<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/18/us/politics/impeachment-vote.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Day the House Impeached Trump: Key Moments</a>  <font color="#6f6f6f">The New York Times</font>

The historic votes charged the president with “high crimes and misdemeanors” in connection with a Ukraine pressure campaign. Mr. Trump became the third sitting president in history to be impeached.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over the vote to impeach President Trump.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times





House Votes to Impeach Trump

The Democratic-led House of Representatives charged President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

“The yeas are 230, the nays are 197, present is one — Article 1 is adopted. The question is on adoption of Article 2. On this vote, the yeas are 229, the nays are 198, present is one — Article 2 is adopted.” “I don’t know about you, but I’m having a good time, it’s crazy. Oh, I think we have a vote coming in. So we got every single Republican voted for us. Whoa, whoa, wow — wow, almost 200. This is the first impeachment where there’s no crime. I say, tell me what I did please. Well, we don’t know — you violated the Constitution. I’m the first person that ever get impeached and there’s no crime. Like, I feel guilty. You know they call it: impeachment lite. It’s impeachment lite.” “And what is the defense from my colleagues? When you cut through it all, when you cut through all the sound and the fury, signifying nothing, what it really amounts to is this: Why should we care? We used to care about democracy. We used to care about our allies. We used to stand up to Putin and Russia. We used to.” “I’ll tell you what, Madam Speaker, let me have just a few minutes, stop the clock, and let me go around to the press corps and everybody here and I’m going to accuse you of something. You did it. You did it. You did it. You did it. Now prove it’s wrong. You did it. Guess what: You don’t want to, because deep down you know that that’s turning the entire jurisprudence of this country upside down. You’re not guilty until you prove it — you’re innocent. And today from this floor, we have heard the majority leader say this president is guilty and not the other way around.” “This impeachment is permanent. It will follow him around for the rest of his life and history books will record it. And the people know why we impeached. It’s all very simple. No one is above the law.” “Unfortunately, many of my colleagues have diminished what should be a solemn and grave proceeding into an absolute political circus.” “If you think I exaggerate in warning that our elections can be undermined, I’d urge you to come down to Georgia, find a black man or woman of a certain age, and they’ll tell you: The danger is real.” “So this vote, this day, is about one thing and one thing only: They hate this president.”

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The Democratic-led House of Representatives charged President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump, charging him with “high crimes and misdemeanors” and making him the third president in history to face removal by the Senate.

The votes on two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — fell largely along party lines, after about eight hours of contentious debate that underscored the deep divisions in the country and among its representatives.

All but two Democrats supported the article on abuse of power, which accused Mr. Trump of using the power of his office to pressure Ukraine’s government to announce investigations that could discredit his political rivals. The vote was 230 to 197.

A third Democrat, Representative Jared Golden of Maine, joined with Republicans in opposing the obstruction of Congress charge. The vote was 229 to 198.

No Republicans voted in favor of either article of impeachment. Representative Justin Amash, Independent of Michigan, voted for both articles.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat of Hawaii, who is running for president, voted “present” on both articles of impeachment. She said in a statement that she could not “in good conscience” vote either yes or no.

Impeachment Results: How Democrats and Republicans Voted

See how each House member voted on the articles of impeachment against President Trump.

“I am standing in the center and have decided to vote present. I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing,” she said.

She added, “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.”

A historic trial in the Senate is expected to begin early next year, giving senators the final say on whether to acquit the 45th president or convict and remove him from office. Acquittal in the Republican-controlled chamber is likely.

Listen to ‘The Daily’: The Impeachment of Donald J. Trump

In a divided House, moderate Democrats are bearing the burden of answering for the impeachment vote.

At a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Mich., Mr. Trump condemned the impeachment inquiry as a “hoax” and said he was confident that he would be acquitted in the Senate.

“We didn’t lose one Republican vote, and three Democrats voted for us,” he announced to howls of approval from the raucous crowd. “The Republican Party has never been so united as they are right now. Never. Never.”

He said senators “are going to do the right thing.”

