President Trump said Thursday that if House Democrats are going to impeach him they should do it "now" and "fast" so he can have a "fair" trial in the Republican-controlled Senate.
In a series of tweets, Trump also said he wanted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and the Bidens to testify at a Senate trial.
"The Do Nothing Democrats had a historically bad day yesterday in the House. They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country. But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy," Trump tweeted.
"Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair ... trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business. We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is. I was elected to 'Clean the Swamp,' and that’s what I am doing!" the president wrote.
The president’s tweets came an hour before Pelosi was scheduled to deliver a statement on the status of the House impeachment inquiry.
Pelosi said later Thursday that she was instructing House chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment against Trump, describing the facts as “uncontested” that the “president abused his power.”
“His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution,” Pelosi said. “The president leaves us know choice but to act.”
The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing Wednesday to consider possible articles of impeachment during which a panel of constitutional legal scholars debated whether Trump’s actions constituted grounds for impeaching him.
Three witnesses selected by Democrats testified that they believed Trump committed impeachable offenses and delivered scathing testimony about the president’s conduct toward Ukraine. The witness chosen by Republicans, meanwhile, said it would be premature for Democrats to impeach Trump at this stage, describing the evidence as thin and the proceeding as hurried.
Democrats have argued they have clear evidence that Trump abused his power in his dealings with Ukraine.
At the center of the impeachment inquiry is a July 25 call during which Trump asked Ukraine’s president to investigate a debunked theory about Kyiv’s involvement in the 2016 Democratic National Committee hack as well as former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine. Trump has maintained he did nothing wrong and described his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as “perfect.”
The president has refused to cooperate in the impeachment inquiry in the more than two months since Pelosi announced it, ordering witnesses to testify and refusing congressional subpoenas for documents. The White House has argued House Democrats are engaged in a partisan and “illegitimate” effort to damage Trump politically and has attacked the process as unfair.
Democrats have signaled they may draft an article of impeachment accusing Trump of obstructing Congress, citing his refusal to cooperate. Democrats are also considering charges of obstruction of justice, abuse of power and bribery.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone declined an invitation to participate in Wednesday’s hearing, saying Democrats had not offered enough information about it and that the hearing did "not begin to provide the President with any semblance of a fair process.”
The White House faces a Friday deadline to say whether it intends to participate at all in the proceedings in the House.
Cipollone also met with Republican senators over lunch Wednesday to preview aspects of a likely Senate trial.