House Democrats voted to impeach President Donald Trump, making Trump the third president in American history to be impeached by the House of Representatives. Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 were the other two. Both were acquitted in the Senate, and remained in office till the end of their terms. This is shaping up to be the scenario for Trump as well, as the Senate is under Republican control. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has already said that he intends to simply hold a vote to dismiss the charges, rather than dignify them with a debate.
The outcome came as little surprise, with the Democrat-controlled House voting along party lines in what their GOP opponents perceive as a partisan attack on a sitting US leader.
The House passed article one of H.R. 755 which charges President Trump with abusing the office of the presidency. Article one passed on mostly partisan lines, 230-197, with most Republicans against the resolution. Two Democrats, Reps. Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ), voted against the resolution.
The “abuse of power” charges revolve around claims that Trump had withheld US military aid from Ukraine in an effort to pressure its newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky into opening an investigation into Burisma, a gas company that had employed Hunter Biden on its board. Hunter’s father, former Vice President Joe Biden, is running for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2020, and therefore the investigation would amount to foreign interference in the election, the Democrats said, adding that it all somehow circled back to the ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy.
The second article of impeachment, which charges that Trump obstructed Congress, passed the House with 229-198 votes. Three Democrats, Reps. Van Drew, Peterson, and Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) voted against the resolution. Rep. Gabbard voted present for the first article of impeachment.
Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI), a former Republican, voted in favor of article one of impeachment.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), who is running for the Democratic nomination for president, voted present for article one of impeachment. She also voted present on the resolution establishing the rules surrounding the impeachment bill.
Republicans and Democrats have been sparring over impeachment since early Wednesday morning.
House Democrats blocked House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) privileged motion to condemn House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) for exceeding their powers.
Rep. Peterson voted with Republicans to prevent Democrats from blocking a floor vote on the legislation.
Reps. Van Drew and Peterson voted with Republicans against a bill that would establish the rules regarding the House floor debate on the articles of impeachment against Trump.
After the Democrats moved to establish six hours of debate on impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) compared the Democrats’ efforts to remove the president from office to the World War II Battle of the Bulge.
House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA) said during a speech Wednesday that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants more witnesses because he does not have all of the facts.
U.S. House of Representatives
The Texas conservative responded sarcastically:
You said it was about this terrible Russia collusion. When that fell through, it was about emoluments, it’s about bribery, it’s about extortion. It’s changed, but one thing hasn’t changed and that’s the intent to impeach this president. It’s always been there.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said, “Democrats have been triggered into impeaching the President – because they don’t like him, and they don’t like us.”
— Mark Bednar (@MarkBednar) December 18, 2019
Rep. Al Green (D-TX), who has been a leading figure for impeachment, used a picture of a migrant girl crying at the southern border during his speech. However, despite the Democrats’ claim, the migrant girl was not crying because she was separated from her parents.
U.S. House of Representatives
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) said that the impeachment is a “total Schiff show!”
This impeachment is ripping our country in half. It’s fatally flawed on the process, the substance, the intentions, and the consequences. It’s a total Schiff Show! pic.twitter.com/YsvOJ9QlD5
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) December 19, 2019
House Republican Leader McCarthy delivered a scathing rebuke of the Democrats’ push to impeach President Trump and undermine the 2020 presidential election. He said that Democrats have done little to improve Americans’ lives during this congressional term.
U.S. House of Representatives
Rep. McCarthy said:
Donald J. Trump is President of the United States. He is President today. He will be President tomorrow. And he will be President when this impeachment is over. When they accept that, maybe this House can get back to work for the American people.
Because they lost to him [Trump] in 2016, they’ll do anything to stop him in 2020.
That’s not America. That’s not how democratic republics behave. Elections matter. Voters matter. And in eleven months the people’s voice will be heard again.
Impeachment is the most consequential decision Congress can make other than sending our men and women into war. Yet 85 days ago Speaker Pelosi chose to impeach the President of the United States. She wrote the script and created an artificial timeline to make the details fit. Why else are we doing this hours before Christmas?
If that’s all this was — a rush to judgment — she could be forgiven. But, before the Speaker saw one word, one shred of evidence, she moved to impeach.
In the past, such a step demanded a vote — from all of us — from the start. But not only did she move to impeach before she gave this House — and the hundreds of millions of people we represent — a say in whether to pursue an impeachment inquiry, she threw out the bipartisan standards and institutional precedents this House gave Presidents Nixon and Clinton.
Moreover, politicizing this process has discredited the United States House of Representatives and could forever weaken the remedy of impeachment.
