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International News: President Donald Trump Impeached By Us House On Two Charges

The vote total showing the passage of the first article of impeachment, abuse of power, against President Donald Trump by the House of Representatives at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday. (House Television via AP)

The vote total showing the passage of the first article of impeachment, abuse of power, against President Donald Trump by the House of Representatives at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday. (House Television via AP)

By LISA MASCARO and MARY CLARE JALONICK Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday night, becoming only the third American chief executive to be formally charged under the Constitution's ultimate remedy for high crimes and misdemeanors.

The historic vote split along party lines, much the way it has divided the nation, over the charges that the 45th president abused the power of his office by enlisting a foreign government to investigate a political rival ahead of the 2020 election. The House then approved a second charge, that he obstructed Congress in its investigation.

The articles of impeachment, the political equivalent of an indictment, now go to the Senate for trial. If Trump is acquitted by the Republican-led chamber, as expected, he would have to run for reelection carrying the enduring mark of impeachment on his purposely disruptive presidency.

Democrats led Wednesday night's voting, framed in what many said was their duty to protect the Constitution and uphold the nation's system of checks and balances. Republicans stood by their party's leader, who has frequently tested the bounds of civic norms. Trump called the whole affair a "witch hunt," a "hoax" and a "sham," and sometimes all three.

The trial is expected to begin in January in the Senate, where a vote of two-thirds is necessary for conviction. While Democrats had the majority in the House to impeach Trump, Republicans control the Senate and few if any are expected to diverge from plans to acquit the president ahead of early state election-year primary voting.

Pelosi, once reluctant to lead Democrats into a partisan impeachment, now risks her majority and speakership to hold the president accountable.

"Today we are here to defend democracy for the people," Pelosi said opening debate.

Trump, who began Wednesday tweeting his anger at the proceedings, then flew to Battle Creek, Michigan, for a political rally.

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President Donald Trump leaves the White House for a campaign trip to Battle Creek, Mich., Wednesday. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

He pumped his fist before an enthusiastic crowd, boasted of "tremendous support" in the Republican Party and said, "By the way it doesn't feel like I'm being impeached."

What Pelosi called a sad and solemn moment for the country, coming in the first year that Democrats swept control of the House, unfolded in a caustic daylong session that showcased the nation's divisions — not only along party lines, but also by region, race and culture.

The House impeachment resolution laid out in stark terms the two articles of impeachment against Trump stemming from his July phone call when he asked the Ukraine president for a "favour" — to announce it was investigating Democrats ahead of the 2020 election. He also pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to probe unsubstantiated corruption allegations against Joe Biden, the former vice president and 2020 White House contender.

At the time, Zelenskiy, a young comedian newly elected to politics, was seeking a coveted White House visit to show backing from the U.S. ally as it confronts a hostile Russia at its border. He was also counting on $391 million in military aid already approved by Congress. The White House delayed the funds, but Trump eventually released the money once Congress intervened.

Narrow in scope but broad in its charge, the resolution said the president "betrayed the nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections," and then obstructed Congress' oversight like "no president" in U.S. history.

"President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office," it said.

Republicans argued that Democrats are impeaching Trump because they can't beat him in 2020.

"This vote is about one thing, and one thing only: They hate this president," said Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah. "They want to take away my vote and throw it in the trash."

But Democrats warned the country cannot wait for the next election to decide whether Trump should remain in office because he has shown a pattern of behaviour, particularly toward Russia, and will try to corrupt U.S. elections in 2020.

"The president and his men plot on," said Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., of the Intelligence Committee that led the inquiry. "The danger persists. The risk is real."

The outcome brings the Trump presidency to a milestone moment that has building almost from the time the New York businessman-turned-reality-TV host unexpectedly won the White House in 2016 amid questions about Russian interference in the U.S. election --- and the rise of the "resistance."

Democrats drew from history, the founders and their own experiences, as minorities, women and some immigrants to the U.S., seeking to honour their oath of office to uphold the constitution. Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., spoke in Spanish asking God to unite the nation. "In America," said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., "no one is above the law."

Republicans aired Trump-style grievances about what Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko called a "rigged" process.

"We face this horror because of this map," said Rep. Clay Higgins, R-Ala., before a poster of red and blue states. "They call this Republican map flyover country, they call us deplorables, they fear our faith, they fear our strength, they fear our unity, they fear our vote, and they fear our president."

The political fallout from the vote will reverberate across an already polarized country with divergent views of Trump's July phone call when Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate Democrats in the 2016 election, Biden and his son, Hunter, who worked on the board of a gas company in Ukraine while his father was the vice president.

