WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump in a historic nighttime vote that split lawmakers along party lines.
President Donald Trump poses for photos with Paraguay's President Mario Abdo Benitez at the White House, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
The vote came after a long day of debate on the House floor over two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The House voted 230-197 to impeach Trump on abuse of power. Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a presidential candidate, voted “present.”
Two Democrats voted against the article and no Republicans voted for it.
The House then voted 229-198 to impeach Trump on obstruction of Congress. Gabbard again voted “present.”
Three Democrats voted against the second article and no Republicans voted for it.
The charges against Trump will next go to the Republican-controlled Senate for a trial expected in January to decide whether to remove him from office.
Democrats control the House, and the voting on Wednesday was almost entirely along party lines. The Senate is controlled by Trump’s Republican Party, and it is almost certain he will be acquitted there.
Leading up to the vote Wednesday night, Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted Congress must “defend democracy” by evicting Trump from the White House.
The House spent all day arguing about the charges against Trump and the legitimacy of the probe that brought Congress and the nation to this point.
Trump is just the third American president to be impeached, a distinctive dark mark on his tenure. From the White House, he tweeted that despite the Democrats’ patriotic talk, they were actually perpetrating “an assault on America.”
Defiant in the face of the historic rebuke, Trump rallied supporters in Michigan on Wednesday night as the House voted to impeach him, declaring, “It doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached.”
Trump took the stage just minutes before he was impeached.
The White House insisted Trump would be busy working on Wednesday, but Trump spent his morning tweeting, retweeting and expressing disbelief.
Republican allies rallied behind the president and reassured conservative voters that the president remained in good spirits even as the prospect of impeachment loomed.
On Wednesday morning Trump expressed utter disbelief that he was on the cusp of being impeached.
”Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG!" he tweeted.
He sent a fiery letter to Pelosi on Tuesday, denouncing what he called the "vicious crusade” against him.
Republicans already are working on how to conduct a trial in January.
Tens of thousands of people across the country marched in support of the impeachment of Trump on Tuesday. The crowds they drew were smaller than many other demonstrations during Trump’s presidency.
That highlights the odd politics of impeachment, which has been deadlocked in opinion polls and rarely mentioned by Democratic presidential hopefuls.
But the comparatively modest numbers didn’t mean lack of passion, as demonstrators called for the removal of a president they said threatens democracy itself.
Nicholas Riccardi and Gary D. Robertson contributed to this report.
Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved. Gray Media Group, Inc. contributed to this report.