In a historic vote, the House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Both votes were 23-17, along party lines.
The vote comes after a marathon and sharply partisan session on Thursday in which the 41-person Committee debated the two charges of “high crimes and misdemeanors” against the President, each evoking the historic stakes of the vote.
The Committee’s approval of the articles now sends impeachment to the floor of the House of Representatives, where all 435 members of the House of Representatives will have to examine the evidence discovered in the impeachment inquiry — and decide whether or not it warrants impeaching the President.
A full House vote can be expected next week, before Congress recesses for the holidays. This is only the fourth time in American history that a President has faced impeachment.
If the House impeaches the President, a Senate trial will commence early next year and will determine whether or not to convict the President and remove him from office.
“This is a solemn and somber day for our country. For only the fourth time in our nation’s history, the House Judiciary Committee has recommended articles of impeachment against the President of the United States. The responsibility of impeaching the president for ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ is one the House takes very seriously; it is a responsibility that must not be avoided when demanded by the overwhelming evidence presented,” said Democratic House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer in a statement.
Immediately after the vote, House Republicans tweeted the impeachment process has been “partisan and “unfair,” adding the vote was “a sham.”
“Today’s vote highlights the pettiness of last night’s delay and the folly of articles of impeachment that allege no crime and establish no case. While it’s already clear that Democrats broke their own promises to rig this outcome, what will become more obvious in the coming days and years is that Democrats gravely abused their power,” Republican Rep. Doug Collins, the ranking minority member of the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement.
The White House also issued a statement shortly after the vote. “This desperate charade of an impeachment inquiry in the House Judiciary Committee has reached its shameful end. The President looks forward to receiving in the Senate the fair treatment and due process which continues to be disgracefully denied to him by the House,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said.