"

The White House has refused to participate in the House inquiry, ordering key figures swept up in the Ukraine saga not to testify, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

Tribe said that if Trump continued to refuse compliance with the investigation and deny the Constitutional power of the House of Representatives to proceed with impeachment, then his actions would be tantamount to those of a dictator.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters the full House would take up the articles of impeachment next week if approved by the committee. Instead, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts would be called in to preside over the Senate trial, and any tied motions would fail.

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