A long and contentious day of debates, ended as we all thought it would, with a vote to impeach President Donald J. Trump mostly along party lines. The meaningless gesture will now go to a Senate trial –likely to begin in January – where it will go no further.
Late on the evening of December 18, history was made, as lawmakers approved articles of impeachment against the president, for both the abuse of power and the obstruction of Congress. The first article passed in a 230-to-197 vote while the second article passed in a 229-to-198 vote.
Another vote, which will take place later in the week, will inevitably lead to a trial in the GOP controlled Senate. There, Democrats will need a two-thirds vote in order to remove President Trump from office – a near impossibility, as that would require 20 Republican Senators to break ranks and vote to convict the president.
Wednesday’s historic vote makes Trump the third president to ever be impeached, following Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. He is also the first Republican president in history to be impeached and the first to be impeached in his first term.
The vote wrapped up weeks of testimony related to President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. The House Judiciary Committee approved rules for impeachment last week in a 23-to-17 vote.
The president heard the news of his impeachment during a standing room only rally in Michigan, where he said to the adoring crowd, “By the way, it doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached,” Trump said at the rally. “The country is doing better than ever before. We did nothing wrong.”
He added, to cheers: “We didn’t lose one Republican, and three Democrats voted for us. The Democrats always stick together. Now think of it: Three Democrats went over to our side, no Republicans. It’s unheard of.”
President Trump has said the Democrat’s use of impeachment “is an embarrassment to this country.” While speaking at the White House on Friday, the president stated the House is trivializing what it means for a president to be impeached and said they are “making a fool of themselves.”
“It’s a witch hunt, it’s a sham, it’s a hoax, nothing was done wrong, zero was done wrong — I think it’s a horrible thing to be using the tool of impeachment,” he stated. “It’s something that shouldn’t be allowed and it’s a very bad thing for our country, and you’re trivializing impeachment.”