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US President Donald Trump (File pic)
US President Donald Trump (File pic)

Trump impeachment: House begins historic debate to vote to impeach US President

ANI | Updated: Dec 18, 2019 21:55 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Dec 18 (ANI): The US House of Representatives on Wednesday opened a historic debate to vote on the impeachment of President Donald Trump for abusing his power and obstructing Congress.
The bitterly divided House will vote on the two articles - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress - for six hours and then vote separately on each of them, under parameters that the House Rules Committee had recommended on Tuesday, CNN reported.
All Republicans are expected to oppose impeachment, and only three Democrats have signalled that they will break ranks to vote against one or both articles, including one, Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, planning to change parties.
If the House approves the articles, lawmakers will immediately take up a resolution naming managers who will serve essentially as prosecutors in the Senate trial, which is expected to begin in January.
It has been 85 days since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Democrats would launch an impeachment inquiry after an anonymous whistleblower complaint alleged that Trump had solicited interference in a July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to help his 2020 reelection campaign.
Democrats say their investigation revealed a months-long campaign directed by the President and carried out by his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani for Ukraine to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, along with the 2016 election.
The President withheld US security aid and a one-on-one meeting that Zelensky sought, they say, and then obstructed the investigation by defying congressional subpoenas across the administration.
"Very sadly, the facts have made clear that the President abused his power for his own personal, political benefit and that he obstructed Congress as he demanded that he is above accountability, above the Constitution and above the American people," Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues Tuesday.
"During this very prayerful moment in our nation's history, we must honour our oath to support and defend our Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic," the letter read.
Trump and his GOP congressional allies, however, have slammed the impeachment proceedings, accusing the Democrats of rushing to impeach him ahead of the 2020 election.
The President sent a blistering letter to Pelosi on Tuesday accusing Democrats of an "illegal, partisan attempted coup."
"History will judge you harshly as you proceed with this impeachment charade," he wrote.
The House vote will eventually shift the impeachment proceedings to the Senate, where Republicans control the majority.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday predicted that the Senate would have a "largely partisan outcome," after saying last week that he was coordinating with the President's lawyers ahead of the trial. (ANI)