/2020 Elections: House Democrats Expected to Unveil Articles of Impeachment Against Trump
2020 Elections: House Democrats Expected to Unveil Articles of Impeachment Against Trump

2020 Elections: House Democrats Expected to Unveil Articles of Impeachment Against Trump

2020 Elections:

Democratic leaders unveiled articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

2020 Elections: Nicholas Fandos

WASHINGTON — House Democratic leaders on Tuesday formally called for President Trump’s removal from office, asserting that he “ignored and injured the interests of the nation” in two articles of impeachment that charged him with abusing his power and obstructing Congress.

In nine short pages, the draft articles accused Mr. Trump of carrying out a scheme “corruptly soliciting” election assistance from the government of Ukraine in the form of investigations that would smear his Democratic political rivals. To do so, Democrats charged, Mr. Trump used as leverage two “official acts”: the delivery of $391 million in security assistance and a White House meeting for Ukraine’s president.

“In all of this, President Trump abused the powers of the presidency by ignoring and injuring national security and other vital national interests to obtain an improper personal political benefit,” according to a draft of the first article. “He has also betrayed the nation by abusing his office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections.”

A second article charges that by ordering across-the-board defiance of House subpoenas for testimony and documents related to the Ukraine matter, the president engaged in “unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance” that harmed the House’s constitutional rights.

Listen to ‘The Daily’: The Articles of Impeachment

House Democrats appear united in their charge that the president abused his power and obstructed Congress. Behind the scenes, this wasn’t always the case.

transcript

transcript

2020 Elections: Listen to ‘The Daily’: The Articles of Impeachment

Hosted by Michael Barbaro, produced by Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak and Michael Simon Johnson, and edited by Dave Shaw and Lisa Tobin

House Democrats appear united in their charge that the president abused his power and obstructed Congress. Behind the scenes, this wasn’t always the case.

michael barbaro

From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is “The Daily.”

Today: House Democratic leaders have introduced two articles of impeachment against President Trump, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. My colleague Nick Fandos on the unseen fight among Democrats over whether two articles of impeachment was enough. It’s Wednesday, December 11.

Nick, how would you characterize the impeachment inquiry that we have all watched playing out over the past few weeks?

nicholas fandos

So in an odd sense, there has been, for the last month or so, an air of inevitability about this inquiry, since Democrats decided to take it in the public and began holding fact-finding hearings, writing a written report that they released to the public, talking about the president’s pressure campaign on Ukraine. It seemed to all of us watching this closely that it was only going to end in one place, and that was with the impeachment of the president of the United States. But at the same time, privately, behind the scenes, there was a debate going on about one of the most fundamental unanswered questions about this. What exactly were they going to charge the president with? What was the case against him going to encompass?

michael barbaro

Right. What would be the articles of impeachment?

nicholas fandos

That’s right, the constitutional term for charges, prosecutorial charges brought by the House against the president.

michael barbaro

And what exactly is this debate? I mean, if there have been public hearings, if there has been a report, and if there’s a unified front on just about everything leading up to that, what exactly is the debate?

nicholas fandos

Well, so, to answer that question, you have to go back a little ways to the summer and early fall, before most of us ever heard about Ukraine and what Rudy Giuliani or President Trump were trying to accomplish there, when the debate in Congress as it had to do with impeachment was really centered on another set of facts, on another country, on another report, and that was —

archived recording 1

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the investigating —

archived recording 2

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

archived recording 3

Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

nicholas fandos

— Bob Mueller, the special counsel, and his report on Russian election interference in the 2016 campaign and whether or not President Trump had illegally obstructed justice when he tried through various means to try and undercut or thwart that investigation.

michael barbaro

I remember that. We did a few episodes on the subject.

nicholas fandos

We did, although it’s easy to forget now. But Democrats spent months with Mueller’s report. There was very serious evidence before them that the president had, for instance, instructed his White House counsel to fire Mueller early in the investigation, had tried to instruct his attorney general to take control of the investigation again and curtail it so the president wasn’t in its sights. But as week after week went by, they struggled to figure out how to make it urgent, how to bring it to life, because the report, frankly, didn’t come to firm conclusions itself about legality. It was written in this kind of dense style that’s hard to penetrate for most people. And so the issue, as much as they tried, never quite caught on with the public.

archived recording (veronica escobar)

That process other than the criminal justice system for accusing a president of wrongdoing, is that impeachment?

