2019-12-19 16:07:34 UTC
branded themselves with an eternal mark of shame'
House voted 230-197 to impeach Trump for abuse of power and 229-198 on a count
of obstructing Congress
The historic votes took place just as Trump was addressing supporters at a rally
in Michigan on Wednesday
Trump told the crowd that Democrats 'consumed with hatred' had 'branded
themselves with eternal shame'
Votes were mostly on party lines with no Republicans voting for impeachment and
three Democrats against
Trump is third president to face an impeachment trial after Andrew Johnson in
1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998
Pelosi said last night she could delay the Senate trial, which is likely to
acquit Trump, until rules are agreed
Donald Trump tore into 'crazy Nancy Pelosi' and her legions of House Democrats
last night after he became the third president in history to be impeached,
setting up a trial in the Senate to decide his fate.
The House voted to charge Trump on two counts - abuse of power and obstruction
of Congress - while he was on stage at a Michigan rally.
The rally was meant to be Christmas-themed, but turned into a furious tirade in
which Trump called impeachment a 'perversion' and declared that Democrats
'consumed with hatred' had 'branded themselves with an eternal mark of shame'.
'The Democrats are declaring their deep hatred and disdain for the American
voter,' he said, urging his supporters to vote Pelosi 'the hell out of office'.
The Senate trial is expected next month, but Pelosi warned last night she could
delay it until 'fair' procedures are agreed - setting up a stand-off with Senate
majority leader Mitch McConnell.
After a marathon 10-hour debate on Wednesday, the House voted 230-197 to impeach
Trump for abuse of power - accusing him of using his powers for personal gain by
pressuring Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.
Moments later, the House voted 229-198 to impeach Trump on a second charge of
obstruction of Congress.
After Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998, Trump is the third
president to be impeached by the House, but he is expected to survive his Senate
trial as they did. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before he could be impeached
The votes were mostly on party lines, with no Republicans backing impeachment
and only three Democrats breaking ranks to vote against. Another Democrat,
presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard, voted 'present'.
Trump seized on the results at the rally, saying: 'So we got - every single
Republican voted for us. Woaahhh. Wow. Almost 200. We didn't lose one Republican
vote. And, and, three Democrats for us.'
The US president also found an ally in his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin,
who said today that the claims against Trump were 'made up'.
On a momentous day in U.S. history:
Trump boasted of his 'tremendous support' during a freewheeling rally in
Michigan, in which he also took aim at favorite enemies including Joe Biden and
Hillary Clinton, and a heckler was thrown out;
The president also sparked fury by suggesting that former Congressman John
Dingell had gone to hell after he died, after his widow Debbie Dingell voted for
Former Nixon White House counsel John Dean said Pelosi has 'leverage' over the
Senate impeachment trial after she indicated she could withhold the charges
until rules are agreed;
Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took aim at Tulsi Gabbard for voting
'present', commenting that 'we are sent here to lead', while Pelosi scolded
Democrats who had started to celebrate the vote;
A raft of celebrities took to social media to respond to the impeachment votes,
with many including singer John Legend welcoming the news, while others such as
actor Jon Voight came to Trump's defense;
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham reacted angrily to a tweet by a
Washington Post reporter wishing her followers a 'Merry Impeachmas';
Attorney general William Barr said he was concerned about impeachment becoming
'trivialized and used as a political tool';
A Gallup poll published on Wednesday found that Trump's approval rating had
increased since October, rising to 45 per cent.
The president stepped onstage for his rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, just
minutes before the House began voting on impeachment.
'By the way, by the way, it doesn't really feel like we're being impeached,'
Trump said. 'I'm having a good time, it's crazy,' he remarked later after the
'The country is doing better than ever before. We did nothing wrong and we have
tremendous support in the Republican party like we've never had before.
'The Democrats always stick together. Think of it - three Democrats went over to
our side. That's unheard of.'
Two Democrats voted against the abuse of power charge: Jeff Van Drew of New
Jersey, who is considering switching parties to become a Republican, and Collin
Peterson of Minnesota.
A third Democrat, Jared Golden of Maine, joined them in voting against the
obstruction of Congress charge.
Tulsi Gabbard voted 'present' on both charges, saying Trump had 'violated public
trust' but that voters would be able to hold him accountable in the 2020
'I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe
President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing,' she explained.
'I also could not in good conscience vote for impeachment because removal of a
sitting President must not be the culmination of a partisan process, fueled by
tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country.'
She earned an immediate rebuke from Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who said: 'We are
sent here to lead.'
Pelosi voted yes on both articles, casting a rare vote.
The House speaker, 79, earned a standing ovation from Democratic lawmakers after
opening the debate in the well of the house.
'As speaker of the House I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment
of the president of the United States,' she said.
'If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty,' she It is tragic that
the president's reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no
After declaring Trump impeached, Pelosi called it a 'great day for the
Constitution of the United States, a sad one for America that the president's
reckless activities necessitated us having to introduce articles of
impeachment'. She also scolded fellow Democrats who had begun to celebrate.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham blasted the impeachment vote as
'one of the most shameful political episodes in the history of our Nation.'
'The President is confident the Senate will restore regular order, fairness, and
due process, all of which were ignored in the House proceedings. He is prepared
for the next steps and confident that he will be fully exonerated,' she said in
a statement after the votes were concluded.
Grisham also reacted angrily to a tweet by Washington Post reporter Rachel Bade,
in which she shared a photo of Post journalists celebrating 'Merry Impeachmas'.
Vladimir Putin also came to Trump's defense today, saying that the claims
against his US counterpart were 'made up'.
Echoing the White House's language, Putin said the 'party that lost the election
is continuing the fight by other means'.
Trump's fate will now be decided in a Senate trial, for which the exact
procedures have not yet been agreed.
Pelosi has threatened to withhold the articles of impeachment, effectively
delaying the trial, until McConnell outlines what the procedures will be in the
'So far, we haven't seen anything that looks fair to us,' she said.
'We have legislation approved by the Rules Committee that will enable us to
decide how we will send over the articles of impeachment. We cannot name
managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side, and I would hope
that that will be soon, as we did with their legislation,' she noted.
'We will make our decision as to when we're going to send - when we see what
they're doing on the Senate side,' Pelosi added.
Richard Nixon's former White House counsel John Dean told CNN that Pelosi had
'leverage' over the Senate trial because there was no rule forcing her to send
the articles to the Senate.
In a long rally in Michigan, Trump took aim at many of his favorite targets:
Hillary Clinton, Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi and the reporters covering the event.
'Through their depraved actions today Crazy Nancy Pelosi's House Democrats have
branded themselves with an eternal mark of shame,' he said.
'I tell you these people are crazy,' he said of Congress, as the impeachment
vote went on.