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Live updates: Trump impeached by the House on both articles

A day after Trump derided the process as a Democratic "crusade," and following hours of debates, the House is set to send both articles to the Senate for trial.
Image: The House of Representatives will vote on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
The House of Representatives will vote on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

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

Live Blog

It's a duck! It's a witch! It's hyperbole! Lawmakers' colorful impeachment comparisons

Everyone agrees that Trump’s impeachment is historic. It’s the third in American history. But lawmakers on both sides — and Trump himself — have adopted their own colorful ways of describing it. 

Since the beginning of the House hearings and debates leading up to the full House vote on Wednesday,  clichés, similes, metaphors and allusions, among other ... attempts, have been used to make a case for or against impeachment.

Here’s what Trump's impeachment, the process, the debate and/or the hearings have been compared to:

The Salem Witch Trials

The crucifixion of Jesus

The trial of Socrates 

The bombing of Pearl Harbor

Stalin

A coup

A yoga teacher

Judas

A duck 

A lynching

A Kangaroo court

The bush-league

Friday the 13th 

Merry impeachment! White House sent Christmas cards to senators on Wednesday

As the House debated articles of impeachment against the president on Wednesday, the White House sent out Christmas cards to Donald Trump's potential jurors in the Senate. 

The Christmas cheer was delivered along with some jeer — a copy of the president's searing six-page letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday blasting impeachment proceedings. 

"True story: there is a White House staffer going around the Senate delivering to each office, as a package, the incoherent, scathing Pelosi letter AND ... wait for it ... a giant 16x12 White House Christmas card (along with, implausibly, a second smaller Christmas card)," tweeted Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. "What a day."

Murphy's fellow Democratic senator from Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, said he'd received the packages as well. 

"Thanks for this card & your 6 page impeachment screed. Bizarrely delivered together. Happy Holidays & best wishes for the coming year!" he tweeted.

On the House side, Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., asked about the expense of sending Trump's letter by mail.

A White House official confirmed that Christmas cards and the letter were being delivered to senators, as well as House members, on Wednesday, but also noted that while they were delivered together, they were in separate packages.  

Conway on GOP rep's comparison of Trump's treatment to Jesus': 'I don't like many Jesus comparisons'

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters Wednesday that she wasn't a fan of comparing the impeachment investigation to how Jesus was treated after a Republican congressman said earlier that Jesus had received more due process than Trump.

"I don't like many Jesus comparisons," Conway said, adding, "I think it probably, on a day like today, is one of the least important comments made."

Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., made the Jesus comparison.

"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."

Republicans argue impeachment is happening because Democrats 'hate' Trump

Republicans have been hammering home a message throughout Wednesday's debate: Democrats are only voting to impeach Trump because they "hate" him.

"This vote, this day has nothing to do with Ukraine," Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, said, adding, "This vote, this day is about one thing and one thing only: They hate this President."

Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., outlined a long list of policy differences Democrats have with Trump, claiming with nearly every one that Democrats "hate" Trump for those positions.

And Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., said Democrats were blinded by their "hate" of Trump.

It's a message Democrats have countered at multiple junctures.

"We do not hate President Trump," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said. "But we do know that President Trump will continue to threaten the nation's security, democracy and constitutional system if he is allowed to remain in office."

And Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., said earlier, "I speak today not because I hate this president, but because I love this body, the people's House."

Notably, some of those same Republican congressmen did not mince words about the president when he was running for office in 2016.

Stewart, for example, compared Trump to Benito Mussolini, Italy's World War II-era fascist leader.

"If some of you are Donald Trump supporters, we see the world differently, because I can't imagine what someone is thinking," Stewart said in March 2016, adding that Trump "does not represent Republican ideals, he is our Mussolini."

Grothman, meanwhile, said that same month that Trump was "an embarrassment as a person."

"You look at the way he behaves," Grothman said. "If your 8-year-old child behaved that way, you'd wonder if there was something wrong with them. You'd chastise them. This is the president of the United States."

GOP Rep. Kelly compares Trump impeachment day to bombing of Pearl Harbor

Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., drew a direct comparison between Wednesday’s impeachment vote and the bombing of Pearl Harbor — saying that they are both dates that "will live in infamy."

“On Dec. 7, 1941, a horrific act happened in the United States, and it’s one that President Roosevelt said, this is a date that will live in infamy,” Kelly said, referring to the famous speech given by then-President Franklin Roosevelt after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

“Today, Dec. 18, 2019, is another day that will live in infamy,” Kelly said. 

Connolly ties in past presidents during impeachment debate

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., wore a tie with a colorful collage of what appears to be past American presidents as he gave an impassioned speech on the House floor during the debate in support of impeachment. 

 

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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A lithograph of a witch trial in Salem, Massachusetts.George H. Walker / Bettmann Archive

 

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.