The U.S. House is taking a big, new step toward impeaching President Donald Trump.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the House will draft formal articles of impeachment accusing Trump of abusing the powers of his office to advance his own political gain. A vote in the full House could come before Christmas, sending the issue to the Senate.

Trump tweeted that if the House Democrats are going to impeach him, he wants them to "do it now, fast"' so he can get on to the Senate trial.

Pelosi declared that the case is all about Russia, which benefited most from Trump's actions toward Ukraine.

New Orleans Congressman Cedric Richmond says the evidence is clear.

“The evidence shows that President Trump leverage taxpayer dollars, 400 million dollars, to get Ukraine to announce sham investigations of President Trump’s political rivals,” says Richmond.

Richmond reiterated Democratic accusations that the Ukrainian “Quid Pro Quo” was not only unethical, it endangered national security.

“That taxpayer money was meant to help Ukraine defend itself, and in turn defend the United States’ interests from Russian Aggression,” says Richmond.

On Wednesday, Richmond was one of many Congressmen, including Northwest Louisiana Republican Representative Mike Johnson, to question the three experts called by Democrats, and the one called by Republicans.

Richmond, a co-chair for former VP Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign, says he and other Democrats on the committee feel there is plenty enough evidence to continue the hearings.

“This is not an easy decision, and this is not a comfortable decision, but it is one that is necessary. We all take an oath to protect the constitution, and we have an obligation to follow the constitution whether it is convenient, or easy,” says Richmond.

Republicans on the panel called yesterday’s hearings a partisan witch-hunt.

House Republican Whip Steve Scalise went on Fox News to decry the act by Democrats.

“[Democrats] really have no idea where they want to go with [impeachment] because they thought it was going to be the Mueller report that was going to give them impeachable charges that they can go and [bring forward]. And there’s nothing this President’s done wrong ultimately at the end of the day. You know, Jim Jordan says it best with the four facts – the bottom line is President Zelensky and President Trump were the only two people participating in the phone call and neither of them had a problem with the call. Zelensky was thanking President Trump for helping him, for selling him the Javelin missiles so he can stand up to Russia, something President Obama and Joe Biden wouldn’t do. No one in the media wants to ask that.

“Every witness [Democrats] bring forward, you know Matt Gaetz did it really well today where he said ‘can any one of you raise your hand if you’ve seen anything wrong?’ Not any of the witnesses from [the House Intelligence Committee] or here today in [the House Judiciary Committee], no witness can tell you anything that the President did illegal. The disdain that these law professors had for Donald Trump and the fact that he got elected in 2016 was clear. I thought it was disgraceful what Stanford Law Professor Karlan, or whatever she’s a professor of, she owes an apology, [an] unequivocal apology. I don’t know if she supports bullying, but to pick on a minor child to try to make yourself look cute in front of your colleagues or something, it’s disgraceful, and I hope Stanford doesn’t stand for that because that’s what they had to do today.”

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