- The House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump on Wednesday night, passing two articles of impeachment largely along party lines. He is the third president in US history to be impeached.
- The first article, charging Trump with abuse of power, passed the House with a vote of 230-197. The second article, charging Trump with obstruction of Congress, passed with a vote of 229-198.
- Both articles relate to Trump’s efforts to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 election while withholding vital military aid and a White House meeting that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky desperately sought.
- Next, the impeachment proceedings will go to the Republican-controlled Senate, which is widely expected to acquit the president.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Democrat-led House of Representatives voted Wednesday night to impeach President Donald Trump.
The first article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with abuse of power, passed the House with a vote of 230-197.
The vote fell largely along party lines. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, who defected from the Republican Party over his opposition to Trump and now identifies as an independent, voted in favour of the first article.
Two Democrats – Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota – voted against the first article of impeachment. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, voted “present.”
The second article of impeachment, charging Trump with obstruction of Congress, passed the House with a vote of 229-198.
Amash voted in favour of the second article, while Van Drew and Peterson voted against it, as did Democratic Rep. Jared Golden of Maine. Gabbard voted “present” again.
Wednesday’s historic vote came after about 10 hours of debate.
Both articles were related to Trump’s efforts to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 election while withholding vital military aid and a White House meeting that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky desperately wanted.
The catalyst for the impeachment inquiry into Trump was a whistleblower complaint that an anonymous US intelligence official filed against the president in August. The House Intelligence Committee revealed the existence of the complaint in early September and released it days later after receiving the document from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
At the centre of the complaint is a July 25 phone call in which Trump repeatedly pressured Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter over baseless allegations of corruption. Trump also asked his Ukrainian counterpart to look into a bogus conspiracy theory suggesting Ukraine interfered in the 2016 US election.
A cascade of witness testimony since Congress launched its impeachment inquiry revealed that the phone call was just one data point in a months-long pressure campaign spearheaded by Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, on behalf of the president. Giuliani also enlisted other government officials in his efforts, including Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt Volker, then the US special envoy in Ukraine.
Trump has led his party in aggressively fighting the charges and attacking the Democrats directing impeachment. On Tuesday, the president sent a scathing six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in which he detailed his grievances, calling his expected impeachment “a perversion of justice and abuse of power.”
“More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials,” Trump wrote, referring to the infamous prosecutions and executions of those accused of witchcraft in the late 1600s.
The president argued that the American people would reject impeachment by voting for him and his party in next year’s election.
“I have no doubt the American people will hold you and the Democrats fully responsible in the upcoming 2020 election,” Trump wrote. “Your legacy will be that of turning the House of Representatives from a revered legislative body into a Star Chamber of partisan persecution.”