Democrats warned that US President Donald Trump was on the verge of dictatorship while Republicans fiercely defended his record at the opening of a stormy, historic debate on impeachment charges Wednesday.
The parties held tightly to diametrically opposed views of Trump as they weighed articles of impeachment at the beginning of a two-day debate. Trump is alleged to have wielded the power of the presidency for personal and political gain by pressuring Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 US election.
There is little question about the outcome in the House Judiciary Committee: by the end of the week the majority-Democrat panel is expected to approve the charges and send them to the entire House of Representatives for passage next week. But lawmakers in the televised hearing appeared focused on speaking to voters, whose sentiment will be crucial if, as expected, Trump goes on trial in the US Senate in January.In a grave voice, Democratic committee chairman Jerry Nadler opened the hearing.