US House votes on impeaching Trump - as it happened | News | DW | 18.12.2019
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US House votes on impeaching Trump - as it happened

The US House of Representatives conducted a day of historic debates that led to a vote for President Donald Trump's impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

- A majority in the US House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump on Wednesday in a historic vote that triggers his trial in the Senate.

- The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to acquit the president in a trial expected to begin in January. 

Democrats accuse Trump of withholding military aid and a White House visit to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate his political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter for his own political gain. He is also accused of obstructing Congress by refusing to cooperate with the impeachment investigation.

Read more: Trump condemns impeachment in long, angry letter ahead of vote

Watch video 03:43

Congress gears up for vote to impeach Donald Trump

Read more: Impeachment in the US: How does it work?

Live updates: All times EST (-5 UTC)

That concludes DW'S live updates of the impeachment voting debate. To follow the latest developments and reactions, click here.

20:49 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces the adoption of Article 2. 

20:42  Article 2 wins enough votes in favor to pass. 

20:35 The vote on Article 2 begins and will last 5 minutes. 

20:34 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces the adoption of Article 1, with 230 votes in favor and 197 votes against the article. The US president has been formally impeached by the House of Representatives. 

20:26 A vote on Article 2 will begin shortly.

20:22 Article 1 wins enough votes in favor to pass. 

20:12 Democrats need 216 votes in favor of the article to pass the resolution.

20:08 The debate has ended. The vote on Article 1 begins. 

20:02 House minority leader Kein McCarthy expresses Republicans support for the president, saying, “Here is our choice tonight. Will we let impeachment become an exercise of raw political power, regardless if it damages our country? Or will we protect the proper grounds and process for impeachment now and in the future?”

19:33 Republicans jeer House majority leader Steny Hoyer as he presents Democrats' position on the impeachment proceedings. 

"Democrats did not choose this impeachment," he says, prompting a reaction from House Republicans. 

19:30 The 6-hour debate is nearing its end. Voting will begin after house leaders make their closing statements. Lawmakers will first vote on Article 1, Abuse of Power, followed by a vote on Article 2, Obstruction of Congress.

19:28 Trump arrives in Michigan for a campaign rally. The president did not speak with the press or acknowledge the hearing, but released a statement on a court's Wednesday ruling against components of the Affordable Care Act, the health insurance overhaul introduced by President Barack Obama.

 

"This decision will not alter the current healthcare system. My Administration continues to work to provide access to high-quality healthcare at a price you can afford, while strongly protecting those with pre-existing conditions," the statement reads. 

19:02 Republican Representative Drew Ferguson says that voters "raised our collective political middle finger to DC and voted for Donald Trump" in the 2016 elections.

18:49 Top House Intelligence Committee Republican Devin Nunes of California accuses Democrats of fabricating the allegations against the president and destroying the country "in their lust for power."

"The only thing that Donald Trump is guilty of is beating Hillary Clinton," he says. 

18:42 House Intelligence Committee Chairman Representative Adam Schiff says that history will not be kind to Republican lawmakers opposing impeachment measures.

"I think when the history of this time is written, it will record that when my colleagues found that they lacked the courage to stand up to this unethical president, they consoled themselves by attacking those who did," he says.

18:12 In a theatrical moment, Republican Representative Russ Fulcher chose to remain silent during his allotted debate time.

"In a day of heavy and verbal debate I choose to use my time to repeat in detail, every high crime misdemeanor committed by the President of the United States, I will do so now," he said before taking a moment of silence. 

17:54 Democratic Congresswomen Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria, both of Virginia, profess their support for the impeachment resolution, despite the fact that both politicians represent districts that backed Trump in the 2016 election. 

17:39 Several House Republicans boo House Intelligence Committee Chairman Representative Adam Schiff as he challenges their defense of the president.

17:28 Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House committee chairs announce they will hold a press conference after the likely passage of articles of impeachment Wednesday night.

16:37 Republican Representative Louie Gohmert says Democrats were using the impeachment proceedings to halt investigations into Ukraine's interference in the 2016 US elections. Democratic Representative Jerry Nadler immediately responds, saying he is "concerned any member of the House would spout Russian propaganda on the floor of the House." 

Gohmert returns to the podium, yelling, but the microphone is turned off and presiding Democrat Representative Diana DeGette gavels him into silence. 

