Trump impeached

U.S. President Donald Trump walks out of the Oval Office prior to his departure for a campaign event in Battle Creek, Michigan, December 18, 2019 at the White House in Washington, DC.
U.S. President Donald Trump walks out of the Oval Office prior to his departure for a campaign event in Battle Creek, Michigan, December 18, 2019 at the White House in Washington, DC. | Getty Images/Mark Wilson

The United States House of Representatives has voted in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump, following hours of intense debate. 

The Democrat-majority House voted 230-197 on Wednesday evening in favor of impeaching President Trump, charging him with abuse of power.

The House vote was largely on political lines. Nearly all House Democrats voted in favor of Article 1 of Impeachment, while all Republicans voted against. 

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Two Democrats voted against the Article 1, while one Democrat, identified as presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, voted present. 

Article 2 similarly passed, with only one vote change, 229-198.

The vote came after hours of tense debate on the floor, with periodic allusions to the Bible. Republican Barry Loudermilk of Georgia compared Trump to Jesus Christ.

“When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers,” stated Loudermilk.

“During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afforded this president and this process.”

Democrat Gwen Moore of Wisconsin argued in favor of impeaching the president, stating that she believed Trump “subverted national security” through his actions.   

“I will leave my colleagues with this last thought as they decide on how to cast this historic vote: ‘for what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world only to lose his own soul?’” said Moore, quoting Mark 8:36.

The articles of impeachment will now be brought to the Republican-majority Senate, where they will require a two-thirds majority vote to remove the president from office.

In September, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that the House was going to pursue a formal impeachment inquiry on Trump.

Pelosi specifically cited the apparent mistreatment of a whistleblower and concerns over President Trump asking Ukraine to investigate the son of Democratic candidate Joe Biden, a move believed to be that of asking for foreign interference in the 2020 election. The transcript of that conversation can be read here.

In November, the House Intelligence Committee held a hearing featuring sworn testimony from multiple individuals, including acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent, and former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

While many believed the first week of testimony lacked major breakthroughs, testimony from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was considered by many to be damning.

Sondland, a Republican and former donor to the Trump campaign, told the Committee that he considered the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to include a “quid pro quo.”

“I know that members of this Committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a 'quid pro quo?' As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes,” he stated, as reported by CBS News.

Sondland also stated in his testimony that “everyone was in the loop” on the call and that “everyone was informed via email on July 19, days before the presidential call.”

Following the hearing, Pelosi announced earlier this month that the House was going to draft articles of impeachment, stating that “the facts are uncontested.”

“At the Judiciary Committee, the American people heard testimony from leading American constitutional scholars who illuminated, without a doubt, that the president’s actions are a profound violation of the public trust,” stated Pelosi.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham took to social media to say that she believed House Democrats “should be ashamed” for their actions.

“[Trump] has done nothing but lead our country — resulting in a booming economy, more jobs and a stronger military, to name just a few of his major accomplishments,” Grisham tweeted.

Trump also took to Twitter to criticize the decision, saying the impeachment proceedings are over “nothing” and come from “The Do Nothing, Radical Left Democrats.”

“They already gave up on the ridiculous Mueller ‘stuff,’ so now they hang their hats on two totally appropriate (perfect) phone calls with the Ukrainian President,” he added.

“This will mean that the beyond important and seldom used act of Impeachment will be used routinely to attack future Presidents. That is not what our Founders had in mind. The good thing is that the Republicans have NEVER been more united. We will win!”

Last week, the Judiciary Committee voted 23-17 on party lines to advance the articles of impeachment, also known as House Resolution 755.

HR 755 specifically charged Trump with two offenses: abuse of power, which was connected to the allegation of seeking foreign interference in a U.S. election, and obstruction of Congress, which was connected to him telling administration officials to not cooperate with congressional subpoenas.   

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

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