After weeks of acrimonious debate and explosive hearings in Congress, Democrats are poised to make the big announcement later today.

At 9am in Washington (2pm UK time) senior Democrats will outline the precise charges - or Articles of Impeachment - that will form the basis of the historic vote next week.

We are expecting there will be two charges against the President: abuse of power and obstruction of justice. This is a victory for more centrist Democrats who want the Articles to be narrow and focused.

But the reality is that Congress is so polarised - Republicans and Democrats living in different universes when it comes to judging Trump and his behaviour - that impeachment will be a party-line vote. All Democrats will vote for impeachment; all Republicans are likely to oppose the move.

If that holds true in both the House and the Senate then the outcome is clear: Trump will be impeached but will remain in office (that’s because Democrats control the House; Republicans have a majority in the Senate).

Democrats believe they have fully made the case that Trump betrayed his oath of office when he tried to persuade the Ukrainians to investigate Joe Biden. Yesterday, in a committee session designed to showcase the need for impeachment, the top lawyer for the Democrats called Trump “a clear and present danger to America’s free and fair elections and to US national security.” Quite some accusation.

Democrats and Republicans are expected to vote along party lines. Credit: AP

Republicans claim Democrats are engaging in a coup - trying to unseat a duly elected President. That’s how bitter the arguments will be over the next two months.

Outlining the Articles of Impeachment later today will be historic. It sets the stage for Thursday’s decision in the Judiciary Committee, and then the full vote in the House of Representatives next week.

And remember these two facts: No American President has been removed from office through impeachment (Nixon resigned before the vote); and Trump will be the first President in American history who has a good chance of being impeached... and then winning a second term.