nicholas fandos

They put on a series of hearings, including with Mueller himself —

archived recording (robert mueller)

I’m not going to comment on that.

nicholas fandos

— and still couldn’t unite their caucus around moving towards impeachment on this issue. And you started to see a not insubstantial number of Democrats who felt fervently that they should move forward with impeachment even if the public wasn’t fully on board with this.

michael barbaro

Mm-hmm.

nicholas fandos

But enough were holding back that there was no way they were going to have the votes to make that happen, and Speaker Pelosi wasn’t going to fully let that happen. So that was basically the state of affairs this fall when, out of nowhere, an anonymous whistle-blower complaint fell into the lap of the House Intelligence Committee and, within a couple of weeks, turned out to be what we now know as the “Ukraine affair.”

michael barbaro

Right. And this suddenly unites just about all Democrats. It’s different.

nicholas fandos

It’s remarkable. In a very short period of time, you have moderate Democrats who were opposed, vocally opposed, to moving forward with an impeachment investigation based on the grounds of the Mueller report coming forward and enthusiastically volunteering not only that they’re O.K. with an inquiry, but if these charges, these suspicions are proven out to be true, they think the president should be outright impeached, that they should take the next step and go all the way there. And so there is an active group of progressive lawmakers that still want to see the Mueller case live on, that don’t want to completely set it aside. They’re forced to move that to the back burner for the two months that it ends up taking to investigate what really went down between the president and Ukraine.

archived recording (nancy pelosi)

Therefore, today, I’m announcing the House of Representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry.

michael barbaro

And so, Nick, how does all of this that you have just told us relate to the question of, what would be the articles of impeachment brought against President Trump?

nicholas fandos

So as the facts of the Ukraine investigation become clearer, as they begin to crystallize as time goes on, the debate starts to naturally shift towards, O.K., so now, what are we going to do about it? We figured out what happened. What do we want to charge the president with? And as that discussion begins to happen around Ukraine articles, it becomes a natural time to say, hey, we’ve got this other thing, these developed set of facts, this investigation. It’s sitting on the back burner, good to go. Do we want to bring that in and marry it up? And in part, that’s a natural discussion as this process goes on, because there’s enough similarity between what’s being alleged in the Ukraine investigation, and particularly President Trump’s attempts to obstruct the House’s impeachment investigation with the earlier Mueller case, and the president trying to conceal his actions from another investigator.

michael barbaro

Right.

nicholas fandos

But as this process moves forward and comes back into the House Judiciary Committee, which is the panel that traditionally is tasked with drawing up articles of impeachment, with drawing up the charges to recommend what the House ought to do about it, this becomes a very live issue. This isn’t just academic anymore, because they have to decide in a matter of a couple weeks, what are we going to charge the president with? And so it’s in that context in the last couple of weeks that Speaker Nancy Pelosi starts to more directly turn to the chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Intelligence Committee, her kind of top lieutenants in the House, to start debating this problem. And it really culminates in a meeting in the speaker’s office last Thursday.

michael barbaro

We’ll be right back.

So, Nick, what happens last Thursday?

archived recording (nancy pelosi)

The president has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our election.

nicholas fandos

So Thursday morning, as you may remember, Speaker Pelosi goes out before television cameras, and addresses the nation, and says —

archived recording (nancy pelosi)

The facts are uncontested.

nicholas fandos

At this point, we have seen enough evidence.

archived recording (nancy pelosi)

Today, I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment.

nicholas fandos

And I’m directing my House chairmen to begin drafting articles of impeachment.

michael barbaro

Mm-hmm.

nicholas fandos

Well, a few hours later, Pelosi meets with those chairmen in her office suite. It’s already decorated for Christmas. They all sit around a wooden dining room table. There’s a portrait of Abraham Lincoln looking down at them. And here are the key players sitting around that table — there’s Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who oversaw the earlier investigation into Bob Mueller’s findings and was the one leading the push towards discussing impeachment around it. He’s the one who’s now going to be tasked with having to move these articles over the finish line. There’s Richie Neal. He’s the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Democrat from Massachusetts, who is going after the president’s tax returns, as it happens, but doesn’t have a particular dog in this fight. There’s Maxine Waters of California from the Financial Services Committee; Carolyn Maloney, the new Oversight Committee chairwoman; Eliot Engel, who’s the Foreign Affairs chairman, other New Yorker; and then Adam Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman who led the Ukraine investigation and really had been the face of the impeachment inquiry for its first two months or so. So it’s clear pretty quickly that this group is divided about exactly how they ought to go forward.

