The House voted after nearly 12 hours of debate Wednesday night to impeach President Trump for his conduct toward Ukraine and his refusal to cooperate with the inquiry, making him only the third president in U.S. history to receive that sanction.

Democrats had more than enough votes to approve the two articles of impeachment against Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, even with two Democratic defections on the first, three on the second and presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) voting “present” on both.

Wednesday’s action will lead to a trial in the Republican-led Senate, where a two-thirds vote would be required to remove the president from office.

At the heart of the Democrats’ case is the allegation that Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine to combat Russian military aggression, to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a probe of an unfounded theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

●Trump rips Democrats for ‘attempted coup’ on eve of likely impeachment.

●President appears resilient as he faces the ‘very ugly word’ of impeachment.

●To capture voters, the two parties invoke radically different responses to impeachment.

2:50 a.m.
Link copied
link

Tulsi Gabbard calls on House to censure Trump

By Elise Viebeck

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) introduced a resolution late Wednesday to censure Trump for “[abusing] the powers of the Presidency for his own personal political gain” after she voted “present” on the articles of impeachment.

The Democratic presidential candidate was the only member of her party not to cast an up-or-down vote on impeaching Trump.

“After doing my due diligence in reviewing the 658-page impeachment report, I came to the conclusion that I could not in good conscience vote either yes or no,” Gabbard said in a lengthy statement Wednesday night that described her as “standing in the center.”

Gabbard said her censure resolution is aimed at “[sending] a strong message to this president and future presidents that their abuses of power will not go unchecked, while leaving the question of removing Trump from office to the voters to decide.”

“Today we are divided. Fragmentation and polarity are ripping our country apart. This breaks my heart, and breaks the hearts of all patriotic Americans,” she stated. “My vote today is a vote for much-needed reconciliation and hope that together we can heal our country.”

2:40 a.m.
Link copied
link

Pelosi does not rule out not sending impeachment articles to Senate

By Colby Itkowitz and Mike DeBonis

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke to the reporters after the vote and did not rule out not sending the articles to the Senate right away.

“We’ll make a decision as a group as we always have as we go along,” she said when asked.

Some House Democrats had called on her to delay sending the articles since Senate Republicans weren’t going to hold a full trial. Pelosi didn’t shut the door on the idea, saying that “so far, we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us.”

Asked if she could guarantee the articles will be sent to the Senate “at some point,” Pelosi said that was the Democrats’ intention, “but we will see what happens over there.”

2:30 a.m.
Link copied
link

Trump mocks Rep. Debbie Dingell and suggests her dead husband could be in hell

By Colby Itkowitz

Trump lamented that Democrats he says he has been kind to in the past voted to impeach him, including Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan.

“Debbie Dingell, that’s a real beauty,” he started, before going off about how she called him to ask for special funeral arrangements for the late congressman John Dingell.

“She calls me up. ‘It’s the nicest thing that’s ever happened. Thank you so much. John, would be so thrilled, he’s looking down ...” Trump said, and then added, “Maybe he’s looking up, I don’t know.”

Shortly after, Dingell reacted to Trump’s comment, writing on Twitter: “Mr. President, let’s set politics aside. My husband earned all his accolades after a lifetime of service. I’m preparing for the first holiday season without the man I love. You brought me down in a way you can never imagine and your hurtful words just made my healing much harder.”

2:20 a.m.
Link copied
link

White House calls impeachment ‘one of the most shameful political episodes’ in history

By Felicia Sonmez

The White House issued a statement denouncing Wednesday’s impeachment vote, with press secretary Stephanie Grisham blasting the process followed by Democrats and accusing them of seeking to “improperly influence” the 2020 campaign — a charge that Democrats have frequently made against the president himself.

“Today marks the culmination in the House of one of the most shameful political episodes in the history of our Nation,” Grisham said. “Without receiving a single Republican vote, and without providing any proof of wrongdoing, Democrats pushed illegitimate articles of impeachment against the President through the House of Representatives.”

She called the impeachment hearings an “unconstitutional travesty,” even though the process for impeaching a president is outlined by the Constitution.