Mr. Trump took the stage at just after 8 p.m. at the 9,800-seat Kellogg Arena, where a rowdy crowd had eagerly awaited his appearance onstage as music blared through the chilly auditorium.

“It doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached,” he said. “The country is doing better than ever before. We did nothing wrong. We have tremendous support in the Republican Party like we’ve never had before.”

Once the House impeached him, Mr. Trump mocked Democrats for conducting what he said was an unfair attack on his presidency.

“I’m not worried. I’m not worried. Because, it’s always good,” he said. “But you don’t do anything wrong and you get impeached. That may be a record that will last forever. But you know what they have done? They have cheapened the impeachment process.”

The Trump campaign event, scheduled before organizers knew the House would hold its impeachment vote on Wednesday, was billed as a “Merry Christmas Rally.” The stage was flanked by two large Christmas trees topped by the campaign’s signature red “Make America Great Again” hats in lieu of stars.

Democrats designed Wednesday’s impeachment debate to last for six hours, but it played out in one- to two-minute bursts as individual lawmakers strode to the microphones to quickly deliver their conclusions about whether Mr. Trump abused his office and obstructed Congress.

Under the rules adopted by the House, the debate ping-pongs between Republicans and Democrats, managed by the chairman and ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Here is a flavor of the back-and-forth:

K. Michael Conaway, Republican of Texas: “Many of my colleagues have diminished what should be a solemn and grave proceeding into an absolute political circus.”

Ted Lieu, Democrat of California: “This impeachment is permanent. It will follow him around for the rest of his life and history books will record it. And the people will know why we impeached. It’s all very simple. No one is above the law.”

Tom McClintock, Republican of California: “This is a stunning abuse of power and a shameless travesty of justice that will stain the reputations of those responsible for generations to come.”

Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee: “Donald Trump used the high power of the presidency to pressure a foreign nation to besmirch his perceived primary political opponent.”

Clay Higgins, Republican of Louisiana: “America is being severely injured by this betrayal, by this unjust and weaponized impeachment, brought upon us by the same socialists who threaten unborn life in the womb, who threaten First Amendment rights of conservatives.”

Hank Johnson, Democrat of Georgia: “If you think I exaggerate in warning that our elections can be undermined, I’d urge you to come down to Georgia, find a black man or woman of a certain age, and they’ll tell you the danger is real.”

Chris Stewart, Republican of Utah: “This day is about one thing and one thing only. They hate this president. They hate those of us who voted for him. They think we are stupid. They think we made a mistake. They think Hillary Clinton should be the president and they want to fix that.”

Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York: “I would remind the gentleman if President Trump is impeached and removed, the new president would be Mike Pence, not Hillary Clinton.”






‘He Gave Us No Choice’: Pelosi Opens Impeachment Debate

Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened debate on articles of impeachment against President Trump in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

As speaker of the House, I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States. If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty. It is tragic that the president’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice.

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened debate on articles of impeachment against President Trump in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened debate in the House on Wednesday on the articles of impeachment, declaring that lawmakers are “custodians of the Constitution” and urging her colleagues to honor their oaths by charging the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

“Today, as speaker of the House, I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States,” she said as the chamber began debate.

Ms. Pelosi took the floor dressed in a dark suit, a nod to what she has long said would be a solemn day, and a carefully chosen accessory: a gold brooch fashioned as the mace of the republic, also known as the speaker’s mace.

“Our founder’s vision of a republic is under threat from actions from the White House,” she said somberly, adding, “If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty. It is tragic that the president’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice.”

When she concluded her remarks, Democrats gave the speaker a standing ovation while Republicans chanted “regular order” to quiet the chamber.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, spoke first for the Republicans, rising to oppose the articles and accusing Democrats of conducting an unfair and illegitimate impeachment inquiry that had not proved Mr. Trump guilty.

“This is an impeachment based on presumption,” he said. “This is a poll-tested impeachment about what actually sells to the American people. Today is going to be a lot of things. What it is not is fair. What it is not is about the truth.”

