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.
House begins vote on first article of impeachment
The House has begun voting on the first article of impeachment, for abuse of power. The vote will take about 20 minutes.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to take the chair to preside over this and the next vote on the second article, for obstruction of Congress.
Pence blasts 'partisan impeachment' at Trump campaign rally
Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday blasted Democrats for a "partisan impeachment" as the vote to impeach President Donald Trump neared.
Pence, speaking at a Trump campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, argued that Democrats are trying to impeach the president because they “can’t run against our record. They can’t run against his results.”
While Trump spent much of the day fuming from the White House before making his way to Michigan for the event, Pence showed little sign of the drama unfolding back home, making campaign stops across the state and mostly playing up the administration's economic record.
Pence briefly addressed impeachment earlier in the day during remarks at a campaign event in Saginaw, Michigan, telling a crowd gathered in a hotel ballroom that “Democrats in Washington have been trying to overturn the results of the last election, and they're back at it again today with their partisan impeachment." But most of his more than 30 minutes of remarks were spent touting a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, phase one of a trade deal with China and record low unemployment.
After that speech, he boarded a campaign bus plastered with a giant photo of him and the president and traveled to a Bavarian-themed restaurant, shaking hands and taking pictures while waitresses dressed in traditional Bavarian costumes pushed through his gaggle of Secret Service agents and reporters with trays of fried chicken.
One diner, a mother with her small children, told Pence they were “future Republicans.”
Few places could be more crucial for the vice president to be mounting Trump’s defense in the hours leading up to the president's impeachment than the crucial swing state of Michigan. Trump eked out a victory there in 2016 — winning by about 11,000 votes out of more than 4.4 million cast — and Michigan is among those states hanging in the balance again in 2020.
McCarthy: Trump will still be president after impeachment
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy declared in his final argument before the vote on Wednesday that impeachment is irrelevant because it won’t remove the president from office.
"Donald J. Trump is President of the United States. He is president today. He will be president tomorrow. And he will be president when this impeachment is over,” he said.
It’s not exactly news, but it’s a curious diversion from the president’s own argument that impeachment is a coup.
Former Senate Majority Leader Lott: 'Shut up and wait till you see all the facts'
Former Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., who served as Senate majority leader during Clinton's impeachment trial, met with Senate Majority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., on Wednesday to prepare him for the upcoming trial in the Senate.
“He was my chief deputy whip, and the whip does have a possible role in all of this,” Lott said. “We talked mostly about history, how did we get through it last time, without a lot of blood. But remember, I do make the point to everybody, it was a different time, different media and different people.”
Lott, 78, was also a member of Congress during the Nixon impeachment, which he told NBC News was the toughest vote he ever cast.
“My advice to people would be shut up and wait till you see all the facts," he said. "If I’d kept my mouth shut 10 more days, Nixon was gone and I’d never have to stick my neck out. But in my 35 years in Congress, that was the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
For Clinton's impeachment, Lott said he and Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., had to agree on the structure of the trial to ensure that it was fair and neither side had any procedural advantage.
“They’re going to have to find a way to get it done, they’re not getting off to a great start, I don’t think,” Lott told NBC News. “Great advantage I had, was that I had Tom Daschle. He was fair, he was honest, we worked very closely through the whole process. And I think that made a huge difference. Important moments in history bring people together, whether they want to be or not. They’re going to have to talk about how to proceed. It’s that simple.”
House nearing a vote after 10 hours of debate
After 10 hours of debate, the House of Representatives is nearing an actual vote on impeachment as members of leadership deliver remarks on the two articles of impeachment.
The gallery above the floor of the House is filling up with onlookers, too, as lawmakers near the historic vote.
"Democrats did not choose impeachment," Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, as some GOP members in the House laughed loudly. "We did not want this. However, President Trump's misconduct has forced our Constitutional republic to protect itself."
'End of story': Trump did this to himself, Davis says before walking off
Rep. Susan Davis, D-Calif., offered a brief summary of her view just after 7 p.m. tonight.
“Make no mistake, we are not impeaching this president. He is impeaching himself. If you are the president, and you obstruct justice, try to bribe a foreign leader, and threaten national security, you’re going to get impeached. End of story,” she said before walking away from the podium.
Welcome brevity in hour 10 of member remarks.
McConnell, Schumer to discuss impeachment by week's end
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday that he would meet with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to discuss the path forward on an impeachment trial before the Senate leaves for the holiday recess.
"Before we finish the session, we’ll sit down and talk about the way forward, and hopefully the first phase will be easy to agree to," McConnell said.
The Senate could recess either by the end of the day Thursday or Friday, depending on when it finishes remaining work on spending bills and judicial appointments. The House passed a $1.4 trillion spending package Tuesday that would fund federal agencies through next fall.
Earlier in the day, McConnell said on the Senate floor that he “hoped” he and Schumer could sit down and reach an agreement about whether there should be witnesses in the trial.
Schumer responded shortly after, saying McConnell must “offer one good reason why relevant witnesses shouldn't testify in an impeachment trial of President Trump” and 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.
Zeldin calls impeachment inquiry 'Schiff show' on House floor
Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., alluded to profanity as he called the impeachment inquiry a "Schiff show" while speaking on the House floor against impeachment, riffing on the surname of Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, did not respond to the remark, but smirked. He has drawn the ire of Republicans who claimed he was unfair during the impeachment inquiry and some have called for his resignation, including Trump.
Trump has previously called Schiff "Adam Schitt," in another attempt to pronounce his name as vulgar slang. Republican lawmakers have also previously riffed on his name in the same way.
The House has rules against using profanity on the floor during a debate.