HERSHEY, Pa. (CN) – President Donald Trump slammed House Democrats for pursuing what he called a “sham” impeachment process during an otherwise routine campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Tuesday.
Trump spoke in Hershey, Pennsylvania, hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presented two articles of impeachment accusing Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress relating to his dealings with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Pennsylvania rally, Trump’s second in the state this year, comes three years after Trump won the swing state by a thin margin of about 44,292 votes in 2016.
While familiar topics, such as wall-building and the launch of America’s “Space Force” arose, Trump spent much of the night focused on impeachment.
“Any Democrat that votes for this sham, will be voting to sacrifice the House majority, their dignity and their career,” Trump told the crowd in Giant Center on Tuesday night. The 10,500-seat arena was filled to capacity, according to local news reports.
The president claimed Democratic leaders are attempting to “overthrow our democracy” by pushing for impeachment in an attempt to win the presidential election next year.
This sentiment was also expressed by Vice President Mike Pence, who told the crowd: “The truth is, they’re trying to impeach this president, because they can’t defeat this president.”
“This is the lightest impeachment in the history of our country by far,” said Trump, who is the fourth U.S. president to have impeachment articles drafted against him.
As he does during most of his rallies, Trump expressed animosity toward Pelosi, drawing boos from the crowd upon each mention of the speaker’s name.
“Our poll numbers have gone through the roof because of her stupid impeachment,” Trump told the audience, some of whom stood outside in the rain to watch a jumbotron live feed of the rally.
Most recent polls, however, including one conducted by Quinnipiac University, show Trump falling behind top 2020 Democratic rivals nationally.
Impeachment plans rolling forward in the House have a silver lining for the president, Trump said at the rally.
After months of uncertainty, House Democrats announced support on Tuesday for the passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“The silver lining of impeachment and this witch hunt is it’s the reason they approved USMCA,” Trump said.
The agreement finalized by trade officials in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada on Tuesday will replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement with a slightly altered version Trump unveiled in November 2018.
The new deal has been applauded by Republicans, Democrats and several labor unions but Mexico was reportedly reluctant to agree to some U.S. labor demands.
During his rally, Trump claimed that Pelosi announced the deal’s passing on the same day of the impeachment development because “it plays down the impeachment, because they are embarrassed of the impeachment.”
The U.S. International Trade Commission released its report in April assessing the likely impact of the USMCA.
“Because NAFTA has already eliminated duties on most qualifying goods and significantly reduced non-tariff measures, USMCA’s emphasis is on reducing remaining non-tariff measures on trade and the U.S. economy; addressing other issues that affect trade, such as workers’ rights; harmonizing regulations from country to country; and deterring certain potential future trade and investment barriers,” the report states.