The vote on the first article was 230-197. All but two Democrats voted in favour, and all Republicans voted against. One Democrat, Tulsi Gabbard, voted “present.”
A House majority also voted yes on the second article, concerning the obstruction of Congress.
House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, argued that the president had left them with “no choice” but to impeach him.
“If we do not act now we would be derelict in our duty,” Pelosi said. “It is tragic that the president’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary.”
The articles accuse Trump of abusing his office by pressuring Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election. Trump is alleged to have withheld $391 million in military aid to the country as he sought to get Ukraine’s president to announce an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden, the Democratic frontrunner.
He is also accused of ignoring and stonewalling the impeachment inquiry by directing executive branch employees to ignore House subpoenas.
Trump is all but certain to be acquitted in the Senate, which is scheduled to take up the impeachment trial in January.
The House debated the articles for some eight hours on Wednesday. Democrats frequently invoked the Constitution and the founders, while Republicans accused the Democrats of acting out of personal animus for Trump, and warned that the House was setting a dangerous precedent.
“They hate this president,” said Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah. “If this impeachment is successful, the next president, I promise you, is going to be impeached. And the next president after that. If you set this bar as being impeachable, every president in our future will be impeached.”
Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, argued that the Republicans were complaining about the process because they could not defend the president’s conduct.
“We should care about our allies,” Schiff said. “We should care about Ukraine. We used to care about democracy. We used to care about our allies. We used to stand up to Putin and Russia.”
Rep. Justin Amash, an independent who recently left the Republican Party, spoke in favour of impeachment, saying that the president had violated the public trust.
“His actions reflect precisely the type of conduct the framers of the Constitution intended to remedy through the power of impeachment,” Amash said, “It is our duty to impeach him.”
The President himself was surrounded by supporters at a rally in Michigan as the vote was taken.
He had earlier expressed his outrage and indignation at the process via tweets.
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