Washington, D.C.- On Wednesday, February 5, 2020, the United States Senate acquitted President Donald Trump of charges of Abuse of Power( 52-48) and Obstruction of Congress(53-47).The vote itself ended as expected to be down the party line.
On December 5, Speaker Pelosi authorized the Judiciary Committee to begin drafting articles of impeachment.
A set of impeachment hearings was brought before the Judiciary Committee, with Trump and his lawyers being invited to attend.The administration declined, as the president was scheduled to attend aNATO summitin London. In a second letter on December 6, Cipollone again said the White House will not offer a defense or otherwise participate in the impeachment inquiry, writing to chairmanJerry Nadler, “As you know, your impeachment inquiry is completely baseless and has violated basic principles of due process and fundamental fairness.”Nadler responded in a statement, “We gave President Trump a fair opportunity to question witnesses and present his own to address the overwhelming evidence before us. After listening to him complain about the impeachment process, we had hoped that he might accept our invitation.”
The first hearing, held on December 4, 2019, was an academic discussion on the definition of an impeachable offense. The witnesses invited by Democrats were law professorsNoah Feldmanfrom Harvard,Pamela S. Karlanfrom Stanford, andMichael Gerhardtfrom the University of North Carolina. Republicans invitedJonathan Turley, a constitutional scholar at George Washington University; Turley, who had testified in favor of the impeachment of PresidentBill Clintonin 1999, testified against impeaching Trump, citing a lack of evidence. It was observed that he contradicted his own opinion on impeachment from when Clinton was on trial.
Potential articles of impeachment outlined during the hearing include: abuse of power for arranging aquid pro quowith the president of Ukraine, obstruction of Congress for hindering the House’s investigation, and obstruction of justice for attempting to dismissRobert Muellerduring his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. On December 5, Pelosi requested the House Judiciary Committee draft articles of impeachment.After the vote, Pelosi said that while this was “a great day for the Constitution” it was “a sad day for America”. She also said, “I could not be prouder or more inspired by the moral courage of the House Democrats. We never asked one of them how they were going to vote. We never whipped this vote.”
On December 10, 2019, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee announced that they would levy two articles of impeachment, designated H. Res. 755: (1) abuse of power, and (2) obstruction of Congress,in its investigation of the President’s conduct regarding Ukraine.Draft text of the articles was released later that day,as well as a report by the judiciary committee outlining the constitutional case for impeachment and asserting that “impeachment is part of democratic governance.”The committee planned to vote on the articles on December 12,but postponed it to the next day after the 14-hour partisan debate on the final versions of the articles lasted until after 11:00p.m. EST. On December 13, the Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to pass both articles of impeachment; both articles passed 23–17, with all Democrats, present voting in support and all Republicans voting in opposition. DemocratTed Lieuwas ill and not present to vote.
The formal impeachment vote in the House of Representatives took place on December 18, 2019.Shortly after 8:30 pmEST, both articles of impeachment passed.The votes for the charge of abuse of power were 230 in favor, 197 against, and 1 present: House Democrats all voted in support exceptCollin Peterson(Minnesota) andJeff Van Drew(New Jersey), who voted against,andTulsi Gabbard(Hawaii), who voted “present”; all House Republicans voted against, although former-Republican-turned-IndependentJustin Amash(Michigan) voted in support of both articles.The votes for the charge of obstruction of Congress were 229 in favor, 198 against, and 1 present: all Democrats voted in support except Peterson, Van Drew, andJared Golden(Maine), who voted against; and Gabbard, who again voted “present”; all Republicans voted against. (via Wikipedia)