“All of these antics make clear that Democrats have lost sight of what this country needs, which is a Congress that works for the people,” she said. “Their boundless animus for President Trump fuels their desire to nullify the 2016 election results, and improperly influence the 2020 election.”

2:15 a.m.
Link copied
link

Sen. Sanders calls Trump a ‘pathological liar’ in video message after impeachment vote

By Sean Sullivan

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who will be seeking to balance running for president with serving as a juror in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial, said Wednesday was “a sad but necessary day for American democracy.”

In a minute-long video posted on Twitter, Sanders applauded the House for doing the “right thing.” He said in a statement issued by his Senate office that he was “fully prepared to uphold my responsibility as a juror in the United States Senate.”

Sanders said in his video that he is running for president not only to implement new policies to benefit working-class Americans but to “change the way the presidency functions.” Echoing a refrain he often uses at campaign stops, Sanders called Trump “a pathological liar.”

Now comes a more challenging stage of the campaign for Sanders, who could be expected to spend much of his time in Washington next month, at a moment candidates usually spend most of their days in Iowa and New Hampshire.

2:05 a.m.
Link copied
link

Trump reads impeachment results to crowd, revels in not losing one Republican

By Colby Itkowitz

Trump told a crowd at a rally in Battle Creek, Mich., that he just got word of the impeachment vote tally and reacted to them in real time, saying, “Whoa, every single Republican voted for us.”

“We didn’t lose one Republican, and three Democrats voted for us,” he said to cheers. “The Democrats always stick together. Now think of it, three Democrats went over to our side, no Republicans, it’s unheard of.”

Trump then railed against the Democrats.

“We did nothing wrong, nothing whatsoever,” he said. “This was just an excuse, you are the ones obstructing justice, you are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our republic for your own selfish personal, political and partisan gain.”

He accused Democrats of cheapening the impeachment process and said that compared with the Nixon era, this is “impeachment lite.”

“With Richard Nixon, I just see it as a very dark era, very dark, very old,” he said. “I don’t know about you, but I’m having a good time.”

2:00 a.m.
Link copied
link

GOP-tied group to spend $2.5 million against moderate Democrats

By Mike DeBonis

An advocacy group with GOP ties said Wednesday it will spend $2.5 million in the immediate aftermath of the House impeachment vote to attack supportive Democratic lawmakers running next year in districts President Trump previously won.

The new American Action Network spending is in addition to the $8.5 million the group has already spent in the lead-up to Wednesday’s vote — a campaign that has spooked many vulnerable Democrats but failed to convince them they should oppose impeachment.

A total of 29 members will be targeted by digital ads. Nine of those will see cable and broadcast television ads run in their districts: Democratic Reps. Jared Golden (Maine), Elissa Slotkin (Mich.), Xochitl Torres Small (N.M.), Susie Lee (Nev.), Max Rose (N.Y.), Anthony Brindisi (N.Y.), Kendra Horn (Okla.), Joe Cunningham (S.C.) and Elaine Luria (Va.).

“They chose to put the far left’s crusade to impeach this president ahead of what’s best for their constituents, and now there’s going to be a reckoning for it back home,” said AAN President Dan Conston.

Democrats are hoping to counter the messaging blitz by promoting non-impeachment accomplishments, including last week’s House passage of a bill lowering prescription drug prices and the expected House approval Thursday for a new North American trade agreement.

1:52 a.m.
Link copied
link

House adopts Article Two to impeach Trump on obstruction of Congress

By Colby Itkowitz

The House voted 229 to 198 with one “present” vote to impeach Trump on obstruction of Congress. Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) split his vote, voting no on this article and yes on the first. The other Democrats to vote no were Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.), the latter of whom is about to switch parties.

While the House was voting, Trump railed against impeachment, calling it “lawless” and a “suicide march for the Democratic Party.”

1:34 a.m.
Link copied
link

House adopts Article One to impeach Trump on abuse of power

By Colby Itkowitz and Paul Kane

The House voted 230 to 197 with one “present” vote to impeach Trump on abuse of power, with two Democrats voting against and Gabbard voting “present.” Every Republican voted against.

