US House Impeaches President Trump for abuse of power

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U.S. President Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives Wednesday night, accused of abusing the power of the presidency to benefit himself politically and then obstructing congressional efforts to investigate his actions.

On a near straight party-line vote, the Democrat-controlled House approved two articles of impeachment against Trump, a Republican, making him only the third U.S. president to be impeached in the country’s 243-year history.

Trump, who has scoffed at the impeachment allegations and assailed Democrats for pursuing it, now will likely face a trial in January in the Senate. But the Republican majority in the chamber is highly likely to acquit him, leaving voters to decide Trump’s fate as he seeks a second term in the White House in next November’s national election.

Pelosi’s comments came as a surprise in a news conference late Wednesday that was intended to express Democrats’ somber closing message after voting to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress

The White House released a statement shortly after the vote, which said, “Today marks the culmination in the House of one of the most shameful political episodes in the history of our Nation.” It called the the actions a “sham impeachment.”

The statement added, “The President is confident the Senate will restore regular order, fairness, and due process, all of which were ignored in the House proceedings. He is prepared for the next steps and confident that he will be fully exonerated.”

The House debated the merits of Trump’s impeachment for more than six hours before voting. Democratic lawmakers pointedly advanced the case for Trump’s impeachment. They alternated with Republicans, who said Trump had done nothing wrong in his monthslong push to get Ukraine to investigate one of Trump’s chief 2020 Democratic challengers, former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden’s lucrative work for a Ukrainian natural gas company and a debunked theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election that Trump won to undermine his campaign.

Trump made the appeal for the Biden investigations directly to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a late July phone call at a time when he was temporarily withholding $391 million in military aid Kyiv wanted to help fight pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

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