ASSOCIATED PRESS (AP) – President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday night, becoming only the third American chief executive to be formally charged under the Constitution’s ultimate remedy for high crimes and misdemeanors.
The historic vote split along party lines, much the way it has divided the nation, over the charges that the 45th president abused the power of his office by enlisting a foreign government to investigate a political rival ahead of the 2020 election. The House then approved a second charge, that he obstructed Congress in its investigation.
The articles of impeachment, the political equivalent of an indictment, now go to the Senate for trial. If Trump is acquitted by the Republican-led chamber, as expected, he would have to run for reelection carrying the enduring mark of impeachment on his presidency.
Democrats led Wednesday night’s voting, framed in what many said was their duty to protect the Constitution and uphold the nation’s system of checks and balances. Republicans stood by their party’s leader, who has frequently tested the bounds of civic norms. Trump called the whole affair a “witch hunt,” a “hoax” and a “sham,” and sometimes all three.
The trial is expected to begin in January in the Senate, where a vote of two-thirds is necessary for conviction. While Democrats had the majority in the House to impeach Trump, Republicans control the Senate and few, if any, are expected to diverge from plans to acquit the president ahead of early state election-year primary voting.
The following is McKinley’s statement on the proceedings:
“Alexander Hamilton warned in the Federalist Papers No. 65, that there is a danger that the decision to impeach a president could be driven by partisan animosities instead of real demonstrations of innocence or guilt. This warning has become a reality. The entire process of impeaching President Trump has been based solely on the pursuit of power rather than justice,” McKinley said. “No reasonable person believes that 67 senators will vote to convict the president on the articles of impeachment. The partisan impeachment process has distracted Congress from accomplishing things Americans really care about, such as the looming insolvency of miners pensions, the opioid crisis, flood insurance, and healthcare costs,” McKinley added.REP. DAVID MCKINLEY, R-W.VA.