US President Donald Trump accused Democrats of "attempted coup" and declaring war on American democracy as they seek to remove him from office, Reuters reported on Wednesday (Dec. 18).
House Democrats accuse Trump of abusing his power by asking Ukraine to investigate Biden, a former U.S. vice president, and his son Hunter's business dealings in the country. Trump is also accused of obstructing the congressional investigation into the matter. Trump’s remarks came in a signed letter addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“By proceeding with your invalid impeachment, you are violating your oaths of office, you are breaking your allegiance to the Constitution, and you are declaring open war on American Democracy,” Trump wrote. “You view democracy as your enemy!”
The letter was delivered hours after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky who will control an impeachment trial should the House vote as expected on Wednesday to bring formal charges against Trump, rebuffed a Democratic request to call new witnesses and dismissed the process as a “sloppy … fishing expedition”.
McConnell also signalled that members of Trump’s party will support him and vote to acquit him of the charges, thereby preventing the president’s removal from office.
The vote would make Trump only the third president to be impeached, after Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. The charges would then be sent to the Republican-controlled Senate for trial, setting up a much more challenging constitutional bar: no president has ever been convicted and removed from office, Richard Nixon having resigned in 1974 before a vote on articles of impeachment.
According to the Washington Post/ABC News poll, the public remains sharply divided on the question of whether Trump should be removed. The poll found that 49% support removal, compared with 46% who oppose it.
Trump on Wednesday denied any wrongdoing, tweeting:
"Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG! A terrible Thing. Read the transcripts. This should never happen to another President again. Say a PRAYER!"
With reporting by Reuters and The Guardian