Donald John Trump today become the third President of the United States to be impeached by the House of Representatives after betraying his oath of office and the hundreds of millions of Americans the Electoral College chose him to represent.
By a vote of two hundred and thirty to one hundred and ninety-seven, the House voted to impeach Trump for abuse of power (Article I), and by a vote of two hundred and twenty-nine to one hundred and ninety-eight, the House voted to impeach Trump for obstruction of Congress (Article II).
Three members of the House abstained from both votes: José Serrano of New York, John Shimkus of Illinois, and the disgraced Duncan Hunter of California.
No Republicans voted for either article of impeachment, but one former Republican, who left the party over the question of impeachment, supported both articles (abuse of power and obstruction of Congress): Justin Amash of Michigan.
One Representative voted “Present”: Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii (who claims to be a Democrat). One Democratic Representative voted against Article I (Collin Peterson of Minnesota) and two voted against Article II (Peterson, Jared Golden of Maine).
Also voting against impeachment was Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, who was elected as a Democrat but is switching parties and is joining the Party of Trump.
Trump has become only the third president in the history of the United States of America to be impeached; the first was Andrew Johnson in 1868 and the second was Bill Clinton in 1998. (Richard Nixon resigned before he could be impeached.)
The House as a whole voted almost entirely along party lines; the Pacific Northwest’s delegation voted strictly along party lines.
Voted To Impeach Donald Trump: Democratic Representatives Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Pramila Jayapal, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith, and Denny Heck (WA), Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, and Kurt Schrader (OR)
Voted Against Impeachment: Republican Representatives Jaime Herrera-Beutler, Dan Newhouse, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), Greg Walden (OR), Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher (ID), Greg Gianforte (MT), Don Young (AK)
“We in Congress, Article I, the Legislative Branch, must stand up and make clear to the American people, and to all people, that this body still stands by the principles enshrined in the Constitution and defended by generations of Americans,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared in her remarks opening the debate on impeachment.
U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal, a member of the Judiciary Committee, offered the following remarks regarding her vote to impeach Donald Trump.
Today was a day of accountability. It was a day for defending our democracy. By inviting foreign interference in our elections, President Trump corrupted our democracy and violated the Constitution.
By leveraging critical, congressionally appropriated aid to a fragile, foreign ally for personal gain, President Trump betrayed our national security and violated the Constitution.
By obstructing the House from doing our job, President Trump put himself above the law and violated the Constitution.
Impeachment is a rarely used remedy, designed to guard against the most egregious abuses of power. Donald Trump’s abuse of power and obstruction of Congress so clearly warrants its use.
Our democracy derives its power not from the bloodlines of monarchs but from the votes of ‘We, the People.’
It only works if ‘We, the People’ summon the courage to vigorously protect and renew its promise.
That is the history of our nation: Courageous patriots who fought for independence and gifted us the United States Constitution; courageous patriots, like Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery and led others to safety through the Underground Railroad; and courageous patriots, like Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and Representative John Lewis, who stood up on the Edmund Pettus Bridge and secured civil rights for all.
These patriots all rose to the awesome responsibility given to all of us by the Founders to protect our democracy.
This moment in our history is a test. It is a test of the vision of our framers, the resilience of our Constitution, and the character and patriotism of our elected officials. Today, we summoned the courage to answer this test and voted to impeach Donald J. Trump.
As I cast my own vote, I thought of my oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.
I thought of my parents—who put an ocean between them and their 16-year-old child because they believed America was worth it. I thought of the responsibility I have to my own beloved child and future generations to ensure America continues to be worth it.
Mine was not a vote against any person — it was a vote for the Constitution and for ‘We, the People.’
Because I believe America is so deeply worth it.
The Senate must now conduct a serious, fair trial.
The graveness of the moment our nation finds itself in—and the American people—demand it.
It would be an affront to our Framers and the Constitution and disrespectful to the American people if Mitch McConnell puts on a sham trial. History and the American people are watching.
“This is a solemn day for our democracy,” said Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez. “House Democrats ran for office not to impeach a president, but to improve people’s lives and fulfill their oath to defend the Constitution. The president violated his oath, and in the face of his abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the House had a responsibility to hold him accountable.”
“Republicans in Congress were given the same choice: to protect the Constitution and serve American voters, or to defend this president’s lies and corruption. They chose the latter, and the American people will not forget their betrayal.”
“They will make their voices heard at the ballot box. And when the history of this day is written, those who voted for impeachment will be remembered for their courage and commitment to protecting our democracy.”
After the votes took place, Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a press conference with six of her committee chairs at which she indicated that the House will not transmit the articles of impeachment or name impeachment trial managers until House leadership believes that the Senate will conduct a fair trial. During Q&A, Pelosi refused to commit to deliver the articles within a given timeframe… or at all.
Pelosi’s move is brilliant. By holding onto the articles of impeachment until the House sees rules for a fair trial, her caucus scrambles Mitch McConnell’s scheme to orchestrate a speedy acquittal for Trump in the United States Senate.
We thank each member of the United States House of Representatives who voted today to impeach Donald John Trump. Today’s action was painfully necessary. If our republic is to survive, then our Constitution must be more than a scrap of paper. Its words only mean something if we abide by them.
Today, the House of Representatives took a stand for the Constitution of the United States, for the future our democracy, and for accountable leadership.
Donald Trump believes he is above the law. His followers and the people who work for him in the White House seem to see him as akin to a king or an emperor who has a divine right to occupy the highest office in this land indefinitely.
But we are a democracy. We are not subjects of a king. We are not the oppressed countrymen of a dictator. We are a free and independent country of hundreds of millions of people with the important power and the great responsibility to decide who our leaders shall be through fair and regular elections.
We require that the President take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. Donald Trump violated that oath. It was absolutely necessary that the House of Representatives hold him accountable.
Had the House failed to act, then Congress would have become complicit in Trump’s wrongdoing, just like the political party he now heads, which at this point has arguably forfeited the right to be called the Republican Party.
Today is not a day for celebration, but it is a day to be thankful. More than two hundred of the people’s representatives just voted to hold a lawless president accountable, including many who represent large numbers of Trump voters. We salute, honor, and recognize their courage. They have discharged their constitutional duties. They give us hope that our republic will endure.