WASHINGTON – The majority in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump for abuse of power Wednesday night.
Trump, accused of abusing his presidential power when he asked Ukraine to investigate his political rival ahead of the 2020 election and then obstructing Congress’ investigation, is the third American president to be impeached.
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he voted against moving the process forward.
“I voted NO. I pride myself on being open and willing to work across the aisle when necessary,” said Reed. “But I have found these impeachment proceedings to be completely partisan, and yet another attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election.”
“More importantly, all the political posturing and pontificating has delayed important legislation and distracted all of us from doing the jobs we were elected to do,” Reed explained. “We had an election in 2016 and another is almost upon us. I trust the voters to decide who should be in the Oval Office.”
Ahead of the vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi invoked the the Pledge of Allegiance and the Preamble to the Constitution in arguing that the Founders’ vision for a republic was threatened by Trump’s actions.
“Today we are here to defend democracy for the people,″ she said to applause from Democrats in the House chamber.
Trump, tweeting from the White House, used all capital letters and exclamation points to register his outrage: “SUCH ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT, DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS. THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA, AND AN ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!”
The impeachment effort, unfolding over weeks and then a long final day of debate, has divided the lawmakers in Congress much the way Americans have different views of Trump’s unusual presidency and the articles of impeachment against him.
Next comes a January trial in the Senate, where a vote of two-thirds would be necessary for conviction.
While Democrats have the majority in the House to impeach Trump, Republicans control the Senate, and few if any are expected to diverge from plans to acquit the president of the charges in the new year ahead of early state primary voting.
Presidents Andrew Johnson in the 1860s and Bill Clinton in the 1990s were impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate.
Richard Nixon in the 1970s resigned rather than face the House vote over Watergate in the first first televised impeachment hearings, which captured the attention of the nation.