WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. House voted Wednesday to send two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate and approve House prosecutors for only the third impeachment trial in American history.
The nearly party-line vote moved Trump’s impeachment from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic-run House to the Republican-majority Senate, where Trump expects quick acquittal, even as new evidence is raising fresh questions about his Ukraine dealings.
The vote was 228-193, coming at the start of a presidential election year and one month after the House impeached Trump alleging abuse of power over his pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden, using military aid to the country as leverage. Trump was also charged with obstructing Congress’ ensuing probe..
“We are here today to cross a very important threshold in American history,” Pelosi said, addressing the House before the vote.
“This is what an impeachment is about,’’ she said earlier, announcing the prosecution team. “The president violated his oath of office, undermined our national security, jeopardized the integrity of our elections.”
Trump, during an event at the White House, rejected the charges as a “hoax.”
The president’s team expects acquittal with a Senate trial lasting no more than two weeks, according to senior administration officials unauthorized to discuss the matter and granted anonymity.
Trump opposes the calling of additional witnesses, and the officials said they expect the trial to conclude before Trump delivers his State of the Union address Feb. 4.
All but one Democrat, Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, voted to transmit the articles. All Republicans voted against. One former Republican-turned-independent, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, joined Democrats.
The top Republican in the House, Kevin McCarthy of California, said Americans will look back on this “sad saga” that tried to remove the president with the “weakest case.”