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Trump Impeached but Will He Be Removed?

by: - December 19, 2019
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(BBC) Donald Trump has become the third US president in history to be impeached by the House of Representatives, setting up a trial in the Senate that will decide whether he remains in office.

The House voted on two charges – that the president abused his power and that he had obstructed Congress.

Nearly all Democrats voted for the charges and every Republican against.

President Trump’s Republicans control the Senate so it is highly unlikely he will be removed from power.

As voting took place in the House, Mr Trump was addressing a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan.

He told a cheering crowd: “While we’re creating jobs and fighting for Michigan, the radical left in Congress is consumed with envy and hatred and rage, you see what’s going on.”

The White House released a statement saying that the president was “confident that he will be fully exonerated” in a Senate trial.

After 10 hours of partisan debate on the merits of the two impeachment charges against President Trump, the House called for votes at about 20:30 local time (01:30 GMT).

The first charge is abuse of power, stemming from Mr Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into his Democratic political rival, Joe Biden.

It passed by 230 votes to 197, almost completely on party lines. Only two Democrats opposed – New Jersey’s Jeff Van Drew, who is set to leave the party, and Minnesota’s Collin Peterson.

The second charge is obstruction of Congress, because the president allegedly refused to co-operate with the impeachment inquiry, withholding documentary evidence and barring his key aides from giving evidence.

It passed by 229-198. Democrat Jared Golden of Maine voted for the first charge but opposed this.

No Republicans supported impeachment, although ex-party member Justin Amash, from Michigan, did.

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard voted “present” on both charges – effectively an abstention. Two members were absent for personal reasons.

Being impeached places Donald Trump alongside only two other presidents in the nation’s history – Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.

Unlike in the House of Representatives, where a simple majority vote was enough to pass impeachment, two thirds of senators will need to vote to remove Mr Trump for it to happen.

That means 67 of the 100 senators must back the move. Given there are only 47 Democrats or independents, 20 Republicans would have to support removal, which looks very unlikely.