Trump has repeatedly implored Americans to read the transcript of the call he said was "perfect." But the facts it revealed, and those in an anonymous whistleblower's complaint that sparked the probe, are largely undisputed.

More than a dozen current and former White House officials and diplomats testified for hours. The open and closed sessions under oath revealed what one called the "irregular channel" of foreign policy run by Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, which focused on investigating the Bidens and alternative theories of 2016 election interference.

The question for lawmakers was whether the revelations amounted to impeachable offenses to be sent to the Senate for a trial.

Few lawmakers crossed party lines without consequence. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, D-N.J., who is considering changing parties over his opposition to impeachment, sat with Republicans. Rep. Justin Amash, the Michigan conservative who left the Republican party and became an independent over impeachment, said: "I come to this floor, not as a Republican, not as a Democrat, but as an American."

Beyond the impeachments of Andrew Johnson or Bill Clinton, this first impeachment of the 21st century is as much about what the president might do in the future as what he did in the past. And unlike investigation of Richard Nixon, who resigned rather than face the House vote over Watergate, the proceedings against Trump are playing out in an America already of mixed views over Trump.

Rank and file Democrats said they were willing to lose their jobs to protect the democracy from Trump. Some newly elected freshman remained in the chamber for hours during the debate.

"This is not about making history, this is about holding a lawless president accountable," said Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I.

GOP Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia said of the Democrats: "You've been wanting to do this ever since the gentleman was elected.''

Top Republicans, including Rep. Devin Nunes on the Intelligence Committee, called the Ukraine probe little more than the low-budget sequel to former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mueller spent two years investigating the potential links between Moscow and the Trump campaign, but testified in July that his team could not establish that Trump conspired or coordinated with Russia to throw the election. Mueller did say he could not exonerate Trump of trying to obstruct the investigation, but he left that for Congress to decide.

The next day, Trump called Ukraine. Not quite four months later, a week before Christmas, Trump was impeached.

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Associated Press writers Laurie Kellman, Matthew Daly, Alan Fram and Andrew Taylor in Washington contributed to this report.

Comments

BahamaPundit 3 months, 3 weeks ago

North America experienced its first coup d'état today -- congratulations Democrats for acting like a third world country. Nothing to see here. The impeachment was null and void in any event, because it was in breach of the constitution's requirement for high crimes and misdemeanors. This standard was not met, because Trump did not commit a criminal offense. Keep America Great.

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proudloudandfnm 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh the standard was met and some. Just because the GOP decides to ignore truth does not make it right. Trump deserves to be impeached.

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sucteeth 3 months, 2 weeks ago

You obviously are hiding under a rock. this was an abuse of the Dems power.. What about the FISA findings that werent even mentioned yesterday

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Clamshell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The FISA warrants related to the Russia investigation; the impeachment is based on Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Two totally different subjects.

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xtreme2x 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Try move to US. So the president can have you ship back to your Shit hole Country

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proudloudandfnm 3 months, 2 weeks ago

This is exactly what history has to show. He is such a vile, despicable human being history has to show he was not accepted. Excellent move. The man is scum. Republicans should be ashamed of themselves, they have no standards, no honor, no ethics. A party of lowlifes....

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joeblow 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Trump has done nothing that American presidents have not been doing for decades. They constantly strong arm other countries, influence their economies and elections and far worse. That process was political theater and nothing more. That being said, the outcome was expected and predicted. Let's see what happens next!

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bahamianson 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Joe Blow, i share your sentiments. I am excited about the next election. I will buy my popcorn , grab my seat and hold tight. This is going to be EPIC!

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Sickened 3 months, 2 weeks ago

And the Repbulican's defense... but in the past.... but when Obama... why didn't the Democrats do anything back in...! They sound like the PLP who can never defend their actions but simply state how nothing was done in the past about it. SAD! It's like saying all past presidents groped and molested woman and they never got in trouble for it so why should he get in trouble for it now.

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sweptaway 3 months, 2 weeks ago

America is booming and bringing a lot of money to the cash drawers of the Bahamas tourism. Amazing after the drivel under the Obama years and being told that 1% growth was the new norm. Every move Trump has done was for the people ,Not for the politicians! The man does not even take a pay check . He has been given the highest awards from the Black communities for his great works in improvished neighborhoods . long before he decided to run for president . Jesse Jackson ,Al Sharpton , Bill Clinton to name a few all rubbed elbows with the man. Putting prosperity and jobs back in the factory's and businesses of America is First and foremost in his administration! Do you like it better when America is doing poorly ? They say when America gets the Flu the Bahamas catches Pneumonia so don't be so happy or you will be be enjoying the snots.

