Trump impeachment: US House judiciary panel to vote

U.S. President Donald Trump. (File Photo: IANS)

Washington: A US House of Representatives panel is expected to approve impeachment charges against President Donald Trump on Friday in a historic day at the Capitol.

The judiciary committee is debating two articles of impeachment alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the BBC reported.

Day two of the judiciary committee’s marathon session on Thursday saw Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, try to have the first impeachment charge against Trump deleted.

But his amendment was rejected after hours of debate on a 23-17 party-line vote.

“This notion of abuse of power is the lowest of low-energy impeachment theories,” said Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, whose own proposed amendment was also defeated.

But Democrats rebuked Republicans for their loyalty to Trump.

“Is any one of my colleagues willing to say that it is ever OK for a President of the US to invite foreign interference in our elections?” asked Pramila Jayapal, an Indian-American Washington Democrat.

Trump is accused of trying to force Ukraine to launch a corruption investigation into his political rival Joe Biden, a leading Democratic contender for the White House next year; and obstruction of Congress for stonewalling the House investigation.

The Democrats who run the committee have agreed the language of the nine pages detailing the charges, saying that Trump “betrayed the nation” by acting “corruptly”.

A full vote by the Democratic-run House next week will likely make him the third US President ever impeached, said the BBC.

But the Senate, controlled by the Republicans, is not expected to remove him from office.

“No crime,” the US President tweeted on Thursday.