In an apparent attempt to spread both holiday cheer and a political message, a White House aide distributed a yuletide gift on Wednesday to Democratic senators: a large embossed card bidding them a Merry Christmas.

But inside the card was a copy of Mr. Trump’s rambling, angry six-page letter to Ms. Pelosi accusing House Democrats of “subverting America’s democracy” by moving ahead with impeachment. The card was signed by Mr. Trump and the first lady in red Sharpie marker.

The package, delivered to the Capitol as the House inched closer to impeaching Mr. Trump, struck some lawmakers as eminently bizarre.

“What a day,” said Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut.

The iconic picture of a crying migrant girl at the border loomed large, blown up to poster size and emblazoned with the words “Impeach Now,” as Representative Al Green, Democrat of Texas, told his colleagues that Mr. Trump should be impeached “for the sake of the many who are suffering.”

Republicans have repeatedly cited Mr. Green, who began calling for the president to be impeached in 2017, as evidence that Democrats have used the Ukraine matter as an excuse to force Mr. Trump out of office because they oppose his policies. The House blocked an article of impeachment that Mr. Green introduced in July.

“President Trump is keeping his campaign promises and you hate him for that,” said Representative Glenn Grothman, Republican of Wisconsin.

Democratic leaders have repeatedly insisted that no president should be impeached for policy disagreements. But others, like Mr. Green, unapologetically conceded during Wednesday’s debate that they believed Mr. Trump deserved to be forced from office not just for his conduct related to Ukraine, but also for the way he governs.

After the House voted to impeach Mr. Trump, several of the Democratic presidential candidates spoke in support of the outcome while sounding a somber note about Wednesday’s place in American history.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who called for Mr. Trump’s impeachment in April after the release of the special counsel’s report, said on Twitter that Mr. Trump had “abused our diplomatic relationships and undermined our national security for his own personal, political gain.”

“By voting to impeach him, the House has taken an important step to hold him accountable,” she said. “I’m ready to fulfill my constitutional duty in the Senate.”

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who is at the center of the Ukraine affair, sounded a similar note, saying Mr. Trump had “betrayed our nation.”

“This is a solemn moment for our country,” he tweeted. “But in the United States of America, no one is above the law — not even the President.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., praised Congress for having defended “the rule of law, our national security, and our democracy from a president who puts his own interests above America’s.”

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont called Wednesday “sad but necessary” and then began looking ahead to the trial in the Senate.

“Mitch McConnell,” he said on Twitter, “must conduct a full and fair trial to hold this president accountable.”

As the House was debating Mr. Trump’s impeachment, his counselor, Kellyanne Conway, huddled with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill in preparation for a Senate trial to determine Mr. Trump’s fate, likely in January.

Over lunch, Ms. Conway delivered a presentation of polls that the White House believes shows public support for Mr. Trump and his party. Speaking to reporters afterward, she cited in particular an ABC News/Washington Post poll showing 62 percent of Americans believed that there would be a fair trial in the Senate.

“I was very happy to deliver that message to Republicans in the Senate,” she said.

The poll also found seven in 10 Americans said the president should allow his top aides to testify during the trial. (Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, on Tuesday rejected demands by Democrats to call four White House officials as witnesses.)

Ms. Conway criticized the House for what she called “specious and very spare articles” of impeachment. And while Mr. Trump has pushed for a lengthy trial, she told reporters, “I think short versus long is less important than full and fair.”

Later, she told reporters in the White House briefing room that Mr. Trump was in good spirits. Her portrait of a happy-go-lucky president seemed to contrast with several angry tweets he issued, and with the angry letter he sent to Ms. Pelosi a day earlier.

“The president is fine,” Ms. Conway said. “His mood is good.”

As the House debate unfolded on Wednesday, the rest of Washington seemed to be functioning as usual. A crowd of power brokers huddled around tables at the Four Seasons hotel in Georgetown. People sitting around the sunny dining room craned their necks to see who else was in the vicinity, and at least one reporter could be heard pitching a story.

