US President Donald Trump has a blunt message for the Democrats: If you're going to impeach me, hurry up and do it.
In a series of overnight tweets, the President reiterated he was more than ready for the coming battle, claiming there was "no impeachment case" against him, and that the "Do Nothing Democrats" were "demeaning our Country".
Of most significance, he said: "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."
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The line stems from the fact that there's basically zero chance Trump will be removed from office when this is all over, and he knows it.
This comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would order articles of impeachment against the US President, saying he "leaves us no choice but to act".
She said investigators had uncovered sufficient evidence proving Trump abused his office for political gain, violated the President's oath to the Constitution and warranted removal.
"Our democracy is what is at stake," she said.
WHY WON'T TRUMP LOSE HIS JOB?
It takes two separate votes to remove a sitting President from the top job.
The first vote takes place in the House of Representatives, which is made up of 435 elected officials across the US. The magic number here is 218 — more than half of the House.
If a minimum of 218 officials votes to impeach the President, the vote passes the House and goes to the Senate.
At this stage, this first vote is quite likely to pass. Democrats control the House with a 233-person majority, meaning they could impeach Trump with no Republican support.
A 218-vote majority has previously publicly backed Trump's impeachment, meaning that if the vote were to be held now, it would more than likely pass.
This takes us to the second vote in the Senate, which is where things get more tricky. In the Senate, a minimum two-thirds would have to vote to remove the President.
Republicans are in control of the Senate, with 53 senators to the Democrats' 47. For the Senate to convict Trump and complete the process, 20 members of Trump's own party would be required to vote against a man who is easily their best shot at another four years in government.
This explains the President's tweet last night ("do it now, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate") — he knows that, no matter what happens, his Republican mates will save his job.
SO THIS IS ALL TOTALLY POINTLESS THEN?
Not necessarily. The President has been accused of extremely serious crimes — seeking to bribe a foreign power to dig up dirt on his leading political opponent.
Trump has been accused of withholding almost $US400 million in military aid from Ukraine, and releasing it in exchange for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky investigating his political rival Joe Biden, and Biden's son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian gas company.
The Democrats believe the President needs to be held responsible for these alleged abuses of power.
"If we allow a President to be above the law, we do so surely at the peril of our republic," Pelosi said earlier today. "The President leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt once again the election for his own benefit."
The results of the impeachment hearings are unlikely to sway rusted-on Trump supporters, but only 29 per cent of Americans identify as Republican according to Gallup polling.
Democrats have been struggling to sway independents and voters in key battleground states so far, but they're hoping shining a spotlight on the President's misdeeds will inspire people who want him removed from office to get out and vote next year.
WHAT ARE THE REPUBLICANS SAYING?
The Republicans are standing by the President, and mirroring his push for a "fair trial" in the Senate.
They argue Trump committed no impeachable offences and that the Democrats' push is a "witch hunt" designed to detract from the party's own political failures.
Trump's campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said the Democrats "should just get on with it so we can have a fair trial in the Senate and expose The Swamp for what it is".
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement criticising Pelosi's decision.
"This impeachment process … moves this Country toward the most partisan and illegitimate subversion of the Constitution in our history," Grisham said.
Counsellor to the President Kellyanne Conway also addressed the issue, saying the White House was "very ready" for a Senate trial.
Republicans on the Intelligence Committee released their own report, exonerating Trump for his actions with Ukraine.
They argued the military aid was never used as leverage and was eventually released on September 11.
Last month, The New York Times reported Trump knew about the whistleblower complaint that started all this, suggesting this was why the administration may have lifted the freeze on the aid in the first place.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Democrats are moving towards a pre-Christmas vote on impeaching Trump. They are considering multiple articles of impeachment against him, including abuse of power, obstruction of justice and obstruction of Congress.
The House Judiciary Committee will draft one article of impeachment for each alleged offence, and the House will vote on each of these separately.
If the articles get a simple majority vote, it will then move to Senate — where Trump is most likely to hold on.
Until then, you can expect a whole lot more squabbling.