michael barbaro

Hmm.

nicholas fandos

So Jerry Nadler speaks up. And he basically lays out a case for three articles of impeachment. Two of those have to do with Ukraine. And they are that the president abused the power of his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals for his own personal gain, that he conditioned official government acts to help himself, and then that he tried to conceal what had happened from Congress and took extraordinary steps to obstruct their impeachment inquiry. But then a third count of obstruction of justice based on the findings of the Mueller report.

michael barbaro

So he wants to bring back the Mueller report.

nicholas fandos

Exactly. And what he argues is, it’s important that we show a pattern of conduct by the president. Because what he was doing towards Ukraine and the efforts that he’s taken to try and conceal that scheme from Congress, that’s not completely new. Yes, the facts are unique to that case, but we’ve seen this president disregarding the rule of law, disregarding accountability, flagrantly messing with foreign countries as it relates to elections for a long time now, and I think our case is potentially strengthened if we build it out in that way. And by the way, we did a lot of work on this question of obstruction of justice, and it’s not good. And what message would it send if the House of Representatives were to impeach this president and not charge him based on that conduct?

michael barbaro

Right.

nicholas fandos

Does that set a precedent in and of itself?

michael barbaro

Right. And perhaps he just didn’t want to see all that work tossed aside.

nicholas fandos

Yeah, I think that that’s a possibility too. And Nadler gets some backup from some of the other chairs in the room. But then Richie Neal from Massachusetts speaks up. And he says something interesting. He says, we’d do well to remember what happened in 1998 when the Republicans, then in the House majority, impeached another president, Bill Clinton. And they recommended — the Judiciary Committee recommended four articles of impeachment on the House floor. But the Republicans couldn’t all hold together. And two of them failed, casting a kind of odd shadow over their case just as it headed to the Senate for a trial. And his argument essentially was, we ought to bring forward our strongest case and the case that unites us. We don’t want to run risks of putting up articles that might fail on the floor or bring down the strength of what we think this Ukraine case offers. And he’s thinking very much in his mind back to that debate during the summer and the early fall where Democrats really were not united around obstruction of justice and, I think, is fearful that that could happen on the floor and embarrass Democrats.

michael barbaro

So the fear that he’s identifying here is not that the third article of impeachment would fail when it gets to the Republican-controlled Senate, but that it actually might fail in the Democratically-controlled House.

nicholas fandos

Right. And that if it did, it would in some ways undermine the kind of seriousness of the Democrats’ whole case. Because if they’re already expecting not to pick up any Republican votes and this is going to be a party-line impeachment, it looks a heck of a lot worse if you see some Democrats saying, eh, we don’t even necessarily agree with all of these charges. And when many of those Democrats who were opposed to pursuing impeachment based on the Mueller grounds came out in favor of an impeachment inquiry around Ukraine, they made very clear that there was a distinction in their minds.

michael barbaro

Mm-hmm.

nicholas fandos

And as this process has gotten closer towards the drafting of articles of impeachment, they’ve started popping back up and reminding any reporter that wants to listen that they still view those things as something different. And so Neal is cluing in on something very specific and very real here, and it resonates with others in the room. And then there’s Adam Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman. And his argument is that after two months of fact-finding, this Ukraine matter that he’s been scrutinizing is something of a higher order, that is so urgent — has to do with the president’s behavior right now and affecting an ongoing election — that they really ought not let that get bogged down with earlier, hard-fought debates and an older set of facts, that it’s important to make the case to the American people that this is something different and the lights are flashing right now. And that is why the House is acting and why it’s justified in acting, i.e. voting on articles of impeachment. So with all of these different arguments swirling in the air and through a bunch of other conversations with her individual members, Speaker Pelosi is trying to make a final decision about how to go forward.

