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The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump on both articles of impeachment—a historic move that makes Trump the third president in United States history to be impeached.
After weeks of testimonies regarding Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, the House passed the two articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The first article addresses Trump’s abuse of power in regards to pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political opponent. The vote for the article rested almost entirely along party lines, with Democrat’s 230 in support of the impeachment article, to the Republican’s 197 against.
Only two democrats voted against impeachment alongside all Republicans: Representative Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, and Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota. The sole Independent in the House, former Republican Justin Amash from Michigan, sided with the Democrats in supporting the impeachment vote.
In a surprise move, Democrat and 2020 Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii voted present.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California voted yes, pushing the vote to 214, meeting the required margin.
The second article accused Trump of overseeing “unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas” issued by House members, and accused him of directing federal personnel and agencies to withhold key documents and witnesses from the House, as well as to ignore House subpoenas.
The article states “In the history of the Republic, no president has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’.”
230 Democrats voted for the passage of the impeachment, and 197 Republicans voted against.
Gabbard was once again the only Democrat to vote present.
Pelosi warned Democrats not to cheer as she announced the passage of the article, later stating that this was “a sad for America” but a “great day for the Constitution.”
Pelosi continued, saying “I view this day, this vote, as something that we did to honor the vision of our founders to establish a republic, the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform to defend our democracy and the republic, and the aspirations of our children that they will always live in a democracy, and we have tried to do everything we can to make sure that that is their reality.”
News of the impeachment vote reached Trump as he was hosting a rally in Michigan.
“With today’s illegal unconstitutional and partisan impeachment, the do-nothing Democrats are declaring their deep hatred and disdain for the American voter,” Trump said.
Trump brought attention to the fact that three Democrats voted no along with all Republicans.
“The Republican Party has never been so affronted but they have never been so united as they are right now… The Democrats always stick together. Think of it: 3 Democrats went over to our side,” he said.
He also called for voters to take action against Pelosi, saying “Americans will show up by the tens of millions next year to vote Pelosi the hell out of office.”
(Trump also sent a six-page long letter to Pelosi on Tuesday, calling the impeachment inquiry a “crusade” and a “spiteful…election nullification scheme.” Read the full letter here.)
His focus on the Speaker is not unwarranted, as the next step for the impeachment process rests on Pelosi’s shoulders.
Pelosi did not commit on Wednesday night to sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate, which will hold a trial—possibly in early January—to decide whether to convict and remove Trump from office.
Some members of the Democratic party have urged Pelosi to withhold the articles until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agrees to the procedures for the Senate trial that the Democrats have asked for, including bringing in witnesses like acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
Pelosi stated that Democrats will decide “as a group” when to send the articles to the Senate.
The White House released a statement on the impeachment, saying that “Today marks the culmination in the House of one of the most shameful political episodes in the history of our Nation. Without receiving a single Republican vote, and without providing any proof of wrongdoing, Democrats pushed illegitimate articles of impeachment against the President through the House of Representatives. Democrats have chosen to proceed on this partisan basis in spite of the fact that the President did absolutely nothing wrong. Indeed, weeks of hearings have proved that he did nothing wrong.”
The statement continued, calling the impeachment a “sham” that did not give Trump “fundamental fairness and due process under the law.”
“All of these antics make clear that Democrats have lost sight of what this country needs, which is a Congress that works for the people. Their boundless animus for President Trump fuels their desire to nullify the 2016 election results, and improperly influence the 2020 election.”
McConnell later stated that he will peak about the impeachment process tomorrow, December 19, on the Senate floor at 9:30 a.m. ET.
At 9:30am tomorrow morning, on the Senate floor, I will speak about House Democrats’ precedent-breaking impeachment of the President of the United States.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) December 19, 2019
Read the full House Judiciary Committee’s report on the Impeachment process, released Monday, here.
Still feeling behind on the impeachment news? Check out this full rundown of the Trump–Ukrainian impeachment inquiry to get caught up before the Senate trial.
To contact Editor-in-Chief Angele Latham, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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