President Donald Trump became the third sitting president in U.S. history to be impeached. The House of Representatives approved on Wednesday two charges against him: that he abused the power of his office by pressuring Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election on his behalf, and obstructing a congressional investigation into his actions. After a daylong debate, at 8:34 p.m. the House approved the first article of impeachment, charging the president with abuse of power, by a vote of 230-197. It was followed quickly by a second, 229-198, vote accusing the president of obstructing Congress. The one-vote difference was that of Democrat Jared Golden of Maine, who voted yes on abuse of power and no on obstruction.
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 of whom were acquitted in subsequent Senate trials, and served out their terms. The House began impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon in 1973, but Nixon resigned before he was impeached.
President Trump was a a rally in Battle Creek, Mich. just as the vote was being called, telling 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.”
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