People who are close to her say that she was always reticent to proceed on an obstruction of justice ground. But she wanted to hear out these arguments and see where her caucus was. But as time went on, it became clear that she identified with the arguments that people like Schiff and Neal were making and some of these freshmen moderate lawmakers were telling her directly, which is, we see Ukraine as something different. We really think this is where our attention ought to be focused. And so with all of that in mind, she begins to guide this group towards a narrower set of charges just around Ukraine, towards jettisoning obstruction of justice for now.

michael barbaro

So she is moving Democrats toward two articles of impeachment, not three.

nicholas fandos

That’s right. So by the end of the meeting last Thursday, the group, reluctantly for some, more enthusiastically for others, arrives at a kind of loose though not quite final agreement that it’s going to be two articles of impeachment, that they’re going to charge the president of the United States most likely with abuse of power and with obstruction of Congress, both having to do with Ukraine.

michael barbaro

And that means that Mueller is basically over as a matter of impeachment.

nicholas fandos

So they arrive at a small workaround, at a kind of gesture at these earlier investigations, including in each of the articles that Democrats ultimately draft language that points back to earlier attempts by President Trump to solicit foreign interference and to obstruct United States government investigations. But that’s as far as they go. They never mention Bob Mueller. They don’t mention obstruction of justice in particular. And so if we saw this — what was once a pretty hot debate moved onto the back burner earlier this fall, it seems now that they’re turning off the stove on it, that for all intents and purposes what was pretty compelling evidence to a lot of lawmakers is basically going to go without an explicit and specified consequence for the president. Now, there are some who will argue that we may not be where we are today, that the House wouldn’t have been ready to impeach Donald Trump on the Ukraine episode, on the Ukraine scheme, if this hadn’t come first, if they hadn’t seen the president behave in the ways that the Mueller report chronicled. But that may be in the eye of the beholder.

michael barbaro

So that pattern was meaningful for them. But in order to get to Ukraine and make Ukraine stick, something is sacrificed. And that is the Mueller investigation.

nicholas fandos

That’s right. And they want to be able to tell the larger story, to situate what happened in Ukraine in a larger story. But at the end of the day, what they decide is that we’re just going to charge the president based on what happened in these particular episodes.

michael barbaro

And that, of course, brings us to Tuesday morning.

archived recording (nancy pelosi)

Good morning, everyone. On this solemn day, I recall that the first order of business for members of Congress is the solemn act to take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

nicholas fandos

Tuesday morning at 9: 00 a.m., after staffers for the Judiciary Committee and the Intelligence Committee stayed up overnight finalizing, tweaking these articles of impeachment, the six chairs that had gathered in Speaker Pelosi’s office over and over again met up with her, and they all gathered in a wood-paneled reception room just off the floor of the United States House chamber. They had four American flags behind them and a portrait of George Washington. And the speaker introduced the subject.

archived recording (nancy pelosi)

I also want to thank the staff of those committees and the committee members for all of their work over this period of time to help us protect and defend. Now pleased to yield to distinguished chair of the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Nadler.

nicholas fandos

And then Chairman Nadler came forth and said —

archived recording (jerry nadler)

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Over the last several months, the investigative committees of the House have been engaged in an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s efforts to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 elections.

nicholas fandos

Here today, we have decided to pursue charges against the president of the United States for high crimes and misdemeanors. And he weighed out two counts, abuse of power —

archived recording (jerry nadler)

That is exactly what President Trump did when he solicited and pressured Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 presidential election.

nicholas fandos

— and obstruction of Congress.

archived recording (jerry nadler)

A president who declares himself above accountability, above the American people, and above Congress’s power of impeachment, which is meant to protect against threats to our Democratic institutions, is a president who sees himself as above the law. We must be clear. No one, not even the president, is above the law. I want to recognize the great contributions of the investigative chairs, particularly —

nicholas fandos

And with that, President Trump has now become just the fourth president in American history to be staring down his likely impeachment by the House of Representatives for high crimes and misdemeanors.

[music]
michael barbaro

Nick, thank you.

nicholas fandos

Thank you, Michael.

archived recording (donald trump)

Now, after two and a half years, now that the Russia witch hunt is dead, a big, fat, disgusting fraud, the congressional Democrats are pushing the impeachment witch hunt having to do with Ukraine.

michael barbaro

On Tuesday night, during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, President Trump mocked the articles of impeachment that Democrats plan to bring against him, specifically mentioning that there were just two of them.

archived recording (donald trump)

This is impeachment lite. This is the lightest impeachment in the history of our country by far. It’s not even like an impeachment. These people are stone-cold crooked. But today, the —

michael barbaro

We’ll be right back.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

archived recording (nancy pelosi)

This is a day we’ve all been working to and working for on the path to yes.

michael barbaro

Despite the rancor over impeachment, the president and House Democrats reached a rare agreement on Tuesday over a new trade deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada that would replace Nafta.

archived recording (nancy pelosi)

There is no question, of course, that this trade agreement is much better than Nafta.

michael barbaro

The Democrats said they had won key concessions from the White House, adding a provision that allows Mexican workers to unionize and removing a measure that allowed pharmaceutical companies to charge higher prices for prescription drugs. The agreement now has the support of all three countries involved and is expected to quickly become law.

