(Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said she has directed a House committee to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump over his effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival, a historic step that sets up a fight over whether to oust him from office.
Following are a selection of quotes reacting to the development:
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, ON TWITTER:
"The Do Nothing, Radical Left Democrats have just announced that they are going to seek to Impeach me over NOTHING. They already gave up on the ridiculous Mueller 'stuff,' so now they hang their hats on two totally appropriate (perfect) phone calls with the Ukrainian President. This will mean that the beyond important and seldom used act of Impeachment will be used routinely to attack future Presidents. That is not what our Founders had in mind. The good thing is that the Republicans have NEVER been more united. We will win!"
U.S. REP. NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:
"Our democracy is what is at stake. The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit.
"Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and our heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment."
PELOSI, ANSWERING A QUESTION WHETHER SHE HATED THE PRESIDENT:
"As a Catholic, I resent your using the word hate in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone. I was raised in a way that is a heart full of love and always pray for the president. And I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time. So, don't mess with me when it comes to words like that."
U.S. REP. STEVE SCALISE, HOUSE REPUBLICAN WHIP, ON TWITTER:
"Speaker Pelosi just unilaterally decided to proceed with articles of impeachment. Even after yesterday's disastrous hearing. She proved what we already knew: She doesn't care about facts or truth. Dems have no case. She's rushing because she knows she's lost public support."
U.S. SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, REPUBLICAN FROM SOUTH CAROLINA, ON TWITTER:
"I'm glad to see Speaker Pelosi is 'keeping her word' to be thoughtful and prayerful about impeachment. One day after hearings involving law professors giving their opinions she is directing Articles of Impeachment be drafted. Salem witches got better deals than this."
U.S. SEN. MITCH McCONNELL, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER, ON TWITTER:
"This morning, Speaker Pelosi delivered a speech to advance her rushed & partisan impeachment process. Not one word on the outstanding legislation the American people actually need. Nothing on the USMCA, or the NDAA, or funding for our armed forces."
RANDY FREDERICK, VICE PRESIDENT, TRADING AND DERIVATIVES, CHARLES SCHWAB, AUSTIN, TEXAS:
"I think once the process began to investigate and consider impeachment, I think it was almost a foregone conclusion that they would ultimately go to that place.
"But here's the thing and this has been true from the beginning and it continues to be true. The President in all likelihood will be impeached by the House, but he will not be convicted in the Senate and therefore he won't be removed from office so in the end it doesn't really accomplish anything other than simply illustrating the Democrats unhappiness with the President which for the most part everybody already knows.
"So I don't really think it changes anything. It is good political theatre and it does capture a lot of news and attention but I don't really believe it has any impact whatsoever on the markets."
(Americas Economics and Markets Desk; +1-646 223-6300)
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