Across town, a group of dozens of protesters outside the Capitol were as divided as the politicians inside. A man dressed in a Santa costume rode around on a One Wheel decorated as a sleigh as women nearby carried signs saying, “Give the Gift of Impeachment” and “All I Want for Christmas Is for Congress to Impeach.”

A Trump supporter stood in the center of a group there in support of impeachment — “You’ve been programmed! Brain washed! By the deep state!” he shouted, as people in the group took turns calling him racist.

Mark Kampf, 65, a voice actor who traveled from Pahrump, Nev., held up a sign that read “Impeach Pelosi (a.k.a. the Devil),” and said he wanted to make sure his views were represented.

“I think she’s been plotting to take down the president,” Mr. Kampf said of Ms. Pelosi, echoing the president’s beliefs, “as admitted on T.V., for two and a half years.”

Ilana Rios, 20, a student, stood away from the main group of protesters and said she was still trying to hear both sides, a comment that made her a rarity in a polarized capital.

“I don’t think it’s right for people to say they’re above the law,” Ms. Rios said. She added that she shared some of the beliefs Mr. Trump had on hardening American immigration policies, but added, “I don’t think it’s right to keep him here in government.”
— Katie Rogers and Lola Fadulu

It was a momentous day in American history. But by all indications, it was not a momentous day in the lives of most Americans.

So while the House debated impeaching Mr. Trump on Wednesday, one man in Houston was more focused on a $279 speeding ticket. Tourists in Chicago savored an impeachment-free shopping day. Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 401 in Albuquerque followed a simple mantra: “Anything but politics, man.”

Americans may be deeply invested in the outcome, but as history played out, many of them were taking whatever opportunity they could to look elsewhere.

Ms. Pelosi chose Representative Diana DeGette of Colorado, a veteran Democrat who had impressed her with a tough, skillful parliamentary hand, to preside over the debate on the articles of impeachment.

Ms. DeGette, first elected in 1996, was until this year the Democrats’ chief deputy whip — the member of leadership responsible for counting votes, known in congressional parlance as “whipping.” She has held the gavel more than a dozen times this year, rotating in and out of the chair as members customarily do.

— Sheryl Gay Stolberg

The fate of Mr. Trump’s presidency will soon be in the hands of the Senate, whose leaders are already quarreling over how to put on a fair trial.

Senators Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Chuck Schumer of New York, the Republican and Democratic leaders, hardly waited for the House vote to debate how to proceed. On Tuesday, Mr. McConnell rejected Mr. Schumer’s proposal to call four witnesses who did not testify in the House inquiry, arguing that it was not the Senate’s job to complete a rushed and inadequate investigation by the House.






How Does the Impeachment Process Work?

Explosive testimony. News media frenzies. A trial in the Senate. Here is how impeachment works — and how it has played out in the past.

