Donald J. Trump, has become the third US president in history to be impeached by the House of Representatives.
An upcoming trial in the Senate will decide whether he remains in office. Proceedings in the Republican-controlled body are likely to begin next month, but the exact timing remains unclear as Democrats and Republicans negotiate over the terms of the trial.
The House voted that the president abused his power – the first of two impeachment charges against him.
The first vote, 230-197, was almost entirely on party lines; it was followed quickly by a second 229-198 vote that the president obstructed Congress.
Zero Republican representatives voted in favor of either article of impeachment, fueling the party’s charges that the proceedings were driven by partisanship. Democrats replied that Republicans were hostage to Trump and unable to deliver a sound judgment in the matter.
The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, described the proceedings as a “sad day” for the country. “The president’s reckless activities necessitated us having to introduce articles of impeachment,” she said at a press conference following the vote.
Pelosi warned that “our founder’s vision of a republic is under threat by actions from the White House”.
“It is tragic that the president’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary,” she said. “He gave us no choice.” The speech was met with sustained applause from her caucus.
The White House released a statement saying that the president was “confident that he will be fully exonerated” in a Senate trial.
In a tweet the President said that the Democrats who voted for impeachment “in reality they are not after me, they are after you. I am in the way.”
Minutes before the vote on Wednesday night, Trump took the stage at a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan.
“It doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached,” he told the cheering crowd. “The country is doing better than ever before. We did nothing wrong. And we have tremendous support in the Republican Party like we have never had before. Nobody has ever had this kind of support.”