The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump on both articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The vote followed weeks of testimony related to his dealings with Ukraine and hours of fiery debate over the process.
Trump is only the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. Follow us here for all of the latest breaking news and analysis on impeachment from NBC News' political reporters, as well as our teams on Capitol Hill and at the White House.
TRUMP IMPEACHMENT HIGHLIGHTS
- From solemnity to anger to hyperbole, here are some of the buzziest lines from the historic House debate on Wednesday.
- President Trump sent a rambling six-page letter Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling Congress' impeachment inquiry a partisan “crusade,” an “unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power” and a “spiteful” “election-nullification scheme.” Click here to read the full letter.
- The House Judiciary Committee released its full 658-page report just after midnight Sunday, in which the majority calls Trump the "Framers' worst nightmare."
- Read the details revealed in the House Intelligence Committee's weeks of impeachment hearings.
Pelosi kicks off debate speeches: 'He gave us no choice'
Pelosi, in a lengthy speech that kicked off a formal debate by the full House on the impeachment of Trump, called impeachment “one of the most solemn powers this body can take.”
“No member, regardless of political or party, comes to congress to impeach a president,” said Pelosi, standing next to a placard with an American flag that read “To the Republic For Which It Stands…”
But because Trump pursued an “improper personal benefit” at “the expense of our national security,” the “Founders’ vision of a Republic are under threat.”
She said she would, therefore “solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the President of the United States.”
“If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duties,” Pelosi said.
“He gave us no choice,” she added.
She also paid tribute to Elijah Cummings, the late House Oversight Committee chairman who passed away in October, in the middle of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, saying that he was now “dancing with the angels.”
Democratic members gave Pelosi a subdued standing ovation as she concluded her floor remarks.
Van Drew and Peterson lone Democrats voting with Republicans
Two Democrats — Reps. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Collin Peterson of Minnesota — voted with Republicans on a procedural vote before the full House vote on the articles of impeachment.
The "previous question" passed 229-197, which closes the articles of impeachment resolution rule debate before the six hours of debate preceding the full House vote.
Van Drew and Peterson are from districts that Trump won in 2016. Van Drew, most notably, is considering defecting from the Democratic Party because of the inquiry and his re-election chances.
'We are all mad': Trump, White House fume as House debates impeachment
President Donald Trump and his administration were fuming Wednesday as the House prepared to vote for his impeachment, and they prepared in turn for "war" over the move he fears will stain his legacy.
“Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG! A terrible Thing. Read the Transcripts. This should never happen to another President again. Say a PRAYER!” Trump tweeted, one of nearly two dozen tweets and retweets from his account by noon Wednesday.
“We are all mad,” a White House official told NBC News, describing the president's reaction as one of "disbelief" that the process had reached this point, and his team as being “angry this is happening.” But officials were quick to add that the president is ready for the fight ahead, describing the White House as battle-tested at this point.
Trump's impeachment, in pictures
Frank Thorp V, a producer and reporter for NBC News on Capitol Hill, has documented the impeachment proceedings against Trump since Sept. 24, when Pelosi announced a formal inquiry into his dealings with Ukraine.
Thorp used a 1950s Graflex Speed Graphic large format camera to shoot critical scenes — key witnesses on the stand, lawmakers speaking to the press — on 4x5 black-and-white film. He then developed them himself and posted the resulting images on social media.
View more of the photos here.
Lieu present for impeachment vote days after heart surgery
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., was on the House floor Wednesday morning ahead of the impeachment vote days after he had heart surgery.
Lieu, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, missed the panel's vote last week on the articles of impeachment as he recovered from the procedure. He was also in the Capitol for votes on Tuesday.
Democrat McGovern calls on Republicans 'to stand up for your Constitution,' while GOP's Cole says 'we deserve better'
Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said in his closing statement as debate on the rule came to an end that if Trump’s actions aren’t checked, America is “rolling out the welcome mat” for foreign nations to interfere in U.S. elections and in choosing our leaders.
“I took an oath to uphold the Constitution,” he said, claiming that he decried partisanship.
McGovern urged his Republican colleagues to take his approach and “stand up for your Constitution.”
“When I vote yes,” he said, “my conscience will be clear.”
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oka., in his closing argument called the House impeachment push a “flawed process” that has gone on “at the expense of minority rights.”
“Madam speaker, we deserve better than this,” Cole said.
His remark is consistent with the argument Republican lawmakers have offered during the impeachment inquiry, claiming the process is a vendetta against Trump because Democrats lost the 2016 election and has stifled Republican opposition.
House unlikely to vote on House managers today
At this point, it seems unlikely the House will vote today on a resolution naming the impeachment managers, who act as the prosecutors in the Senate Trial.
A senior Democratic aide tells NBC News the likely next step will be a public release of the impeachment manager names, but there was no time specified for when this announcement will occur.
The rule, which will be voted on shortly, will allow the Speaker to name managers at any point after the articles pass. There will be a debate and vote on that resolution naming the managers and they have to be named in order to transmit the articles to the Senate.
Meanwhile, on the Senate floor ... another sparring match
As House members kicked off debate over impeachment guidelines, the Senate leaders from both parties engaged in their own sparring match, going tit-for-tat over their competing desires over how a Senate trial of Trump should look.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., kicked things off, saying on the Senate floor that he felt it was “unfortunate” that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had made a “decision to try to angrily negotiate” the procedures of a Senate trial “through the press.
McConnell said he “hoped” that he and Schumer “can sit down” and reach an agreement about whether there should be witnesses in the trial.
Moments later, Schumer responded, saying McConnell must “offer one good reason why relevant witnesses shouldn't testify in an impeachment trial of President Trump.”
He also again urged Trump to allow four top aides to testify — former national security adviser John Bolton, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, senior Mulvaney adviser Robert Blair and Michael Duffey, associate director for national security at the Office of Management and Budget.
Earlier, McConnell said during an interview on “The Hugh Hewitt Show” that a Senate trial would be “good therapy” for many Senate Democrats because they’ll have to “sit there quietly and listen.”
Senate Republicans bring Baby Yoda into this