“Impeachment by its nature, it’s a political process.” “What people think is going to happen can turn out to be very different from what happens.” “Because it has to do with elected officials holding another elected official to account for their conduct.” When the framers of the Constitution created a process to remove a president from office, they were well … kind of vague. So to understand how it’s going to play out, the past is really our best guide. “I think we’re just all in for a really crazy ride.” Collectively, these New York Times reporters have covered U.S. politics for over 150 years. “I’m also a drummer in a band, so …” They’ve reported on past impeachment inquiries. “Yea, I’m lost in Senate wonderland.” And they say that the three we’ve had so far have been full of twists and turns. “The president of the United States is not guilty as charged.” In short, expect the unexpected. First, the process. Impeachment is technically only the initial stage. “Common misconceptions about impeachment are that impeachment by itself means removal from office. It doesn’t. The impeachment part of the process is only the indictment that sets up a trial.” The Constitution describes offenses that are grounds for removing the president from office as bribery, treason and — “They say high crimes and misdemeanors, which, really, is in the eye of the beholder.” “The framers didn’t give us a guidebook to it. They simply said, that the House had the responsibility for impeachment and the Senate had the responsibility for the trial.” One of the things missing from the Constitution? How an impeachment inquiry should start. And that has generally been a source of drama. Basically, anything goes. “In fact, in the Andrew Johnson case they voted to impeach him without even having drafted the articles of impeachment.” For Richard Nixon, his case started with several investigations that led to public hearings. That part of the process went on for two years, and yielded revelation after revelation, connecting Nixon to a politically-motivated burglary at D.N.C. headquarters — “… located in the Watergate office building.” — and its subsequent cover-up. “Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?” “I was aware of listening devices. Yes, sir.” “This was a shocker. Everybody in the White House recognized how damaging this could be.” As the House drafted articles of impeachment, Nixon lost the support of his party. “O.K., I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.” “I was asked to write the farewell piece that ran the morning after Nixon resigned. And this is what I wrote: The central question is how a man who won so much could have lost so much.” So for Nixon, it more or less ended after the investigations. But for Bill Clinton, that phase was just the beginning. “This is the information.” An independent counsel’s investigation into his business dealings unexpectedly turned into a very public inquiry about his personal life. “The idea that a president of the United States was having an affair with a White House intern and then a federal prosecutor was looking at that, it was just extraordinary.” That investigation led to public hearings in the House Judiciary Committee. “When the Starr Report was being delivered to Congress it was a little bit like the O.J. chase, only a political one. There were two black cars. They were being filmed live on CNN. They were heading towards the Capitol. We were watching it and a little bit agog.” Public opinion is key. And the media plays a huge part in the process. This was definitely true for Clinton. “You know it was just a crazy time. We worked in the Senate press gallery.” “All your colleagues are kind of piled on top of each other.” “We had crummy computers, the fax machine would always break. The printer would always break.” After committee hearings, the House brought formal impeachment charges. “It was very tense. I thought that the Saturday of the impeachment vote in the House was one of the most tense days I’d experienced in Washington.” And it turned out, also, full of surprises. “The day of impeachment arrived, everyone’s making very impassioned speeches about whether Bill Clinton should or should not be impeached and Livingston rises to give an argument for the House Republicans. He started to talk about how Clinton could resign.” “You, sir, may resign your post.” “And all of a sudden people start booing and saying, ‘Resign, resign’!” “So I must set the example.” “He announced he was resigning because he had had extramarital affairs and challenged President Clinton to do the only honorable thing, in his view —” “I hope President Clinton will follow.” “— to resign as well, so there was all this drama unfolding even in the midst of impeachment.” Then it went to the Senate for trial. The Constitution gets a little more specific about this part. “The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is supposed to preside over that trial.” “Rehnquist, he showed up in this robe he had made for himself, which had gold stripes on the sleeves because he liked Gilbert and Sullivan.” “The Senate is the actual jury.” “You will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws. So help you, God.” “This is a copy of the rules of the Senate for handling impeachment. They’re actually very specific.” “Meet six days a week.” “Convene at noon. The senators have to sit at their desks and remain quiet in their role as jurors. And not talk, which trust me, is going to be a problem for some of the senators who are used to talking all the time.” It’s just like a courtroom trial. There are prosecutors who present the case against the president. “That was perjury.” Only, they’re members of the House, and they’re called managers. Then the senators, or the jurors, vote. And things are still, unpredictable. “The options are guilty or not guilty. But there was one senator —” “Arlen Specter, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania.” “Under Scottish law, there are three possible verdicts: guilty, not guilty and not proved.” “— which is not a thing.” “And everybody just looks, you know, how do you even record that vote?” In the end, there were not enough votes to oust Clinton. “What’s amazing about this whole thing to me wasn’t so much the constitutional process. It was that it felt to me like the beginning of really intense partisanship, the weaponization of partisanship.” And here’s the thing: An impeachment charge has never gotten the two-thirds majority it needs in the Senate to actually oust a president from office. “So you could end up having a situation where the president is impeached, acquitted and runs for re-election and wins re-election.” And that would be a first. “This is my ticket to the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. I don’t think you’ll find these on StubHub.”

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Explosive testimony. News media frenzies. A trial in the Senate. Here is how impeachment works — and how it has played out in the past.CreditCredit…Photo illustration by Aaron Byrd