House Votes to Impeach Trump on Both Articles
- Representatives voted mainly along party lines
- President Trump confident the Senate will “do the right thing”
- House Speaker Pelosi delays sending impeachment articles to the Senate
Wednesday saw the United States House of Representatives make a historic decision to impeach President Donald Trump. This is only the third time in US history that the House passed a vote to charge a president with misdemeanors and high crimes.
The House vote was 230 in favor and 197 against charging President Trump with abuse of power. In terms of the accusation of obstructing Congress, the vote was 229 for and 198 against.
This vote is the end-result of a Democratic investigation that spanned three months. It attempted to determine the validity of allegations that President Trump pressured the Ukrainian President to probe his political rivals. Trump allegedly used a meeting at the White House and $400 million in aid as leverage against Ukraine.
Representatives vote mainly along party lines
As was to be expected, Representatives voted mainly in compliance with their party’s position. Only two members of the Democratic party voted against impeachment on both articles.
They were Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota. The New Jersey Representative’s decision isn’t a surprise, as he is expected to move to the Republican party soon.
Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, another Democrat, voted in favor of only one of the impeachment articles. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a potential Democratic presidential nominee, voted present on both articles.
A few minutes after casting her vote, Tulsi Gabbard explained her position. “After doing my due diligence in reviewing the 658-page impeachment report, I came to the conclusion that I could not in good conscience vote either yes or no.”
Gabbard stated that deciding President Trump’s fate should be up to the American people. She is confident that American’s will rebuke the president for his many missteps at the ballot box.
Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, a former Republican and now an independent, voted for impeachment on both articles.
President Trump reacted to the vote at a rally
During the House’s debate, President Trump issued a series of tweets condemning the proceedings. His reaction to the vote came later, though, at a rally.
He specified that all the Republicans voted “in our favor,” and that three Democrats had also gone against their party. He reiterated that no Republican votes had been lost.
“The Republican party has never been so affronted, but they have never been as united as they are right now.” President Trump said.
He further stated that he knew the Senators, who were “great people”, would do the right thing. It should be noted that the Republicans currently hold 53 seats in the Senate to the Democrats’ 45.
The Republican party has also made it very clear that the impeachment will not move past the Senate. Therefore, President Trump has plenty of reason to be confident in the Senate’s decision.
Senate trial timeline uncertain as Pelosi holds back articles
On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi surprised everyone when she delayed sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Some think this is a move meant to force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell into accepting a “fair trial.”
McConnell stated that the Senate’s job was to judge the impeachments, not create them. It was the House’s job to investigate and meet the “very high bar for undoing a national election.” The Senate’s role is to judge and not to desperately find a way to obtain a guilty verdict.
In response, some Democratic progressives have urged the party’s leaders to hold back the articles until they have a fair trial. However, it’s not clear what benefits of withholding the impeachment articles will bring.
Pelosi stated that the House Democrats would decide together on when they would forward the articles. One Democrat said he was willing to wait until McConnell assured them of a fair trial, no matter how long it took.
There are also other issues at play. If the Democrats had sent the articles to the Senate last night, the Senate would have had to deal with them today. This would mean they couldn’t vote on two spending packages. These packages need to pass before the end of the week to ensure the government doesn’t shut down.