US President, Donald John Trump on Wednesday evening (US time) has been impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress by the House of Representatives.
This makes him become the third president in US history to be impeached.
The House of Representatives voted almost entirely along party lines — 230-197-1 — to charge Trump with abuse of power, and it followed it up with a 229-198-1 vote to charge Trump with obstruction of Congress.
The votes mark the culmination of a rapid three-month inquiry into allegations that the President pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals while withholding a White House meeting and $400 million in US security aid.
Democratic leaders said the President also obstructed the investigation into his misconduct with a blanket blockade of subpoenas, refusing to allow key senior officials to testify before Congress.
Trump has said he did nothing wrong in his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, that there was “no pressure whatsoever.” He has called the impeachment inquiry “the greatest hoax,” lashing out at Democrats, the media and the anonymous whistleblower who submitted a complaint to the intelligence inspector general.
However, the Republican-controlled Senate will hold a trial to consider whether he should be convicted and removed from office.
The Senate will hold a trial early next year to decide whether the president should be convicted on the charges and removed from office, though the Republicans who have the majority in that chamber will almost certainly acquit him.
Yet public support for Trump’s impeachment and removal rarely went much above 50% in polling, and there is little evidence that the proceedings left him in a worse position politically on the eve of the 2020 election.
The drama will now shift to the Senate for a trial next month that will be presided over by Chief Justice John Roberts. With a two-thirds vote required to convict the president, Trump’s acquittal in the Republican-controlled chamber is all but assured. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already declared that he is “not an impartial juror” and is setting a course to bring the proceedings to a swift conclusion.
“The president is confident the Senate will restore regular order, fairness, and due process, all of which were ignored in the House proceedings,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement immediately after the second article was adopted. “He is prepared for the next steps and confident that he will be fully exonerated.”
It wasn’t clear Wednesday night how quickly the House would send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, a step that would trigger the trial and stop work on any other matters. Pelosi said she was holding off naming House managers for the trial “until we see what the process is in the Senate.” She suggested the Republican majority wasn’t being fair to Democrats but didn’t give specifics.
The historic debate and vote took place in the same chamber where presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached. The arguments on the House floor mostly replayed those made in Judiciary and Intelligence committee impeachment hearings since last month, and on Tuesday as lawmakers set the ground rules for Wednesday’s floor action.