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Donald Trump impeached by U.S. House

President Donald Trump impeached by U.S. House of Representatives
WATCH ABOVE: President Donald Trump impeached by U.S. House of Representatives

Lawmakers have cast their votes, and U.S. President Donald Trump has been impeached.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted in favour of impeaching the president over two charges.

READ MORE: Donald Trump has been impeached — here’s what happens next

The first charge, abuse of power, was voted 230 to 197 in favour of impeachment.

The second charge, obstruction of Congress, was voted 229 to 198 in favour of impeachment.

No Republicans voted for Trump’s impeachment, whereas a few Democrats defected on their side.

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Two Democrats, Rep. Jeff Van Drew and Rep. Collin Peterson voted against the first charge. The second charge would see those two, as well as Democratic Rep. Jared Golden, vote against.

One Democrat, presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, voted “present” on both articles of impeachment, essentially abstaining from the vote.

Only one article of impeachment needs to pass in order for the president to be impeached.

The vote comes after months of investigations marked by explosive testimonies from a number of current and former White House employees.

Reading the results of his impeachment on stage, Trump slammed Democrats at his rally in Michigan, accusing the “radical left in Congress” of being “consumed with envy and hate and rage.”
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He added today’s “illegal, unconstitutional impeachment” would be a political suicide march” for the “do-nothing democrats.”

READ MORE: Trump blasts Democrats, impeachment effort at Michigan rally

Ahead of Wednesday’s debate and vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it is “tragic” that Trump’s actions have forced an impeachment vote.

“If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty,” she said.

Donald Trump becomes third U.S. president impeached, what happens now?
Donald Trump becomes third U.S. president impeached, what happens now?

“He gave us no choice.”

Last week, the House judiciary committee revealed the two articles of impeachment against Trump, approving them swiftly and setting the stage for the historic vote.

Trump is now only the third president in the history of the United States to be impeached, joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.

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READ MORE: Democrats make last-minute pitch to GOP ahead of Trump impeachment vote

Lawmakers say Trump abused the power of the office of the president of the United States in his dealings with Ukraine by temporarily freezing nearly US$400 million in military aid.

Officials allege the freeze was a bid to pressure the Ukrainian government to publicly announce separate investigations into purported interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election as well as former vice-president and political rival Joe Biden’s son Hunter‘s work on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

In a 650-page impeachment report released on Monday, investigators said Trump “betrayed the nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections.”

Trump impeachment: What to expect as Congress prepares for historic vote
Trump impeachment: What to expect as Congress prepares for historic vote

The report’s authors said Trump obstructed Congress by directing officials and various White House departments to ignore lawful subpoenas.

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Lawmakers said the White House also refused to provide documents seen as integral to the investigation.

READ MORE: Democrats seek impeachment testimony from key Trump aide, former security adviser

Through his conduct, lawmakers said Trump “demonstrated he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office.”

Since the process began, Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has repeatedly called the impeachment inquiry a “sham” and a “witch hunt.”

What’s next?

Now that Trump has been impeached by the House of Representatives, the Senate — the upper chamber of Congress — will hold a trial to determine whether he is guilty of the charges.

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The Senate will ultimately decide if he will be removed from office, though it is expected he will be acquitted.

In order for Trump to be removed from office, all Democrats, both Independents and 20 Republicans in the Senate would need to vote to convict — something experts say is very unlikely.

Trump blasts Nancy Pelosi, impeachment process in six-page letter on eve of vote
Trump blasts Nancy Pelosi, impeachment process in six-page letter on eve of vote

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said an impeachment trial could begin as early as next month and that it would be the “first order of business in January.”

McConnell previously said the Senate may opt for a quicker trial to allow lawmakers to return to their “regular business.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has called for a fair trial in which the “whole truth comes out.”

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READ MORE: Here’s what could happen if Trump is impeached

“Do they want a fair, honest trial that examines all the facts, or do they want a trial that doesn’t let the facts come out?” he said.

McConnell and Schumer are expected to meet prior to the Senate trial to establish ground rules for how it will be conducted.

In a letter on Sunday, Schumer proposed a schedule that would see the trial start on Jan. 7, 2020, with as many as 126 hours of proceedings.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opens debate on impeaching Trump
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opens debate on impeaching Trump

Schumer also said the Senate should hear from acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, his senior adviser Robert Blair, former national security adviser John Bolton and Office of Management and Budget official Michael Duffey.

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He added that to conduct a trial without “relevant” witnesses “just doesn’t make any sense.”

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, McConnell said he will not call the requested witnesses, saying it is “not the Senate’s job to leap into the breach and search desperately for ways to get to guilty.”

“If House Democrats’ case is this deficient, this thin, the answer is not for the judge and jury to cure it here in the Senate,” he said.

With files from the Associated Press and Global News’ Emerald Bensadoun and David Lao

Protesters demonstrate against Trump in Michigan as he visits for rally
Protesters demonstrate against Trump in Michigan as he visits for rally