Read the articles of impeachment against President Trump

By Audrey McNamara

/ CBS News

Dems announce Trump articles of impeachment

House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The text of the articles were later released. Read them below.

"Today, in service to our duty to the Constitution and to our country, the House Committee on the Judiciaries is introducing two articles of impeachment, charging the President of the United States Donald J. Trump with committing high crimes and misdemeanors," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said at a press conference announcing the articles.

The announcement came after weeks of testimony from high-profile witnesses in the impeachment inquiry, on top of months of speculation over the decision to impeach a sitting president. Only two presidents have been tried for impeachment in American history, and neither have resulted in a conviction and removal.

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Abuse of Power

"The first article is abuse of power. It is an impeachable offense for the president to exercise the powers of his public office to obtain an improper personal benefit while ignoring or injuring the national interest," Nadler said. "That is exactly what President Trump did when he solicited and pressured Ukraine to interfere in 2020 presidential election."

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"President Trump also sought to pressure the government of Ukraine to take these steps by conditioning official United States government acts of significant value to Ukraine on its public announcement of the investigations," the first article reads. "President Trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct for corrupt purposes in pursuit of personal political benefit."

The abuse charge is outlined in three categories: corruptly soliciting the government of Ukraine for personal benefit, conditioning two official acts on public announcements he requested, and continuing to "openly and corruptly" solicit Ukraine to open the original investigations.

"Faced with the public revelation of his actions, President Trump ultimately released the military and security assistance to the Government of Ukraine, but has persisted in openly and corruptly urging and soliciting Ukraine to undertake investigations for his personal political benefit," reads the first article of impeachment.

Obstruction of Congress

Nadler and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) explained on Tuesday that the second article arose after the impeachment inquiry had already begun.

"When the president got caught, he committed his second impeachable act: obstruction of Congress of the very ability to make sure that no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States," Schiff said.

The second article lists three specific instances in which President Trump defied the House during the impeachment inquiry. Two instances relate to the withholding of documents at the direction of the president despite a subpoena, and the third regards Mr. Trump's directive to "current and former Executive Branch officials" not to comply with committee subpoenas for testimony.

"In violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed – Donald J. Trump has directed the unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives pursuant to its 'sole Power of Impeachment,'" reads the second article of impeachment.

Read the impeachment articles here:

What's Next?

Later this week, the House Judiciary Committee will meet to consider the articles of impeachment, according to Nadler. That committee will then make a recommendation to the full House of Representatives.

"We do not take this action lightly," Nadler said. "But we have taken an oath to defend the Constitution, and unlike President Trump, we understand that our duty first and foremost is to protect the Constitution and to protect the interests of the American people. That is why we must take this solemn step today."

President Trump, in a tweet Tuesday ahead of the House Democrats' announcement, said, "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!"

First published on December 10, 2019 / 11:17 AM

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