Donald Trump has become the third sitting president in U.S. history to be impeached.
The House of Representatives approved the two articles of impeachment against him: that he abused the power of his office by pressuring Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election on his behalf, and that he obstructed Congress in its inquiry.
The Senate would also debate the matter and put it to a vote to decide Trump’s fate.
Just minutes after impeaching President Trump, and just steps from where the historic vote took place, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised House Democrats for upholding their constitutional duty and called on the Senate, and its Republican leaders, to do the same.
The House approved the first article of impeachment, on abuse of power, by a vote of 230 to 197 at 8:34 p.m. after a daylong debate.
Of the 233 Democrats, 228 voted in favour, along with the House’s one Independent. Two Democrats opposed the measure. No Republicans voted in favour.
Eighteen minutes later, the second article, charging obstruction of Congress, passed by a vote of 229 to 198 with three Democrats voting no, and again no Republicans in favour.
One Democrat voted “present” on each article.
Trump came to the stage for a rally in Battle Creek, Mich., just as the vote was being called and told the crowd, “It doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached. The country is doing better than ever before. We did nothing wrong. And we have tremendous support in the Republican Party.”
Moments after the second article was approved, Trump called his impeachment “illegal, unconstitutional and partisan.” Democrats, he said, “are declaring their deep hatred and disdain for the American voter.”
Democrats “have branded themselves with an eternal mark of shame,” he said.
Eight hours earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi laid out the Democratic case: “The president violated the Constitution. It is a matter of fact that the president is an ongoing threat to our national security and the integrity of our elections: the basis of our democracy.”
Pelosi said that Trump “used the power of his public office to obtain an improper personal, political benefit at the expense of America’s national security.”
The only other two presidents to be impeached in American history are Andrew Johnson, in 1868, and Bill Clinton, in 1998. Both survived their Senate trials and served out their terms.
The House began impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon in 1973, but Nixon resigned before he was impeached.