House Impeaches Trump On Largely Party-Line Votes

In an historic but widely anticipated move, the House voted Wednesday evening to impeach President Donald Trump, with the decision largely coming down along party lines. The Democratic-controlled House voted to approve two articles of impeachment against Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The move to impeach Trump relates to his alleged efforts to coerce Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden as well as his alleged attempts to obstruct the Congressional investigation. The article of impeachment for abuse of power was approved by a vote of 230 to 197, while the article of impeachment for obstruction of Congress was passed by a vote of 229 to 198. Both votes came down almost strictly along party lines, with just two Democrats voting against the article of impeachment for abuse of power and only three voting against the article of impeachment for obstruction of Congress. All of the Republicans in the House voted against both articles of impeachment against Trump, with many arguing that the move was a politically motivated attack seeking to overturn the results of the 2016 president elections. Democratic presidential candidate Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, voted "present" on both articles of impeachment. Trump has repeatedly described Democrats' impeachment effort as a "hoax" and a "witch hunt" and claims that he was denied due process. With the votes, Trump becomes just the third U.S. president to be impeached, although he faces little chance of being removed from office by the Republican-controlled Senate. Republicans currently hold a 53 to 45 majority in the Senate, with two Democratic-leaning independents, and removing Trump from office would require a two-thirds vote in favor. Several Senate Republicans have already indicated they will not vote to remove Trump from office even before the Senate holds its trial on the House charges. On the eve the impeachment votes, Trump sent an angry letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., describing the constitutional procedure as an "ugly word." "You have cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!" Trump wrote in the letter to the top Democrat on Tuesday. Trump, who prevented key aides from testifying before the House, used his six-page letter to rail against the process and the Speaker. "This impeachment represents an unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power by Democrat Lawmakers," according to the president, who accused Pelosi of declaring "open war on American democracy." (Photo: Michael Vadon)