On Wednesday and Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee held hearings to consider two articles of impeachment introduced by Democrats.
From left, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the ranking member, and Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., speak to reporters during a break from the markup of articles of impeachment by the House Judiciary Committee against President Donald Trump, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
The House Judiciary Committee is expected to approve two articles of impeachment later on Thursday, setting up a vote by the Democratic-controlled House next week that is expected to make Trump the third president in US history to be impeached.
Trump is only the fourth U.S. president to face impeachment proceedings and the first to be running for reelection at the same time.
Trump pressured Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to go along with the scheme by withholding a White House meeting for the newly elected Ukraine president and freezing $391 million in military aid, Democrats said.
The panel was also examining a second charge - obstruction of Congress - for Trump's defiance of subpoenas and other efforts to compel administration officials, including White House aides, to testify or turn over documents related to the Ukraine saga.
"Do we want a dictator, no matter how popular he may be, no matter how good or bad the results of his policies may be?"
The Democrats who run the committee have agreed the language of the nine pages detailing the charges, saying that Mr Trump "betrayed the nation" by acting "corruptly".
"Article one ignores the truth", Republican Jim Jordan declared. "Those are not the facts".
There are 41 members on the panel, which is expected to vote along party lines on Thursday afternoon local time.
In the session's ninth hour, Republicans also proposed scrapping the obstruction of Congress charge.
The central allegation is that Trump pressured Ukraine by withholding $391 million in military aid while seeking a commitment from Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden, the former US vice president and one of Trump's potential opponents in the 2020 election. According to reports, House Democrats are trying to vote on articles of impeachment before the Christmas break, which starts at the end of next week.
As a result, Democrats allege Trump - through "corrupt motives" - injured USA national security to "obtain an improper personal political benefit".
Democrats argued that Republicans were invoking Hunter as a way to smear Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential race.
"When he betrays that trust and puts himself before country, he endangers the Constitution; he endangers our democracy; he endangers our national security".
On Thursday, he retweeted dozens of his supporters, including his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who stands accused of orchestrating a pressure campaign against Ukraine outside of regular diplomatic channels.
Democrats chided Republicans for their loyalty to Trump. But Pelosi said the president was wrong and the case against him is deeply grounded.
"The bar to impeach a president of the United States has not been met", Roby said.
"When the president violates the constitutional order, we have an obligation to deal with that", Lofgren said.
He insists he did nothing wrong and blasts the Democrats' effort daily as a sham and harmful to America. She said she was "disturbed" by the ruling and pointed out the House rules require the Democrats to schedule a minority hearing.
His statements came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other top Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against Trump. The Republican-led chamber is unlikely to vote to find the president guilty and remove him from office.
The outcome poses potentially serious political consequences for both parties ahead of the 2020 elections, with Americans deeply divided over whether the president indeed conducted impeachable acts and if it should be up to Congress, or the voters, to decide whether he should remain in office.