WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has become only the third American president to be impeached.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday night formally charging President Trump under the Constitution’s ultimate remedy for high crimes and misdemeanors.
The House first voted to charge the 45th president with abuse of the power of his office by enlisting a foreign government to investigate a political rival ahead of the 2020 election. The House also approved a second charge that he then obstructed Congress in its investigation.
The articles of impeachment, the political equivalent of an indictment, now go to the Senate for trial. It is expected that will happen in January. Trump is expected to be acquitted by the Republican-led chamber.
The vote for the first charge was 230-197-1. The second charge vote was 229-198-1.
U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) released the following statement after voting against the impeachment of President Trump in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Rogers denounced House Democrats for proceeding with articles of impeachment without citation of a crime.
"Speaker Pelosi has spent the last three years building to this day. Despite the flawed, partisan sham of a process – much of which took place behind closed doors – House Democrats still cannot present a shred of evidence to show President Trump committed an impeachable offense. There was no Quid Pro Quo, no high crime or misdemeanor- only a group of House members dead set on removing a duly elected President at any cost. I voted against the articles of impeachment because this is a shameful political charade that has divided our nation. We need to move on from this spectacle and do the job we were elected to do for the American people."
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump:
“Over the past several weeks, we have seen sham hearings, selected witnesses, and Democrats who have contorted the facts to fit a fictional narrative. It is shameful that from the first day of this duly elected presidency, these Democrats have been determined to impeach him. This has been unnecessary, distracting, and counterproductive. The Senate will not continue this partisan abuse of power and should at once put an end to the charade.”
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks Thursday morning on the Senate floor regarding House Democrats’ impeachment vote:
"Look at history. The Andrew Johnson impeachment revolved around a clear violation of a criminal statute, albeit an unconstitutional one. Nixon had obstruction of justice — a felony under our laws. Clinton had perjury — also a felony," he said. "Now, the Constitution does not say the House can impeach only those presidents who violate a law. But history matters. Precedent matters. And there were important reasons why every previous House of Representatives in American history restrained itself from crossing this Rubicon."
McConnell went on to say, "The Senate must put this right. We must rise to the occasion. There is only one outcome that is suited to the paucity of evidence, the failed inquiry, the slapdash case.
"Only one outcome suited to the fact that the accusations themselves are constitutionally incoherent," he continued. "Only one outcome that will preserve core precedents rather than smash them into bits in a fit of partisan rage because one party still cannot accept the American people’s choice in 2016."
He concluded his statement, "The Senate’s duty is clear. The Senate’s duty is clear. When the time comes, we must fulfill it."