WASHINGTON (AP) — As Washington braces for this week’s expected vote to impeach President Donald Trump, partisan battle lines hardened on Sunday, with Democrats defending impeachment even if Trump isn’t removed from office and Republicans denouncing the integrity of the constitutional process.
The Democratic-controlled House planned to vote Wednesday on two articles of impeachment against the Republican president, and the decision whether to make Trump the third U.S. president in history to be impeached was expected to play out along party lines. There is some debate between the White House and GOP-run Senate about the contours of the Senate trial anticipated in January, but there seems little doubt the Senate would acquit Trump.
But a seemingly predetermined result has not convinced Democrats that their impeachment effort, which was prompted by Trump’s push to have Ukraine investigate a Trump political foe, was in vain. Framing the matter as a national security issue, the chairman of the House committee that led the investigation insisted it was “not a failure in the sense of our constitutional duty in the House.”
“This misconduct goes on, the threat to our election integrity coming up goes on,” said Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who heads the House Intelligence Committee. “It’s a clear and present danger, I think, to our democracy, and not something that we can turn away from simply because the Republicans in the House refuse to do their duty, and continuing to put the person of the president above their personal obligation.”