Donald Trump has been accused of being an "unindicted co-conspirator" guilty of "high crimes and misdemeanors" ahead of hearings with former special counsel Robert Mueller.
The hearings were already anticipated to be the potential moment of reckoning for Democrats as they hope Mr Mueller would show through his testimony that Donald Trump was unfit for office.
But the explosive language from Jerrold Nadler, head of the House Judiciary Committee, and Adam Schiff, head of the House Intelligence Committee, is certain to raise the stakes still higher.
Rep. Nadler, speaking on Fox News Sunday, stopped short of calling for Mr Trump's impeachment but nonetheless levelled his strongest accusations of malfeasance at the president to date.
"The report presents very substantial evidence that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors,' Rep. Nadler said, as he referenced the benchmark for an impeachment inquiry.
Aides to Mr Nadler have suggested he has privately voiced support for impeachment proceedings against Mr Trump, but has so far not publicly thrown his weight behind removing the president.
The prospect has been repeatedly played down in recent weeks by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has cautioned against initiating proceedings until it could command support in the Senate.
Rep. Schiff, appearing on CBS News, then said it was 'clear' Mr Trump was only not charged due to Justice Department rules against indicating a sitting president calling him a co-conspirator.
The comments from Rep. Schiff alluded to the ten instances of possible obstruction Mr Mueller identified during his two-year investigation though he did not ultimately charge Mr Trump.
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) July 21, 2019
It all underscored the potentially far-reaching ramifications of Mr Mueller's appearance before lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday and Democrats' attempts to create a political spectacle.
The Democrats on the House committees do not expect revelatory disclosures from Mr Mueller, who has previously said he will not stray from the narrow conclusions of his 448-page report.
But perhaps no other witness can command the gravitas of Mr Mueller, who largely rose above the political fray during his investigation before delivering his conclusions this spring.
The grandstanding from Rep. Nadler and Rep. Schiff came amid that backdrop as they prepare to set the scene for Democrats to coax Mr Mueller through his most damming conclusions.
Rep. Nadler's Judiciary Committee intend to dwell heavily on the five most glaring instances of possible obstruction of justice identified in the second volume of Mr Mueller's report.
Those include Mr Trump's order to former White House counsel Donald McGahn to fire Mr Mueller and publicly lie about it, and possible witness tampering to discourage their cooperation.
Democrats on the Intelligence Committee will use their hearing to highlight the high-profile contacts between Trump associates and Russians offering assistance to Mr Trump's campaign.
The Mueller report concluded there was no conspiracy between Mr Trump's campaign and Russia to influence the results of the 2016 election but did not clear the president of obstruction.
Mr Mueller decided not to pursue an obstruction charge against Mr Trump in part because of Justice Department guidelines that prevent an indictment of a sitting president.