UPDATE: 10:00 P.M. ET:
Moments after the historic vote, Speaker Pelosi would not say when—or if—the House will send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, the Hill reports.
“We’ll make that decision as a group, as we always have, as we go along,” Pelosi told reporters.
The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The vote on the first article was 230-197, strictly along Party lines, with two Democrats voting against impeachment. Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, voted present, who claimed that although she believes Trump to be guilty of wrongdoing, she did not trust the impeachment process due to “tribal animosities.”
“I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing,” Gabbard said after the vote.
“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.”
Every single Republican voted no, with 2 abstaining.
The vote lasted 15 minutes.
The vote on the second article lasted 5 minutes and was also largely along Party lines, with a vote of 229-198.
Now the Republican-led Senate must hold a trial, which would begin in early January, to decide if Trump will be removed from office.
Donald Trump is one step closer to becoming only the third U.S. president to be impeached as the House of Representatives moved forward on Wednesday toward the, now, inevitable historic vote.
As ESSENCE previously reported, the House voted last Friday to open debate on articles of impeachment against Trump, clearing a key procedural hurdle that moved Democrats one step closer to final votes to charge the president with committing high crimes and misdemeanors.
Today, Democrats and Republicans in the House will debate for six hours on the articles of impeachment. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., introduced the debate rules, which state that each article will be voted on and argued separately, USA Today reports.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened the debate saying, “Our founders’ vision of a republic is under threat from actions from the White House. If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty. It’s tragic the president’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice.”
WATCH IMPEACHMENT DEBATE LIVE:
Trump has spent the majority of the day distress tweeting about his impending impeachment, calling it “an assault of America.”
“SUCH ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT, DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS. THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA, AND AN ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!”
The House is debating and voting on two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, with all Democrats supporting the charges and all Republicans opposing them, CBS News reports.
Once the House votes, the Republican-controlled Senate will then hold a trial to determine whether to convict and remove Trump from office. A two-thirds Senate majority is required to remove Trump from office.