06/12/2019 8:13 AM AEDT | Updated 06/12/2019 8:29 AM AEDT

Nancy Pelosi Calls For Articles Of Impeachment Against Trump

The House speaker's "status" update on the impeachment proceedings followed several weeks of hearings.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called on House Democratic leaders to begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

“Today, I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment,” she said Thursday, in what was billed as a special announcement about the “status” of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Trump. Lawmakers on two congressional committees have held impeachment hearings over the last few weeks.

The timing makes it likely there will be a House vote on the articles before lawmakers adjourn for the holidays later this month and a Senate trial beginning in January.

Pelosi said the testimony proved that “the president’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution.”

“The facts are uncontested: The president abused his power,” she said. “The president leaves us no choice but to act.”

Things turned personal at a press conference two hours later when Pelosi was asked a question about whether she “hates” Trump.

“Do you hate the president, Madam Speaker?” the reporter asked. 

Pelosi stopped and pointed at the reporter: “I don’t hate anybody.” 

She also called the President “cruel” when it came to immigration and “in denial” on climate change.

“And as a Catholic I resent your using the word hate in a sentence that addresses me,” she said. 

“Don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that.”

After several marathon days of hearings in November, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released a detailed report Tuesday. In the report, they laid out “overwhelming” evidence of misconduct by Trump.

Chiefly, they concluded that his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, pressuring him to investigate 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, represented “stark evidence of misconduct; a demonstration of the President’s prioritisation of his personal political benefit over the national interest.”

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee began its own set of impeachment hearings, featuring testimony from constitutional law scholars.

The committee will hold its next hearing Monday, with testimony from the staff counsels from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation.

On Thursday, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham responded by claiming that “Pelosi and the Democrats should be ashamed.”

“We look forward to a fair trial in the Senate,” she tweeted following Pelosi’s announcement.

Trump tweeted later, falsely claiming Pelosi “just had a nervous fit.”

This story has been updated with the next House Judiciary Committee hearing and Trump’s tweet.