‘’Our democracy is what is at stake," Pelosi said. “The president leaves us no choice but to act.”
Pelosi delivered the historic announcement as Democrats push toward a vote, possibly before Christmas.
With somber tones, drawing on the Constitution and the Founding Fathers, Pelosi stood at the speaker's office at the Capitol and said she was authorizing the drafting of formal charges.
“The president's actions have seriously violated the Constitution,” she said. “He is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit. The president has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections.
“Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment," she said.
At the heart of the impeachment probe is a July call with the president of Ukraine, in which Trump pressed the leader to investigate Democrats and political rival Joe Biden as Trump was withholding military aid to the country.
Trump tweeted that if Democrats “are going to impeach me, do it now, fast". He said he wants to get on to a “fair trial” in the Senate. The president also said that Democrats have “gone crazy".
The chairmen of the House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry will begin drafting the articles, and some lawmakers are expecting to remain in Washington over the weekend.
On Wednesday, Pelosi met behind closed doors with her Democratic caucus, asking, "Are you ready?"
The answer was a resounding yes, according to those in the room.
(FRANCE 24 with AP)