Earlier tonight (December 18), the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, charging him with “high crimes and misdemeanors” according to The New York Times. He is only the third president in history to face removal by the Senate.
The votes on two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — went mostly along party lines, after about eight hours of heated debates.
Nearly all Democrats supported the article on abuse of power, which accused President Trump of using the power of his office to pressure Ukraine’s government to announce investigations that could discredit his political rivals. No Republicans voted in favor of impeachment.
According to Fox News, the final vote on the abuse-of-power count was 230-197, with Hawaii Democratic Representative (and Presidental hopeful) Tulsi Gabbard voting present. In a statement Gabbard called for a censure resolution instead of impeachment, saying, “My vote today is a vote for much needed reconciliation and hope that together we can heal our country.”
Fox reported that, while the impeachment proceedings were going on in Washington, DC, President Trump was holding a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, where thousands lined up hours in advance to get into the event.
“By the way, it doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached,” Trump said. “The country is doing better than ever before. We did nothing wrong.”
So, what’s next? A trial in the Senate is expected to begin early next year, giving senators the final say on whether to acquit President Trump or convict him and remove him from office. He is likely to be acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate.