After weeks of delays, the House of Representatives has voted to transmit the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate, formally paving the way for a historic trial over the president’s dealings with Ukraine.
The resolution, which passed 228-193 – largely along party lines — came nearly a month after lawmakers voted to impeach the president on two counts.
Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., was the only Democrat who voted against the resolution. Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich., voted with Democrats. There were no Republican defections.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had been holding on to the articles in a bid to extract favorable terms for the trial, including a commitment on witnesses. However, she ended her delaying tactics after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell played hardball, making it clear he was not willing to negotiate, nor be dictated to by the House.
Lawmakers gave impassioned speeches on the House floor in the run-up to the vote. Pelosi said, “We are here today to cross a very important threshold in American history. When someone is impeached, they are always impeached,” the California Democrat said. “It cannot be erased.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., ripped into the Democratic efforts, saying, “This is not a moment this body should be proud of. As Pelosi says, impeachment is a national civics lesson. Let’s use this blunder as a teachable moment. We wouldn’t abuse our power just for the sheer sake of politics to say you’re impeached forever because I dislike you,” McCarthy added.
The articles were physically walked over by the seven mangers, late Wednesday.
“The only thing Speaker Pelosi has achieved with this sham, illegitimate impeachment process, is to prove she is focused on politics instead of the American people,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement Wednesday. “The Speaker lied when she claimed this was urgent and vital to national security because when the articles passed, she held them for an entire month in an egregious effort to garner political support. She failed and the naming of these managers does not change a single thing.”
“President Trump has done nothing wrong,” she continued. “He looks forward to having the due process rights in the Senate that Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats denied to him, and expects to be fully exonerated.”