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.
Tulsi Gabbard, Democratic candidate for president, votes 'present' on impeachment
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, voted "present" — rather than for or against — both articles of impeachment, a surprise move from the Democratic presidential candidate.
Gabbard is the only White House hopeful eligible to vote on impeachment Wednesday and one of few House Democrats publicly undecided on the issue. She is the only member to have voted present.
"After doing my due diligence in reviewing the 658-page impeachment report, I came to the conclusion that I could not in good conscience vote either yes or no," she said in a lengthy statement issued immediately after her vote was cast.
"I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing," she added.
"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."
House passes second article of impeachment on obstruction of Congress
The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the second article of impeachment against President Donald Trump, by a vote of 229-198, accusing him of obstructing Congress, following an hourslong debate and the adoption of the first article on abuse of power.
The article accuses Trump of directing "the unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas” issued by the House. It also accuses Trump of directing the White House and other agencies to defy subpoenas and withholding documents and not allowing key administration officials to testify.
“In the history of the Republic, no president has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate ‘high crimes and misdemeanors'," the article reads.
Like the first vote, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a presidential candidate, voted present. And as expected the Democrats, Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jared Golden of Maine voted no on the second article.
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Trump impeached by the House for abuse of power
President Donald J. Trump was impeached on Wednesday, marking the third time in the nation’s history that the House of Representatives voted to impeach a sitting president.
The historic vote followed a daylong debate on whether Trump violated his oath in pressuring Ukraine to damage a political opponent.
The 230-197 vote to impeach Trump for abuse of power was almost entirely along party lines and is to be followed quickly by a second vote on whether Trump obstructed Congress.
Two Democrats, Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Collin Peterson of Minnesota, voted against the article along with all Republicans. The lone Independent, former Republican Justin Amash of Michigan, joined with all Democrats in adopting the article.
One Democrat, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a 2020 presidential candidate, voted present. Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, who doesn't typically vote except on important legislation, voted yes and appeared to be the 214th vote, pushing Democrats over the margin.
As lawmakers wrapped up the vote, GOP members chanted, "Four more years! Four more years!"
The Senate trial on whether to remove the president is expected to begin in early January.
Meanwhile, at Trump's rally in Michigan
In closing argument, Schiff says 'we used to care about democracy'
Schiff gave his closing remarks ahead of the impeachment vote, saying, "we used to care about democracy."
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Republican arguments against impeachment have been "hard for me to follow," adding that they amount to "why should we care" about Trump's conduct toward Ukraine.
"Why should we care about what the president did to Ukraine?" Schiff asked, adding, "We used to care about Democracy. We used to care about our allies. We used to stand up to Putin and Russia."
"I know the party of Ronald Reagan used to," he said.
"There will be another president, and you may one day — although you do not act like it — you may one day be in the majority," he later added, asking what Republicans will say when a future president refuses to comply with their efforts to conduct oversight of him or her.
"What will you say?" Schiff said. "What will you argue?"
Schiff wrapped up his remarks just as Trump took the stage at his rally in Battle Creek, Michigan.
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."