Here’s what you need to know:
- The House has impeached Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, sending the case to the Senate for trial.
- At a rally, Trump mocked Democrats for impeaching him and predicted the Senate would ‘do the right thing.’
- Impeachment debate played out in one- or two-minute bursts from Republicans and Democrats.
- Pelosi opened the debate by urging Trump’s impeachment, saying his ‘reckless actions’ demand it.
- The White House delivered a sarcastic Christmas gift to Democrats before the votes.
- Standing next to a poster of a migrant girl, a Democrat said impeachment was for “many who are suffering.”
- Several Democrats running for president spoke approvingly of the House’s decision to impeach Trump.
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.
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.”
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.