That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Michael Barbaro. See you tomorrow.

“In the history of the republic, no president has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House to investigate ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’” the obstruction article says.

In announcing a pair of charges that was narrowly focused on the Ukraine matter, Democrats made a careful political calculation intended to project unity and protect moderate lawmakers who face steep re-election challenges in conservative-leaning districts.

They left out an article that had been the subject of internal debate among Democrats in recent weeks. It would have charged Mr. Trump with obstruction of justice based on his attempts to thwart Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russian election interference in 2016.

Such an article had been championed by progressives — including Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee — but resisted by moderates who had long signaled they would not support impeaching Mr. Trump based on Mr. Mueller’s report.

Democrats also backed away from charging the president with bribery, one of only a few offenses listed in the Constitution as grounds for impeachment, and a term Democrats had increasingly been using to describe Mr. Trump’s conduct.

Democrats unveiled drafts of the two articles ahead of a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee, where the panel will debate and vote on the charges. It could vote by Thursday to recommend them to the full House for final approval.

Video

transcript

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2020 Elections: Democrats Announce Two Articles of Impeachment

Democratic leaders in the House announced that they would move ahead with two articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

“Today, in service to our duty to the Constitution and to our country, the House Committee on the Judiciary is introducing two articles of impeachment, charging the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, with committing high crimes and misdemeanors. The first article is for 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. That is exactly what President Trump did when he solicited and pressured Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 presidential election, thus damaging our national security, undermining the integrity of the next election, and violating his oath to the American people. These actions moreover are consistent with President Trump’s previous invitations of foreign interference in our 2016 presidential election. And when he was caught, when the House investigated and opened an impeachment inquiry, President Trump engaged in unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance of the impeachment inquiry. This gives rise to the second article of impeachment, for obstruction of Congress. Here too, we see a familiar pattern in President Trump’s misconduct. A president who declares himself above accountability, above the American people and above Congress’s power of impeachment, which is meant to protect against threats to our democratic institutions, is a president who sees himself as above the law.” “The evidence of the president’s misconduct is overwhelming and uncontested. And how could it not be, when the president’s own words on July 25, ‘I would like you to do us a favor though,’ lay so bare his intentions, his willingness to sacrifice the national security for his own personal interests? And 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. The evidence is every bit as strong that President Trump has obstructed Congress fully without precedent and without basis in law. If allowed to stand, it would decimate Congress’s ability to conduct oversight of this president or any other in the future, leaving this president and those who follow to be free to be as corrupt, malfeasant or incompetent as they would like, with no prospect of discovery or accountability.”

2020 Elections: Video player loading

Democratic leaders in the House announced that they would move ahead with two articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.CreditCredit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

If the House follows through and impeaches the president next week, Mr. Trump would stand trial in the Senate early in the new year, Senator Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. The president has said he wants to see a robust defense of his actions in the Republican-controlled chamber, but Mr. McConnell has said the length of a trial is still subject to negotiation with Democrats.

“We are obligated under the Constitution to turn to it when it comes over, and we will,” Mr. McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, told reporters.

Less than a year before the 2020 election, the action by the House sets up a historic and highly partisan constitutional clash between Mr. Trump and congressional Democrats — one that is likely to have broad political implications for both parties and exacerbate the divisions of a polarized nation.

But Democrats argued that the political calendar made their endeavor even more urgent, given the nature of the charges against the president. They said he had engaged in a troubling pattern of behavior that began when Mr. Trump welcomed Russia’s help in the 2016 election and would continue into 2020 if they did not stop it.

“The argument ‘Why don’t you just wait’ amounts to this: ‘Why don’t you just let him cheat in one more election?’” Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee who oversaw the House’s Ukraine investigation, said at a news conference. “Why not let him have foreign help just one more time?”

A small group of centrist House Democrats from districts Mr. Trump won in 2016 met behind closed doors on Monday and discussed the possibility of opposing the articles and instead trying to build bipartisan support for a resolution to formally censure the president. The idea would spare moderate lawmakers a difficult vote to support a highly partisan impeachment, followed by an all-but-inevitable acquittal in the Republican-controlled Senate. But the lawmakers agreed it had little real chance of success and dismissed the move.

