Trump becomes third president in US history to be impeached (updated Thursday)

IN a historic move, the House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday. It’s only the third time in history that a US president has been impeached.

The House voted primarily along party lines to impeach Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, CNN reported.

The vote on the first article of impeachment — abuse of power:

  • Democrats: 230 yeas
  • Republicans: 197 nays

One member, Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, voted present.

The vote on the second article of impeachment — obstruction of Congress:

  • Democrats: 230 yeas
  • Republicans: 197 nays

Rep. Gabbard was again the only Democrat to vote present.

The White House hit back with a statement that said: “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.”
It called the impeachment a “sham” that denied the President “fundamental fairness and due process under the law.”

The statement added: “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.”

CNN reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it was “a great day for the Constitution” but “a sad day for America.”

“I could not be prouder or more inspired by the moral courage of the House Democrats. We never asked one of them how they were going to vote. We never whipped this vote” she said.
Pelosi added: “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.”

Meanwhile, Trump was at a “Merry Christmas” rally in Michigan lashed out at the Democrats and claimed that they had “branded themselves with an eternal mark of shame.”

He said: “With today’s illegal unconstitutional and partisan impeachment, the do-nothing Democrats are declaring their deep hatred and disdain for the American voter.”
Trump likened the impeachment proceedings to a “political suicide march” and asked: “Have you seen my polls?”

The next steps in the impeachment saga all depends on Pelosi.

CNN reported on Thursday that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made limited remarks to reporters as he walked back to the Senate from Pelosi’s office.

“We are in the same page, and what Speaker Pelosi said at her press conference, exactly characterizes my view,” Schumer told reporters.

CNN said Pelosi and House Democrats are signaling that they will send the articles of impeachment to the Senate after Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cut a deal first on the rules of the trial.

McConnell said that the Senate is at an “impasse” about setting the rules of the impeachment trial, leaving the status of the trial in limbo as lawmakers leave Washington until the new year.