In a historic rebuke, the U.S. House on Wednesday approved impeachment charges for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress against President Donald Trump, making him only the third President to be impeached in American history, setting up a trial in the U.S. Senate early next year which in theory could result in his removal from office.
The vote on the abuse of power charge was 230 to 197 with two Democrats joining with all Republicans against the charge. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) voted “Present.”
The vote on the obstruction of Congress charge was 229 to 198, as three Democrats voted “No.” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) again voted “Present.”
"The President of the United States was willing to sacrifice our national security - by withholding support for a critical strategic partner at war - in order to improve his re-election prospects," said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who quoted warnings from Alexander Hamilton about allowing a despot to lead the nation.
"By his actions, President Trump has broken his oath of office," said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY).
While Democrats said the President's efforts to get Ukraine to announce investigations related to former Vice President Joe Biden and more were clearly impeachable offenses, Republicans ridiculed the process and the aims of Democrats.
"Since day one, the Democrats have made clear they wanted to move toward impeachment," said Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA), as GOP lawmakers repeatedly said critics of the President were looking for anything to oust him from office.
"The President is the smoking gun," countered Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).
Republicans ridiculed the arguments of Democrats, accusing them of bringing forth a fact-less batch of charges against the President.
"This is a political vendetta," said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). "It's been an impeachment in search of a crime."
"This is no way to go about impeaching a President of the United States," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK).
"The Democrats' new definition for evidence is allegations.
"The majority has thrown almost every allegation imaginable against this President, and yet these articles of impeachment that have been submitted cannot name a single actual crime," said Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA).
"There was no quid pro quo," Hice and other GOP lawmakers said repeatedly.
Republican speakers also complained again and again that the Democrats had rushed impeachment, and bent the rules along the way.
"The whole thing has been rigged," said Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ).
“This impeachment is unfounded and improper,” said House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, who reminded Democrats that Speaker Pelosi had said impeachment should be bipartisan.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.