Mr. Trump responded angrily to Democrats’ announcement, and used Twitter to proclaim their charge that he pressured Ukraine “ridiculous.”

The White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, accused Democrats of “manufacturing an impeachment inquiry and forcing unfounded accusations down the throats of the American people.” Their goal, she said, was to try to use the House’s impeachment power to weaken Mr. Trump’s chances of re-election.

“The announcement of two baseless articles of impeachment does not hurt the president, it hurts the American people, who expect their elected officials to work on their behalf to strengthen our nation,” Ms. Grisham said in a statement. “The president will address these false charges in the Senate and expects to be fully exonerated because he did nothing wrong.”

Speaking earlier Tuesday morning from a wood-paneled reception room just off the floor of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and leaders of six key committees said that Mr. Trump’s actions toward Ukraine, and his efforts to block Congress’s attempt to investigate, had left them no choice but to pursue one of the Constitution’s gravest remedies. The move will bring a sitting president to the brink of impeachment for only the fourth time in American history.

“Our president holds the ultimate public trust,” Mr. Nadler said. “When he betrays that trust and puts himself before country, he endangers the Constitution, he endangers our democracy and he endangers our national security.”

While individual lawmakers will be able to propose amendments to the articles during this week’s debate and potentially force a committee vote on additional charges, the articles are not expected to substantively change.

Though the details differ substantially, the articles of impeachment that Democrats outlined on Tuesday echo those the Judiciary Committee approved in 1974 charging President Richard M. Nixon with abuse of power, obstruction of justice and contempt of Congress. Mr. Nixon resigned before the full House had a chance to vote on the articles, amid clear indications that the charges had broad support from members of both parties.

There is less overlap with the other modern presidential impeachment. In 1998, the House approved articles charging President Bill Clinton with perjury and obstruction of justice. Two other counts, of perjury and abuse of power, failed in votes on the House floor. It was that kind of split decision that Democratic leaders are determined to avoid this time.

The charges are all but certain to face monolithic Republican opposition. If that does not change, the impeachment vote could take place strictly along party lines, save for one independent, Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, who has signaled he will join Democrats.

Representative Peter T. King, a moderate New York Republican who is retiring and sometimes crosses the aisle to work with Democrats, echoed other members of his party when he denounced the articles as “shameless, baseless abuse of congressional power by House Democrats.

A handful of House Republicans who had earlier expressed openness to the possibility of impeaching Mr. Trump said on Tuesday that they intended to vote against the articles as drafted by Democrats. Several said they remained uncomfortable with Mr. Trump’s actions related to Ukraine but did not believe he should be removed from office.

“This is not to say that these things don’t disturb me,” said Representative John Curtis, Republican of Utah. “It’s not to say they don’t bother me. But that’s not the question at hand. The question is whether they are impeachable. I have to be frank — I just don’t see it.”

The impeachment effort faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where it would require the support of two-thirds of the chamber to convict Mr. Trump and remove him from office — a highly unlikely result.

The charges mirror the arguments Democratic lawyers for the Judiciary Committee and the Intelligence Committee made a day earlier when they argued that Mr. Trump’s behavior posed a “clear and present danger” to fair elections and national security.

Citing testimony from senior diplomats and White House officials, they summed up the case against Mr. Trump, asserting that he and his agents pressured Ukraine’s president to announce investigations of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and an unsupported claim that Democrats conspired with Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election. As part of the scheme, they asserted, Mr. Trump withheld a White House meeting and nearly $400 million in security assistance for the country as leverage.

They also said that Mr. Trump had systematically sought to halt their investigation by ordering government officials not to testify and refusing to hand over documents subpoenaed by the House related to the Ukraine matter.

Republicans pushed back against both conclusions, arguing that Democrats had manufactured a scandal against a president whose policies they despise. They argued that the evidence gathered by the House had not proved Mr. Trump was acting to benefit himself politically when he pressed Ukraine to announce investigations into his political adversaries.

“Despite years of witch hunts and investigations, Democrats have not produced a single piece of evidence that President Trump engaged in bribery, extortion, or any other high crimes or misdemeanors,” said Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the Republican whip. “Speaker Pelosi is bowing to the demands of the most radical elements of her base.”

Michael D. Shear contributed reporting.

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