To again quote Professor Turley, it is the Democrats’ rush to impeachment on these grounds, with unfair procedures, that is an ‘abuse of power.’
Madame Speaker — as I said at the beginning, we face a choice: Do you trust the wisdom of the people or do you deny them a say in their government?
Fortunately, the people will have the opportunity to speak up and render their verdict in 11 short months. To my fellow Americans — If you approve of the way this House has conducted its business — if you want to see your tax dollars go towards endless investigations — support impeachment.
But if you want to restore a working Congress — like the previous Congress that listened to you and worked to bring the best economy this country has ever seen and will once again work with the President to get things done for you and your family — then join Republicans in rejecting this baseless impeachment. That’s what’s wonderful about this system of ours: we are a government of, by, and for the people.
Now that the House has passed articles of impeachment, the Senate will convene an impeachment trial to determine if the president should be removed from office.
Although many establishment media outlets have speculated if Senate Republicans will vote to convict President Trump, Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) said that as many as three Senate Democrats could vote to acquit the president.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said during a floor speech Tuesday that he will move to dismiss the impeachment trial.
Republicans have countered that everything Trump has done was legitimately within his purview as head of state, that Zelensky himself swore he had not been pressured, the aid was delivered, and that Biden himself publicly boasted about threatening Ukraine into firing a prosecutor looking into Burisma.
Though impeachment is a procedure provided-for in the US Constitution, no president has ever been successfully removed from office that way. Richard Nixon resigned from office in August 1974 under threat of impeachment over the Watergate scandal, less than two years after winning re-election in one of the biggest landslides in US history.
However, Nixon had become deeply unpopular with his own party, as well as with the Democrats, by the time he resigned. By contrast, Trump’s approval ratings have actually risen in the GOP and among the independents since the impeachment proceedings against him were launched in September.
That night, following the party line vote by Democrats to impeach President Trump, Nancy Pelosi spoke to reporters. The Democrat leader threatened to withhold the articles of impeachment unless the US Senate bows to her demands!
This has never made sense. It is never made sense when you throw every likelihood into it. They do these articles of impeachment, they go over to the Senate, they have a trial, Trump’s acquitted. What do they accomplish? Literally nothing. The worst outcome in any event, the worst outcome possible for her is for Trump to be acquitted.
So how do you prevent that? You claim exactly what I said her out was gonna be. You refuse to send the articles and why? Because the Republicans are racist, sexist, bigots, homophobes, and they’re unfair, and they’re partisan, and there won’t be a fair trial. She’s not even gonna announce who her House managers are, the prosecutors, until she gets a lowdown on how the Senate’s gonna conduct itself. It’s none of her business. She has not a single thing to say about how the Senate does things, zilch, zero, nada. All she can do is try to force Chuck You Schumer into doing her bidding, which probably he would do, but she can’t tell McConnell to do anything.
The only way she can get what she ultimately wants is to make sure there isn’t a trial, because if Trump is acquitted then all of this is out the window. She’s already got a big enough problem by not sending those articles over because why? Well, Trump is such an immediate threat, we couldn’t wait. We couldn’t wait to do this. We couldn’t take the normal amount of time. We couldn’t take the 14 months it took for Nixon, because Trump represents such an existential threat to the country, to the Constitution, to the Moon, to Mars, to climate change, you name it, we gotta get rid of him.
Now they got the articles, and what? Why, Mitch McConnell has become the threat. McConnell is the threat. We can’t let McConnell get involved in this, Pelosi’s saying. Mitch McConnell is the threat? Yes, that’s right, ma’am, because Mitch McConnell would oversee the acquittal. Now, there are other reasons why she’s not gonna send these articles over there. They’re bogus! They’re fake! This was a fake impeachment to go along with fake news. Everything about it is political.
I have to tell you, McConnell was better today than I have seen him in years, nuking Pelosi from the floor of the Senate. We have the audio sound bites coming up. But, man. I’m actually feeling kind of puffed up here today because she’s doing exactly what I told her her out was. Now, look. I did not predict nor advise her not to send the articles over. But I told her her out was to blame it all on the Republicans. It can’t get a fair process. The Republicans are partisan. The Republicans are racists. The Republicans are bigots. The Republicans’ minds are made up. She’s saying all of that.
President Trump posted a chilling meme a few hours after the lawless Democrats voted to impeach him for non-crimes.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2019
Alex Jones breaks down the plot to overthrow President Trump during the Senate Trial bypassing the will of the people.