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jamesg30 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Sweptaway, You have been sweptaway in your own ignorance. Trump does what is good for Trump. Obama's "drivel" economic growth, came after he inherited the most catastrophic economic derailment since the great depression. If you take the projected economic growth when Obama left office, Trump has done nothing but ride his wave. Yes, Trump did reduce corporate taxes. He also added $1.5 T to the U.S. national debt. You must like that since it follows nicely with what we are doing here with our debt burden and the disaster that is waiting us. Trump has done great work to take away voters rights, defecating on the environment, separating children from migrant families, sucking up to dictators around the world, lying more than any clear thinking human can comprehend on a daily basis..... do I need to go on. Open your closed eyes, or keep living in your make believe fantasy world. Trump deserves this and a whole lot more. Can't wait to see his filthy rotten taxes.

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sweptaway 3 months, 2 weeks ago

sorry to inform you ,the last economic crash was brought to you by senator Frank Dodd and congressman Barny Frank. The Mortgage crisis which started under and signed by none other than the great white black president William Jefferson Clinton.. Together they sold more bad mortgages and bundled and sold to banks around the world. you could buy a home with no money down and no job . Does any of that ring a bell ?Do your home work ! Last I remember the Bahamas is buddy buddy with more dictataters then Trump will ever be .Cuba for one and they are going to change the name of Bay Street to Mao Sie Tung Blvd. anything else?

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jamesg30 3 months, 2 weeks ago

sorry to clarify for you but we were talking about Trump. Love your pivot. You must be a politician. All noise. And by the way it was much more than two politicians that brought the economy down. Is that why under Trump what pathetic regulations that were put in place by Obama have been removed or watered down? Because it is democrats fault?

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jamesg30 3 months, 2 weeks ago

P.S. sweptaway. Dodd Frank was passed in 2010. 3 years past the 2007 meltdown in response to the lack of regulations. It was in response to the unregulated financial mortgage products that were being sold by Wall Street, when they knew they were going to be worthless in the end. You need to do your homework man.

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proudloudandfnm 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I know one thing for sure. If trump is not removed either thru impeachment or the election the US economy will tank. He has done nothing to manage the economy, he inherited a strong, growing economy and all he did was cut taxes for corporations and himself. When it falls he won't have a clue what to do and since he can't seem to keep staff around for very long he has no advisers to assist him. His idiotic economic plan has resulted in lower revenue and more spending, it is 100% temporary, the next POTUS will have to clean it up. If the next POTUS is trump he won't clean it up, he'll just blame the dems while the economy plunges.

The only option for the next election is to get rid of trump....

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 2 weeks ago

You're suffering from a serious case of TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) and may need some of the same anti-anxiety and/or anti-depressant medication that others are now taking to help them cope with its most annoying symptoms.

Trump has done more for under-privileged Americans of colour in three years than Obama did in eight years. Trump has given many of them jobs and self-esteem whereas Obama simply gave them food stamps. And that's a cold fact no matter how much one may dislike Trump's behaviour in general.

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sweptaway 3 months, 2 weeks ago

@ Proud you watch too much CNN Commie News Network

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jamesg30 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The truth hurts old sweptaway, so call legitimate news and the truth that comes rom CNN communist propaganda if that makes you feel better. I am guessing you wouldn't know the truth if it hit you in the head. You are a great Fox News flunky. You should get another lapel pin for your baseless comments from that king of fake news. CNN communist? Fox News the network of the U.S.'s dear leader.

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bahamianson 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Like i said, i will have my popcorn ready, it is starting already! MAGA!

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mckenziecpa 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Impeachment null and void a dog and pony show yay Andrew Yong

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joeblow 3 months, 2 weeks ago

If the Democrats were this disoriented after Trumps win over Hillary, I can't wait to see what will happen to that party when he wins again in 2020!

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jamesg30 3 months, 2 weeks ago

If that disgrace of a human being would win again, the world is in trouble, including us. Not just the U.S. You see where finally the Fundamental Christians, the Christian organization led by the Bill Graham organization says he should be impeached. Finally a Christian organization has thrown a flag for un-Christian like conduct by this creature. It is about time. Not sure what all the spineless hypocrites were waiting for. Some say God chose Trump to be the U.S. president. If he did, he must be punishing that country.

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mckenziecpa 3 months, 2 weeks ago

One thing I noticed with Americans they cannot take a fair cut arse I played ball with the bastards.

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bahamianson 3 months, 2 weeks ago

McKenzie, they are like spoiled brats whom didn't get picked on a team, unfortunately, it was their ball, so they took the ball home just because no one picked them.

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