U.S. House of Representatives votes to impeach Trump

U.S. House of Representatives votes to impeach Trump

PanARMENIAN.Net - U.S. President Donald Trump has been impeached by the House of Representatives – a humiliating rebuke handed down to only three American presidents in history, The Independent reports.

Amid dramatic scenes on Capitol Hill, Democrats reached the 216 simple majority – four seats of the lower chamber of congress are currently vacant – required to impeach him of abusing his position as president. It then passed a second impeachment article, namely of having obstructed congress.

While it is likely Republicans in the senate will vote against the measure, allowing Trump to remain in office, the move nevertheless marked a rare and grave milestone in the nation’s frequently high-stakes political history.

The vote also represented a personal victory for House speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had long opposed impeachment, aware of how divisive it could be. Yet, she opened eight hours of speeches by Republican and Democratic legislators, by saying she had no alternative. “I solemnly and sadly open the debate on impeachment of the president of the United States. If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty,” she said.

“It is a matter of fact that the president is an ongoing threat to our national security and the integrity of our elections, which is the basis of our democracy.”

The president’s undoing dates from a 25 July phone call with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky during which Trump asked his newly elected counterpart for a quid pro quo in the form of launching an anti-corruption investigation into former vice president Joe Biden, and his son.

Republicans have long accused Biden of improperly using his position to out a prosecutor said to represent a threat to an energy company, on whose board his son sat.

In an whistleblower complaint, believed to have been made by a member of the US intelligence community and which became public in September, Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, were said to have have used as leverage the prospect of a visit to Washington DC, and the unfreezing of almost $400m (£305m) in military aid, agreed by congress to help Ukraine confront a long-running threat from Moscow.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and claimed his call with the leader of Ukraine was “beautiful”.

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