US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the chamber will file impeachment charges against President Donald Trump.
“Today I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment,” the top elected Democrat said.
She spoke a day after the House Judiciary Committee began considering potential charges against the Republican president.
Mr Trump told Democrats to move quickly if they are going to impeach him.
He tweeted shortly before Mrs Pelosi’s remarks: “If you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our country can get back to business.”
The California congresswoman told Thursday morning’s news conference: “The facts are uncontested. The president abused his power for his own political benefit at the expense of our national security, by withholding military aid and a crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement for an investigation into his political rival.”
Her statement comes a day after she held a behind-closed-doors meeting on impeachment with her fellow Democrats and asked them: “Are you ready?”
Democrats are keen to hold a vote on impeachment in the House of Representatives before the end of the year, with the prospect of a trial in the Senate perhaps as early as January 2020.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said immediately afterwards that the Democrats “should be ashamed”.
She added: “We look forward to a fair trial in the Senate.”
Mrs Pelosi’s statement came a day after she held a behind-closed-doors meeting on impeachment with her fellow Democrats and asked them: “Are you ready?”
The lawmakers responded with a rousing “Yes”, according to the Associated Press news agency.