Trump impeachment: Thousands rally ahead of Today’s votes

Thousands rallied across the United States on the eve of the House of Representatives’ landmark votes on whether to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Rallies were held from Washington, DC, to New York City and St Paul, Minnesota to Phoenix, Arizona, with protesters demanding Trump be impeached over his dealings with Ukraine.

“No one is above the law,” read one sign in Salt Lake City, Utah. “We already went over this, America does not want a king,” read another in Chicago, Illinois.

The rallies came as the House prepares to vote on Wednesday on two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – against Trump. The votes are expected to largely play out along party lines in the Democratic-controlled House.

Impeachment in the 435-member House must be approved with a simple majority.

Democrats accuse Trump of pressuring Ukraine to open an investigation the president’s political rival and former vice president, Joe Biden, who is also a frontrunner in the 2020 Democratic presidential race. They also charge that the president obstructed their investigation by refusing to comply with subpoenas and directing members of his administration to do the same.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and on Tuesday, sent a blistering letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accusing Democrats of an “attempted coup” and that if the moved forward with impeachment they would be “declaring open war on American democracy”.

“I have no doubt the American people will hold you and the Democrats fully responsible in the upcoming 2020 election,” Trump said. “They will not soon forgive your perversion of justice and abuse of power.”

Pelosi wrote her own letter, urging her colleagues to “support and defend our constitutions from all enemies, foreign and domestic”.

“Tomorrow the House of Representatives will exercise one of the most solemn powers granted to us by the Constitution as we vote to approve two articles of impeachment against the president of the United States,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to fellow Democratic legislators on Tuesday.