By Steve Herman
U.S. President Donald Trump is declaring he cannot imagine Democrats will vote to impeach him “because we did nothing wrong.”
Trump made brief remarks to reporters Tuesday evening, hours after two impeachment counts against him were unveiled by House Democrats.
“I think it’s a disgrace that people can make impeachment out of nothing,” Trump said before boarding the Marine One helicopter. “I think it’s an absolute disgrace.”
“Radical-left Democrats are trying to overrule the election,” Trump said later in the evening at a political rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania. “I wouldn’t lose much sleep over it. The Republicans have never been so united as they are now.”
Earlier in the day, on Twitter, Trump termed impeachment a “witch hunt” after the announcement by House committee chairs that they are formally proceeding to punish him.
The president also rejected House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler’s statement Tuesday that Trump had pressured Ukraine to interfere in next year’s presidential election.
“Both the President & Foreign Minister of Ukraine said, many times, that there ‘WAS NO PRESSURE,'” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Nadler and the Dems know this, but refuse to acknowledge!”
Nadler has announced his committee will meet Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the language in what is now “House Resolution 755, Articles of Impeachment Against President Donald J. Trump.”
The committee will need to vote on the articles of impeachment before they can be sent to the full House, controlled by the Democrats, for consideration.
Lawmakers of both the Democratic and Republican parties predict Trump will be impeached in the House but not found guilty in a trial by the Senate, which is controlled by the president’s party.
“Those members of the Republican Party who are up for re-election don’t want to violate the sensibilities of their own constituents if they are highly in favor of the president and do not want him removed,” Barbara Perry, director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia, told VOA. “Whether they think the president has engaged in impeachable offenses or should be convicted in their heart of hearts, they’re human and they want to maintain their jobs and their positions of power.”
Announcement ‘hurts American people’
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the other Democrats in Congress of having planned to oust Trump since he was inaugurated in January 2017.
“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. The president will address these false charges in the Senate and expects to be fully exonerated, because he did nothing wrong,” Grisham said.
The rock-solid base of the president “will always believe everything he tells them and will support him, even if he shoots the Constitution on Fifth Avenue (in New York City),” said Bradford Kane, author of the book, “Pitchfork Populism: Ten Political Forces That Shaped an Election and Continue to Change America.”
“But the other half of Trump’s supporters — who like some of what he’s done but dislike his behavior, tweets, and divisive policies — are persuadable and will determine his fate in both the Senate and the election. They will consider the Articles of Impeachment, listen to the debate, weigh the facts and decide whether patriotism requires them to renounce Trump for the good of the country,” Kane, a former legislative counsel to a Democratic Party congresswoman and a House sub-committee, told VOA.
Slightly more than half of all registered voters, 51 percent, think Trump should not be impeached and removed from office, while 45 percent say he should be impeached and removed, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday. That compares to a Nov. 26 poll, in which 48 percent of voters said the president should not be impeached, while 45 percent said he should be.
Trump is claiming at least one poll shows him “way ahead of everybody in every state” and perhaps, according to the president, that is due to the backlash against impeachment or “the best (employment) numbers we’ve ever had in our country.”