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Democrats lay out case for impeachment against Trump

AFP
Washington
Democrats laid out the case for the impeachment of President Donald Trump on Monday as they prepared to issue formal charges against the US leader.
Four months after an anonymous whistleblower sparked the investigation of Trump for seeking illicit political favors from Ukraine, Democrats said there was clear evidence that he had committed bribery, abused his power, and obstructed the investigation.
“President Trump put himself before country. These facts are not in dispute,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said.
Facing an almost certain vote in the coming weeks to make Trump the third president impeached and placed on trial, Doug Collins, the senior Republican on the committee, countered that the effort was a simply “a good PR move” for Democrats ahead of next year’s national elections.
“It’s all political,” Collins said, dismissing the allegations. “This is all about a clock and a calendar.”
It was not clear whether Trump was watching the proceedings that could cast a dark stain on his presidency.
“Witch Hunt,” he tweeted as the hearing got under way.
Tempers flared as Republicans tried to derail the hearing at its opening with procedural moves, and a lone protestor was ejected after shouting in the president’s defence.
“We voted for Donald Trump and Americans are sick of this impeachment... Trump is innocent,” he shouted.
Trump is accused of abusing his powers by pressuring Ukraine to announce an investigation into former vice president Joe Biden, his potential challenger in the 2020 election.