Donald Trump impeached by US House, establishing Senate trial.
The Senate will hold a trial next year to determine whether the president removed from office and should be convicted on the charges, though the Republicans who have the majority in that chamber will acquit him.
House Democrats took depositions from more than a dozen witnesses, held weeks of hearings, and wrote hundreds of pages documenting Trump’s attempts to pressure the president of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
Yet support for removal and Trump’s impeachment rarely went much above 50% in polling, and there’s little evidence that the event left him politically on the eve of the 2020 election.
After more than six hours of debate, the House voted 230 to 197 to adopt the first of two impeachment articles, one alleging he misused the power of his office to pressure Ukraine to explore the Bidens. The House voted 229 to 198 on another article accusing him of obstructing Congress.
The vote left sides dissatisfied. Republicans fumed at what they called a process, accusing Democrats of ignoring their needs for witnesses and seeking to tarnish Trump.
However, Democrats failed to inflict lasting harm to the president, even as the evidence mounted that he had completed what they alleged: Attempting to strong-arm a US ally to research a prominent political rival by holding back military aid and an Oval Office visit.
“I could not be prouder or more motivated by the moral courage of House Democrats,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said after the votes.
It is a”case relies on second-hand opinions and hearsay,” he said. “Simply put: they don’t have any grounds for impeachment.”
Minutes before the House began voting, Trump took the stage for a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, a state that was crucial to his success in 2016 and his odds for re-election next year, to supply a real time rebuttal to the impeachment debate.
He said Democrats would pay the price in another election.
Shift to Senate
The drama will shift for a trial next month that will be presided over by Chief Justice John Roberts to the Senate. With a two-thirds vote required to convict the president, the acquittal from the room of Trump is all but assured. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already declared that he’s”not an impartial juror” and is setting a course to bring the proceedings to a speedy conclusion.
“He’s prepared for the upcoming steps and confident that he will be completely exonerated.”
It was not clear Wednesday night how quickly that the House would send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, a step that would activate the trial and stop work on any other matters. Pelosi said she had been holding off naming House managers for the trial”until we see what the procedure is in the Senate.”
“That doesn’t sound right to us.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans in a floor speech Thursday to call the House probe the”most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history.” Trump said on Twitter that if the Democrats decide”not to show up, they would lose by Default!”
The debate and vote took place where presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached. The arguments on the House floor replayed those made in Judiciary and Intelligence committee impeachment hearings and on Tuesday as lawmakers set the ground rules for Wednesday’s floor actions.
Opening the debate, Pelosi called Trump an”ongoing threat to our national security,” and announced that,”If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty.” A central defender of the president during Judiciary Committee hearings, republican Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, said that the president did nothing wrong.
“The people of America know due process and they know when it is being trampled in the people’s home.” The House vote culminates a investigation by Democrats headed Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, by Pelosi and Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff.
The question was set off in September by a’s complaint and the White House’s release of a July 25 transcript of telephone call between Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy and the US President.
Trump and his Republican backers accuse Democrats of hurtling toward impeachment of the president as the day he won election. In fact, at least a couple of the most liberal Democrats were calling for his impeachment because the first reports by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered with the 2016 election to Trump’s benefit.
But Pelosi had staved off those demands, until the Ukraine revelations shifted the sentiment drawing support from more members of the party who were wary of paying a political price with angry Trump voters in their districts.
Only two of the 31 Democrats representing Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, voted against impeaching the president. The Jared Golden of Maine, A third, voted for the abuse of power article but against the obstruction article. Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, who is currently seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, voted present on both counts.
Michigan Representative Justin Amash, a Trump critic who became an independent and abandoned the Republican Party earlier this year, voted with the Democrats for impeachment. Trump’s Wednesday night rally was held in his district. Even if the president evades conviction and removal, the House vote will leave a stain on his place in history and his time at the White House.