About 10 minutes earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi grabbed a green card — green is the yes card — and handed her ballot to one of the House clerks, voting to impeach Trump.

She then moved up onto the rostrum of the House, where she presided over the last minutes of votes, allowing her to be the one to gavel shut both impeachment votes against Trump.

After the first vote, the room was incredibly silent, but there were some audible cheers from one corner of Democratic side, prompting loud mocking from House Republicans because Pelosi had been saying for weeks this was supposed to be “somber.” Pelosi shot them a disapproving glance.

1:12 a.m.
Link copied
link

The House has begun voting on articles of impeachment

By Colby Itkowitz

The House has started voting on Article One, abuse of power, and will then vote on Article Two, obstruction of justice.

1:10 a.m.
Link copied
link

Trump takes rally stage as Schiff makes closing impeachment speech

By Colby Itkowitz

In a split-screen moment for history, Trump took the stage in Michigan while House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) made his closing arguments for impeachment.

“By the way, it doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached, the country is doing better than ever before. We did nothing wrong and we have tremendous support in the Republican Party like never before,” Trump said at the start of the rally.

At the same time, on the House floor, Schiff said that if Republicans “say the president may refuse to comply, may refuse lawful process, may coerce an ally, may cheat in an election because he’s the president of our party, you do not uphold our Constitution. You do not uphold your oath of office.”

1:00 a.m.
Link copied
link

In fiery closing speech, McCarthy declares Trump ‘will be president when this impeachment is over’

By Felicia Sonmez

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) delivered a defiant floor speech Wednesday night, reminding Democrats that Trump will remain in office even after he is impeached.

“I am about to say something my Democrat colleagues hate to hear: Donald J. Trump is president of the United States,” McCarthy said. “He is president today. He will be president tomorrow. And he will be president when this impeachment is over. When they accept that, maybe this House can get back to work for the American people.”

He cast the vote as political retribution by Democrats who lost the election in 2016 and, McCarthy argued, will “do anything to stop him in 2020.”

“If you want to restore a working Congress — like the previous Congress that listened to you and worked to bring the best economy this country has ever seen and will once again work with the president to get things done for you and your family — then join Republicans in rejecting this baseless impeachment,” he said.

12:45 a.m.
Link copied
link

Hoyer praises Amash in sober closing speech

By Felicia Sonmez

In a sober closing speech before a silent House chamber, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) singled out Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) for praise. He noted that Amash is the only member of the House who does not belong to either party, and that he is backing impeachment.

“Neither a Democrat nor Republican, Representative Amash, of course, is the only member of this House who has no allegiance to either party but to his country,” Hoyer said. “He is supporting, as I’ve said, both articles. We need not ask who will be the first to show courage by standing up to President Trump. The question we must now ask is, who will be the last to find it?”

Hoyer also appeared to make a reference to Trump’s “America First” foreign policy, turning the phrase against Republicans.

“Let us not allow the rule of law to end, or for tyranny to find its toehold,” he said. “With our votes today, we can bear true faith and allegiance to the vision of our founders, and we can show future generations what it truly means to be Americans first. Vote ‘yes.’ ”

There was a moment’s pause as his words reverberated throughout the chamber, followed by a wave of applause from Democrats.

12:40 a.m.
Link copied
link

With impeachment, Pelosi emerges as Trump’s most powerful political adversary

By Paul Kane

Last December, Trump mocked Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s leadership skills in an Oval Office meeting, suggesting she needed help to secure enough votes to become the House speaker.

The California Democrat sent a warning shot that set the table for their relationship going forward. “Mr. President,” Pelosi interjected. “Please don’t characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting.”

Over the next year Pelosi firmly established herself as the president’s most powerful political adversary, winning a showdown with him in January on the budget and regularly winning other one-on-one confrontations. A caucus filled with younger Democrats who questioned the 79-year-old’s liberal bona fides now stands firmly behind her.

Read more here.