The House of Representatives voted Wednesday evening to impeach President Donald Trump, making him just the third U.S. president in history to be impeached.
Trump was impeached along overwhelmingly partisan lines, with two Democrats — Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson and New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, voting against the first article of impeachment. Van Drew is reportedly planning to switch parties in the coming days, though he voted Wednesday as a Democrat.
The final vote on the first article was 230 in favor, and 197 against.
No Republicans voted to “yes” on the first article. Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii voted “present.”
House Democrats had drawn up two articles of impeachment against the president, charging him with “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.”
The House voted on the article alleging abuse of power first, following hours of debate on the floor of the lower chamber of Congress.
Prior to the vote, Democrats loudly booed when House Minority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana mentioned the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump in November 2016.
“This isn’t just about Donald Trump,” Scalise said, “They don’t just hate Donald Trump, Madam Speaker.”
“They hate the 63 million Americans who voted for this president — the forgotten men and women of this country who have been left behind.”
Right after Scalise mentioned the tens of millions of people who cast their ballots for Trump, loud booing could be heard echoing throughout the chamber.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) December 19, 2019
Scalise says that Democrats “hate the 63 million” Americans who voted for Trump.
He is loudly booed by Dems.
— Alexander Nazaryan (@alexnazaryan) December 19, 2019
As some journalists noted on Twitter, Republican members of Congress responded by booing down their Democratic colleagues.
Wow, a booing war between the parties, a la the UK Parliament.
When Steve Scalise said that Democrats hate the 63 million people who voted for Trump, Democrats booed.
Republicans then booed louder.
— Grace Segers (@Grace_Segers) December 19, 2019
Democrats just BOOED Steve Scalise for saying Dems hate the 63 million who voted for Trump. Republicans yelled back
[LOUD GAVEL BANG]
— Arthur Delaney (@ArthurDelaneyHP) December 19, 2019
As the vote draws near, GOP Whip Steve Scalise accuses Democrats of hating Trump voters.
Democrats booed. Republicans booed louder.
— Lindsay Wise (@lindsaywise) December 19, 2019
Big reactions happening right now.
Scalise made a remark about how Dems hate the millions of voters who supported Trump, leading Dems as a group to respond with boos.
Republicans responded back with boos of their own.
Some members stood to applaud Scalise after he wrapped.
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) December 19, 2019
The second article, meanwhile, passed the House as well in a 229-198 vote.
Democratic Maine Rep. Jared Golden joined Van Drew and Peterson in voting against the second article. Gabbard voted “present” again.
Alleging an “inappropriate” quid pro quo on the behalf of the president, Democrats have taken issue with a July 25 call phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Trump did ask Zelensky to look into allegations of shady dealings involving former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter in Ukraine. But Democrats have taken things a step further, claiming Trump planned to withhold about $400 million in military aid unless Ukraine publicly announced an investigation of his political opponent (Joe Biden).
While he was vice president, Biden pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who had investigated Burisma Holdings, an energy company where Hunter sat on the board.
Trump eventually released the aid to Ukraine, even though an investigation into the Bidens was never launched.
As for “obstruction of Congress,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler said at a news conference earlier this month, “A president who declares himself above accountability, above the American people and above congress’ power of impeachment — which is meant to protect against threats to our democratic institutions — is the president who sees himself as above the law.”
Democratic leaders made impassioned speeches Wednesday in favor of impeaching Trump.
“For centuries, Americans have fought and died to defend democracy for the people. But, very sadly now, our founders’ vision of a republic is under threat from actions from the White House,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a speech that kicked off the debate, according to CNBC.
“That is why today, as speaker of the House, I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States,” the California Democrat said. “If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, whose committee did much of the work investigating Trump, claimed the president tried to use his power for his own personal gain.
“He doesn’t care about Ukraine or the impact on our national security caused by withholding military aid to that country fighting for its democratic life,” Schiff said Wednesday, as USA Today reported. “All that matters to this president is what affects him personally: an investigation into his political rival and a chance to cheat in the next election.”
Trump, for his part, defended himself in fiery statement posted to Twitter.
“SUCH ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT, DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS. THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA, AND AN ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!” he tweeted Wednesday.
SUCH ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT, DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS. THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA, AND AN ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2019
Trump joins Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton as the only presidents to be impeached.
But while Trump was impeached in the Democrat-dominated House, a two-thirds majority in the Senate is needed to convict and remove him from office.
Since Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the upper chamber, it’s highly unlikely Trump will be removed via impeachment.
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