Donald Trump is IMPEACHED on TWO charges: Three Democrats defect as House votes 230 to 197 to charge him with ‘abuse of power’ and 229 to 198 with ‘obstructing Congress’
Donald Trump became the third president in American history to be impeached on Wednesday on a largely party line vote, setting up a formal trial next year in the Senate
The impeachment vote capped off a three month investigation into the president’s actions in regard to the Ukraine. The vote came at the end of a day long partisan debate on the House floor with Republicans charging Democrats with wanting to over turn the last presidential election and Democrats arguing the president tried to use a foreign power to help him win re-election.
‘A great day for the constitution of the United States,’ Speaker Nancy Pelosi said after the votes concluded.
‘I could not be prouder or more inspired by the moral courage of House Democrats. We never asked one of them how they are going to vote. We never whipped this vote. We saw the vote — well, you saw the public statements that some of them made, we saw the result when everyone else did,’ she said.
‘The statements on the floor about patriotism and about being very true to the vision of our founders. And so 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 that republic and the aspirations of our children, that they will always live in a democracy,’ she added.
The House held two separate votes – one on each article of impeachment. Pelosi presided over the votes and largely kept her party in line. And she silenced a few Democratic lawmakers who cheered the outcome with a flick of her wrist. The speaker made it clear before the vote she did not want Democrats to be celebrating what she considered a grave constitutional matter.
The vote on the first article of impeachment – abuse of power – was 230 to 197. The vote on the second article – obstruction of Congress – was 229 to 198.
‘On this vote, the yeas are 230. The nays are 197. Present is one. Article one is adopted,’ Pelosi announced after she gaveled the vote on the first article to a close.
On this vote, the yeas are 229. The nays are 198. Present is one. Article two is adopted,’ she said at the end of the second vote.
For the first vote there were two Democratic defections: Colin Peterson of Minnesota, who said he would be a no vote, and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey who is reported to be switching to the Republican Party.
For the vote on the second article, those two were joined in the dissenting column by Maine Democrat Jared Golden, who said he would vote for the first article but not the second.
Republicans lawmakers rushed to the speaker’s dais to cast their votes by paper ballot, which means the votes had to be tallied by hand by the Clerk of the House. The usual procedure is for lawmakers to vote via an electronic system.
Some lawmakers were spotted taking selfies with their ballots before they officially casted them.
Pelosi voted yes on both articles, casting a rare vote. The speaker of the House typically does not vote on any legislative matter.
Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat running for president, voted ‘present’ for both articles. Justin Amash, the Republican lawmaker turned Independent, voted yes for both articles.
Trump was in Michigan for a campaign rally as the House of Representatives held its impeachment vote. He was speaking in Amash’s district.
‘By the way by the way it doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached,’ he told the crowd.
He went after the Democrats’ with his favorite moniker for them – ‘crazy.’
‘Through their depraved actions today “Crazy Nancy” Pelosi’s House Democrats have branded themselves with an eternal mark of shame,’ he said.
‘I’m having a good time, it’s crazy,’ he remarked later after the vote concluded.
‘I’m not worried,’ he noted of next year’s presidential election. ‘In the life of Trump, 10 months is an eternity.’
Trump‘s approval rating has improved over the course of the impeachment proceedings, a new poll revealed Wednesday.
The president’s approval reached 45 per cent in the Gallup poll conducted December 2-15, up from 39 per cent in October – just days after Pelosi announced the launch of the impeachment inquiry.
Trump turned to bragging about his accomplishments, including the Space Force that was just established by congressional vote.
‘I’ll be able to tell my kids someday and everybody else, see that Space Force, that was my baby,’ he said, drawing a loud roar from the crowd.
And he also bragged he got some Democratic votes during the impeachment votes.
‘The Democrats always stick together. Think of it: 3 Democrats went over to our side,’ he said. He added: ‘That’s unheard of.’
The president was silent as he left the White House on Wednesday to head to his rally but he tweeted furiously throughout the day as Democrats and Republicans debated his fate on the House floor.
‘SUCH ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT, DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS. THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA, AND AN ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!,’ he wrote in a furious all-caps assault earlier in the day.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham blasted the impeachment vote as ‘one of the most shameful political episodes in the history of our Nation.’
‘The President is confident the Senate will restore regular order, fairness, and due process, all of which were ignored in the House proceedings. He is prepared for the next steps and confident that he will be fully exonerated,’ she said in a statement after the votes were concluded.
Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said after the vote that President Trump must not be ‘allowed to become a dictator.’
‘The framers gave us the power of impeachment for exactly this reason and in fulfillment of our oath and obligation to the American people, today we took action to hold president trump accountable for the serious and undisputed risk he poses to our free and fair elections and to the separation of powers that safeguards our liberty. A president must not be allowed to become a dictator,’ he said.
House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff noted the matter was now in the hands of the Senate and he encouraged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow more witnesses to be called in the trial process.
‘The president of the united States should be tried and the question is now whether Senator Mcconnell will allow a fair trial in the Senate, whether the majority leader will allow a trial that involves witnesses and testimony and documents, a trial that should be fair to the president, yes, but should be fair also to the American people. The American people want to hear from people like John Bolton. The American people want to hear from people like Mick Mulvaney. The American people want to see what’s in those documents that the president has been hiding at the State Department in the office of management and budget in the white house itself. We have done our duty here in the House,’ he said.
And Pelosi threatened to hold on to the articles of impeachment until McConnell outlines what the trial process will be in the Senate.
‘So far, we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us,’ she said.
‘We have legislation approved by the Rules Committee that will enable us to decide how we will send over the articles of impeachment. We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side, and I would hope that that will be soon, as we did with their legislation,’ she noted.
‘We will make our decision as to when we’re going to send — when we see what they’re doing on the Senate side,’ Pelosi added.
‘This is what I don’t consider a fair trial, that Leader McConnell has stated that he’s not an impartial juror, that he’s going to take his cues, in quotes, from the White House, and he is working in total coordination with the White House counsel’s office,’ Pelosi said.
There were three not-voting congressional seats on Wednesday night: the seats held by Katie Hill, who resigned, and Elijah Cummings, who died, have not been filled. Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter can’t vote after being found guilty of a felony.
Additionally, Republican Rep. John Shimkus missed the vote because he was on a pre-planned trip to Africa.
‘Long before today’s votes were scheduled, my wife Karen and I made arrangements to visit our son Joshua in Tanzania where he’s serving in the Peace Corps,’ he said in a statement.
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