Trump Becomes Third US President To Be Impeached
Donald Trump has been impeached by the House of Representatives, becoming only the third US president to suffer the ignominy and bringing him a step closer to being removed from office.
Two articles of impeachment were passed over his behaviour in the Ukraine scandal – one for abuse of power and the other for obstruction of Congress.
Not a single Republican voted for either article – a fact the White House seized on to portray the Democrats’ impeachment drive as motivated by political bias.
The issue will now pass to the Senate, the other body that makes up the US Congress, which will hold a trial on whether to convict and remove Mr Trump from office next month.
But given the Republicans – Mr Trump’s party – hold the Senate majority and two thirds of senators would need to vote for removal it is very unlikely to happen.
Even so, impeachment creates a permanent black mark on Mr Trump’s political legacy that he shares with only two past presidents – Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
Addressing cheering supporters at a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, as the House delivered its historic verdict, Mr Trump was dismissive and defiant.
“They’ve been trying to impeach me from day one,” he said.
“After three years of sinister witch hunts, hoaxes, scams, tonight, House Democrats are trying to nullify the ballots of tens of millions of patriotic Americans.”
Article one, abuse of power, passed with 230 votes to 197. Two Democrats voted against it. Article three, obstruction of Congress, passed with 229 votes to 197. Three Democrats voted against.
In the biggest surprise of the night, Tulsi Gabbard, the Hawaii congresswoman running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, voted ‘present’, meaning she did not back impeachment.
She later explained that US voters should be allowed to decide Mr Trump’s fate in next November’s election. “My vote today is a vote for much needed reconciliation and hope that together we can heal our country,” she said in a statement.