The House impeached President Trump on two counts of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, a rebuke that will prompt a Senate trial against a president for just the third time in U.S. history.
Lawmakers voted nearly along party lines to approve the articles after lengthy and contentious debate on the House floor that stretched into the night. Just two Democratic members joined all Republicans in voting against the first article, with another Democrat joining the two dissenters on the second. One Democrat voted present on both counts.
The president reacted angrily to the process over the course of the day, and took the stage at a rally with supporters in Michigan minutes before the final votes were tallied. He told a raucous crowd that Democrats were embarking on a “political suicide march” and said they “have branded themselves with an eternal mark of shame.”
The process will soon move to the Senate for a trial likely beginning early in the new year. House Democrats must first name impeachment managers to prosecute the case against the president in the upper chamber, a move House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested might be delayed in an attempt to extract concessions from Republican leaders in the Senate over procedures for the trial.
UPDATED 12:36 AM
What comes next after Trump’s impeachment?
The House must now agree on who will be the impeachment managers who will prosecute the impeachment trial in the Senate.
Pelosi can now name the managers at any point and present a resolution for debate and a vote in the full House. Some names have already been floated by Democrats, including Representative Justin Amash, an independent from Michigan who left the Republican Party earlier this year.
The House adjourned Wednesday evening a little before 9 p.m. without settling the matter.
After the managers are selected, the House will then formally deliver the articles of impeachment to the Senate, which must immediately act on them.
UPDATED 12:12 AM
Pelosi unclear on timing for transmitting articles to Senate
The speaker said she would not select impeachment managers for the Senate trial until she sees a “fair” Senate trial process.
“So far, we have not seen anything that looks fair to us,” Pelosi told reporters in a news conference at the Capitol after the vote.
Pelosi sidestepped the question when a reporter asked if she might decline to send the articles to the Senate altogether. The speaker will have the final say on which members are selected as impeachment managers to present the House’s case to senators.
First published on December 19, 2019 / 6:00 AM