For the third time in United States history, the House of Representatives has voted to impeach the president.
In a vote that fell largely along party lines, 229 Democrats and one independent voted to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power, while 195 House Republicans and two Democrats voted against impeachment, for a total vote count of 230–197. On obstruction of Congress, 228 Democrats and one Independent voted yea, while 195 Republicans and three Democrats voted nay, for a total of 229–198.
An investigation that started with an anonymous whistleblower’s complaint has compelled Congress to take the most serious step outlined in the Constitution and attempt to remove Trump from office. Before Trump, only two presidents—Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton—had been impeached. Neither was convicted in the Senate. The House began impeachment investigations into Richard Nixon in 1973, but he resigned in 1974 before the House could vote him out of office.
Listen to Washington DC bureau chief David Corn break down the political prospects for President Donald Trump as the Republican-controlled Senate prepares for its impeachment trial, on this special edition of the Mother Jones Podcast:
In September, a whistleblower alleged that, during a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump had demanded that Zelensky investigate the family of former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for nearly $400 million in military aid. In response, the White House released a memo on Trump’s call with Zelensky in which Trump is quoted as saying, “I want you to do us a favor, though,” before requesting that Zelensky investigate Biden’s son, Hunter, as well as a debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 election.
The following three months of impeachment investigations in the House Intelligence Committee garnered damning testimony from foreign ambassadors and high-ranking government officials who confirmed the whistleblower’s sequencing of events. After holding a brief set of hearings, the House Judiciary Committee drew up articles of impeachment based on Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
The Republican-controlled Senate will now hear the impeachment case and vote on whether to convict Trump of the high crimes and misdemeanors laid out in the article of impeachment. The Senate trial is expected to begin in January. On Tuesday, Trump sent Pelosi a desperate letter requesting that she drop the impeachment vote. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to allow Democrats to subpoena John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney ahead of a potential Senate trial.