The House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump, charging him with “high crimes and misdemeanors” and making him only the third president in history to face removal by the Senate.
The votes on two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — fell largely along party lines, after about eight hours of contentious debate that underscored the deep divisions in the country and among its representatives.
All but two Democrats supported the article on abuse of power, which accused Mr. Trump of using the power of his office to pressure Ukraine’s government to announce investigations that could discredit his political rivals. The vote was 230 to 197.
A third Democrat, Representative Jared Golden of Maine, joined with Republicans in opposing the obstruction of Congress charge. The vote was 229 to 198.
No Republicans voted in favor of either article of impeachment. Representative Justin Amash, Independent of Michigan, voted for both articles.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat who is running for president, voted “present” on both articles of impeachment. She said in a statement that she could not “in good conscience” vote either yes or no.
“I am standing in the center and have decided to vote Present. I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing,” she said.
“I also could not in good conscience vote for impeachment because removal of a sitting President must not be the culmination of a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country,” she added.
A historic trial in the Senate is expected to begin early next year, giving senators the final say on whether to acquit the 45th president or convict and remove him from office. Acquittal in the Republican-controlled chamber is likely.
At a rally, Trump mocked Democrats for impeaching him and predicted the Senate will ‘do the right thing.’
At a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, Mr. Trump condemned the impeachment inquiry as a “hoax” and said he was confident that he would be acquitted in the Senate.
“We didn’t lose one Republican vote, and three Democrats votes for us,” Mr. Trump announced to howls of approval from the raucous crowd. “The Republican Party has never been so united as they are right now. Never. Never.”
He said senators “are going to do the right thing.”
Mr. Trump took the stage at just after 8 p.m. at the 9,800-seat Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Mich., where a rowdy crowd had been eagerly awaiting his appearance onstage as music blared through the chilly auditorium.
“It doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached,” Mr. Trump told the crowd. “The country is doing better than ever before. We did nothing wrong. We have tremendous support in the Republican Party like we’ve never had before.”
Once the House impeached him, Mr. Trump mocked Democrats for conducting what he said was an unfair attack on his presidency.
“I’m not worried. I’m not worried. Because, it’s always good,” Mr. Trump said. “But, you don’t do anything wrong and you get impeached. That may be a record that will last forever. But you know what they have done? They have cheapened the impeachment process.”
The Trump campaign event, scheduled before organizers knew the House would hold its impeachment vote on Wednesday, was billed as a “Merry Christmas Rally.” The stage was flanked by two large Christmas trees topped by the campaign’s signature red “Make America Great Again” hats in lieu of stars.
Impeachment debate played out in one or two minute bursts from Republicans and Democrats.
Democrats designed Wednesday’s impeachment debate to last for six hours, but it played out in one to two-minute bursts as individual lawmakers strode to the microphones to quickly deliver their conclusions about whether Mr. Trump abused his office and obstructed Congress.
Under the rules adopted by the House, the debate Ping-Pongs between Republicans and Democrats, managed by the chairman and ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Here is a flavor of the back and forth:
K. Michael Conaway, Republican of Texas: “Many of my colleagues have diminished what should be a solemn and grave proceeding into an absolute political circus.”
Ted Lieu, Democrat of California: “This impeachment is permanent. It will follow him around for the rest of his life and history books will record it. And the people will know why we impeached. It’s all very simple. No one is above the law.”
Tom McClintock, Republican of California: “This is a stunning abuse of power and a shameless travesty of justice that will stain the reputations of those responsible for generations to come.”
The package, delivered to the Capitol as the House inched closer to impeaching Mr. Trump, struck some lawmakers as eminently bizarre.
“What a day,” Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, said.