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.
GOP Rep. Loudermilk: Jesus 'afforded more rights' than Trump
Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., said Wednesday that Jesus was treated more fairly than Trump.
"When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers," Loudermilk said from the House floor. "During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than Democrats have afforded this president in this process."
Trump did not go quite so far in his comparisons regarding the impeachment process, saying in a letter to Pelosi on Tuesday that he was being afforded less due process than those accused of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials.
Later during the floor debate, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., tweeted a response to Loudermilk, referring to Romans 1:25, which reads: "They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen."
'Learn some history': Mayor of Salem, Mass., blasts Trump over witch trials
The mayor of Salem, Massachusetts, said President Donald Trump needs to "learn some history" after he claimed those accused in the city's infamous 17th century witch trials received more due process than he has in the House impeachment inquiry.
Mayor Kim Driscoll, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that the trials in 1692 included "powerless, innocent victims" who were "hanged or pressed to death" on scant evidence.
Twenty people suspected of witchcraft were killed in Salem, a coastal city about 20 miles north of Boston, during a frenzy stoked by superstition, fear of disease and strangers, and jealousy. Nineteen were hanged, and one man was crushed by rocks.
Trump, Driscoll said, is a powerful world leader and the allegations against him come with "ample evidence" and "admissions of wrongdoing."
"Right, will they ever learn some history?" Driscoll wrote in a follow-up tweet. "This situation is much different than the plight of the witch trial victims, who were convicted using spectral evidence + then brutally hanged or pressed to death. A dubious legal process that bears no relation to televised impeachment."
In a six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, Trump slammed Democrats for seeking to impeach him.
"More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials," he complained. "One hundred years from now, when people look back at this affair, I want them to understand it, and learn from it, so that it can never happen to another President again."
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Republican Rep. Rooney calls for White House aides to testify and Democrats to slow down
Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., who said Wednesday that he would against both articles of impeachment, told NBC News in a phone interview that he wants Trump aides who the White House has refused to make available during the House hearings to testify in the Senate impeachment trial.
“It bothers me, yes,” Rooney said Wednesday. “It’s making it hard on everybody. … They seem to want to play this subpoena-executive privilege game.”
Democrats have consistently complained about an "unprecedented" lack of cooperation from the White House.
Rooney, one of the last Republicans to announce how he would vote on impeachment, said that he took his vote “very seriously,” and that he did “exhaustive” research on Watergate, which he called the model, and President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. He said he also talked to former White House counsels.
He said Trump’s conduct is “not good” and criticized him for “beating up” on former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and Ukraine's president, and for deprecating our foreign service officers “who are suffering great hardship.”
However, he expressed skepticism about how the Democrats have run the inquiry.
He said if the aides are refusing to talk, the Democrats should “look beyond emotion” and “work through it” in court “so you can create a case for the American people.”
He said the president’s actions and the process are setting “very bad precedents,” and the remedy may just have to be the ballot box.
Congress, he said, should get to work, including “getting after those Russians for trying to influence our election.”
The Mueller investigation didn't start in Congress
Nadler retorts, 'The new president would be Mike Pence, not Hillary Clinton' if Trump is removed; Republicans cheer
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, zinged Republican Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah after he slammed Democrats for trying to nullify the election through impeachment.
“They think Hillary Clinton should be president and they want to fix that,” Stewart had said, arguing that the impeach inquiry is a maneuver to “take away my vote.”
Nadler shot back, “I would remind the gentleman that if President Trump is removed the new president would be Mike Pence, not Hillary Clinton.”
Several Republicans cheered and clapped after Nadler's remarks, including Oversight Committee member Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Judiciary ranking Republican Doug Collins of Georgia.
Sarah Sanders: Pelosi 'too weak' to stand up to liberals in Democratic Party
Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders weighed in on today's impeachment debate, slamming Pelosi as being "too weak to stand up to the angry liberals in her party."
Trump appears to be watching, tweets: 'THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA'
Trump appears to be paying close attention to Wednesday's impeachment proceedings, tweeting, "SUCH ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT, DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS."
"THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA, AND AN ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!" he continued as the House debated Wednesday afternoon.
Moments earlier, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told the press pool that Trump "will be working all day."
"He will be briefed by staff throughout that day, and could catch some of the proceedings between meetings," she continued.
Rep. Jayapal: 'The president is the smoking gun'
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., reprised a line she used during House Judiciary Committee impeachment debate last week.
Trump, Jayapal said, “solicited foreign interference before, he is doing it now, and he will do it again.”
“The president is the smoking gun,” she said.
Matthews: This isn't a fact finding mission, it's a roll-call vote to see what party you're in
Dems Gabbard and Serrano, Republicans Hunter and Shimkus haven't cast votes yet Wednesday
Two House Democrats have not yet voted Wednesday: Reps. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and José Serrano of New York.
Gabbard, who's running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, said in a TV interview Tuesday in South Carolina that she was still "thinking through" how she planned to vote on the articles of impeachment. Gabbard added that she had "a lot of concerns" about any "partisan-driven impeachment process" that further divides an already divided country.
She also said in separate remarks Tuesday that she planned to introduce a resolution that would censure the president.
Serrano has Parkinson's disease and announced in March that he would not seek re-election in 2020.
"Unfortunately, my recovery has not progressed as quickly as I had hoped," he said in a statement explaining his absence. "I am continuing to address health issues related to my Parkinson's diagnosis, and other recent health concerns," including the need for prostate surgery this week.
"I have been monitoring the process from home however, and were I there, I would vote to impeach Donald Trump on both counts. His actions in office have undermined our national security, our democratic processes, and our Constitution.
"While it is difficult to miss these important votes, I trust my colleagues to make the right choices to protect our nation, our laws and our democracy."
Other members that have not voted Wednesday include Reps. John Shimkus, R-Ill., and Duncan Hunter, R-Calif. The Ethics Committee has said Hunter can't vote because he pleaded guilty this year to campaign finance violations.
Shimkus, who's retiring from Congress, said in a statement Wednesday that before the impeachment votes were scheduled, he had planned a trip to Africa with his wife to visit their son in Tanzania.
"At the White House last week I informed President Trump that I would not be present for the these votes, and he was supportive of me visiting my son," Shimkus said. "I told him I did not support his impeachment, and I have requested that this statement of my reasons for opposing both articles of impeachment be entered into the Congressional Record."
The offices of Gabbard and Hunter did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment.
High-profile Trump allies being considered to defend Trump in Senate trial
Four sources familiar with the matter tell NBC News that several high-profile House Republicans are being considered to be part of the team that would defend the president in a Senate trial: Oversight Committee ranking member Jim Jordan of Ohio, Oversight member Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Intelligence and Judiciary member John Ratcliffe of Texas, and Judiciary member Mike Johnson of Louisiana.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone would still likely lead the effort. However, no decision has been made while the president considers his options, sources say, with one official describing the discussions as “fluid” right now.
While the signals from the Senate side suggest formal witnesses are unlikely to be called at this point, one source adds that the White House is also considering trying to have House Republicans — such as Judiciary ranking member Doug Collins, R-Ga. — serve as witnesses in some capacity to speak about the closed-door testimony they’ve heard and documents they’ve reviewed, and argue it amounted to nothing substantive.