US House of Representatives votes to impeach President Trump

US House of Representatives votes to impeach President Trump, by Cameron Stewart.

Donald Trump has become the third US president to be impeached after the House of Representatives passed an historic vote to impeach him for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The vote sets up an impeachment trial in the Senate next month and ensures that the controversy will be hotly debated throughout next year’s election campaign.

After six hours of rancorous debate the final vote was split along party lines with only two Democrats opposing Article One of the impeachment resolution and no Republicans supporting it. The vote passed 230 to 197. Three Democrats voted against Article 2, which passed 229 to 198. …

“The country is doing better than ever before, we did nothing wrong and we have tremendous support from the Republican Party like we’ve never had before,” Mr Trump said. ….

During the debate Mr Trump sent a volley of tweets and retweets including: “SUCH ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT, DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS. THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA AND AN ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.”

The House voted on two articles of impeachment, one for alleged abuse of power by the president in seeking to leverage US military aid to Ukraine and a visit to the White House to pressure Ukraine to launch a public investigation into Democrat Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The other article is for alleged obstruction of Congress in blocking the impeachment inquiry. …

The Republican-controlled Senate will almost certainly acquit Mr Trump, ensuring he will remain in office to contest the next election.

Mr Trump has said he believes his impeachment will help him politically by galvanizing his base to vote for him in the election next November. …

Mr Trump is the third US president to be impeached behind Bill Clinton in 1998 and Andrew Johnson in 1868. Richard Nixon resigned the presidency in 1974 over the Watergate scandal before the house could vote to impeach him. …

More than 600 rallies [took place across the US,] organized by progressive groups … to support impeachment, while a handful of counter rallies were also held to support Mr Trump. …

Polls show that Americans are almost evenly divided over Trump’s impeachment but many are also disengaged from what they see as a partisan political act.