16:03 House Intelligence Committee Chairman Representative Adam Schiff says the president "tried to cheat and got caught."

"But for the courage of someone willing to blow the whistle, he would have gotten away with it. Instead he got caught," he said. "He tried to cheat and he got caught."

14:39 Republican Representative Barry Loudermilk claims Jesus Christ faced more due process that Trump in the impeachment proceedings. He criticized Democrats for not revealing the name of the whistleblower who filed a complaint about Trump's Ukraine call.  

"When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers. During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afforded this President in this process," Loudermilk said. 

13:59 DW Washington Bureau Chief Alexandra von Nahmen provides a brief takeaway on the proceeding so far: "This is indeed a solemn moment in US history. And many lawmakers on the floor talk about how they feel obliged to stand up to defend the constitution and the American democracy. What is striking though is to see many empty seats in the chamber. During normal debates this may be kind of common, but on this extraordinary occasion I'd expect a full House." 

13:48 Cedric Richmond, a Democrat from Louisiana, says he is speaking for impeachment not because he hates the president but because he loves Congress. He says the longer Congress waits to counter Trump's corruption, the greater the danger to democracy.  

13:38 Republican Representative Chris Stewart says the impeachment has nothing to do with Ukraine and everything to do with Democrats' "hate" for the president. Stewart claims Democrats want to "delegitimize him so he cannot be elected." 

13:22 While lawmakers are debating, several hundred protesters are outside the Capitol building calling on Congress to impeach Trump. On the eve of the vote, thousands of protesters in cities and towns nationwide attended anti-Trump rallies.

USA | Demonstration in Washington | Impeachment (Getty Images/MoveOn.org/L. French)

Activists attend an "Impeach and Remove" rally at the US Capitol

13:11 Veronica Escobar, a Democrat from Texas, drew attention to Trump urging Russia to interfere in the 2016 election, his admission of pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and even inviting China to investigate the Bidens. 

13:05 Republican Representative Ross Spano labels the impeachment process "partisan" and divisive.

13:01 Republican and Democratic lawmakers are taking turns at the podium to make their case for and against impeachment. 

12:41 Representative Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, outlines the two articles of impeachment facing the president.

"Taken together, the two articles charge that President Trump placed his private political interests above our national security, above our elections and above our system of checks and balances," he said. 

12:32 In opening remarks, Representative Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, slams the impeachment process and accuses Democrats of usurping the will of voters.  

12:14 In opening remarks, Speaker Nancy Pelosi lays out the case for impeachment and says US democracy is at stake. She tells lawmakers Trump violated the Constitution and that he is "an ongoing threat" to national security and the integrity of elections.

"I solemnly and sadly open the debate on impeachment of the president of the United States. If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duties," she said.

USA Washington | Nancy Pelosi spricht vor Votum zu Trumps Amtenthebungsverfahren (picture-alliance/AP Photo/House Television)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi began by reading a salute to the US flag

12:03 President Trump is outside Washington during the impeachment debate and is scheduled to attend a rally in the election battleground state of Michigan. He's using his favorite means of communication, Twitter, to retweet Fox News and other personalities that support his view of impeachment.

11:58 The House passes rules for the impeachment debate along party lines. Two Democrats voted against. Lawmakers will now begin debate on the two articles of impeachment.    

11:13 Although lawmakers are meant to be debating the rules of the proceedings, they are already trying to score points by slamming the other party. Republicans are framing the impeachment proceedings as politically motivated and unfair. Democrats are sticking to the line that Trump committed crimes and they are upholding their duties under the Constitution.    

Democratic Representative Jim McGovern, chairman of the House Rules Committee, said on the House floor: "This is a democracy-defining moment. History will judge us by whether we keep intact that fragile republic handed down to us by our forebears over 200 years ago — or whether we allow it to be changed forever."

Representative Tom Cole, that committee's top Republican, countered: "Today after a truncated investigation that denied the president due process, cherry-picked evidence and witness testimony to fit their narrative, and trampled on Republicans' minority rights, Democrats in the House are pressing forward with a partisan impeachment vote."

10:16 The House is discussing the rules that will govern debate on the two articles of impeachment. 

09:39 Republicans are using procedural maneuvers to delay the impeachment debate. Republican-introduced motions to adjourn the impeachment proceedings and another condemning the actions of Democratic committee leaders are defeated along party lines.  

kp,wmr/se (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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