President Trump became the third president in American history to be formally impeached. On Dec. 18, two charges of impeachment — for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — were filed by the House. President Trump is now awaiting a Senate trial to determine if he will be removed from office.
The vote on the two articles of impeachment were almost completely among party lines. Only two Democrats opposed the articles against Trump for abuse of power. This article was brought against the president on accusations of seeking assistance from Ukraine to investigate his political rivals for a better chance at re-election. The article passed 230 to 197.
The second charge, obstruction of congress, was passed 229 to 198. According to Dec. 18 New York Times and NBC News articles, Democrat Jared Golden of Maine inflicted the one-vote change by voting for abuse of power and against obstruction of Congress. Between both votes, all Republicans stuck by Trump’s side.
The two Democrats who voted against both articles were Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Collin Peterson of Minnesota. Van Drew is expected to switch to the Republican party soon. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii voted “present” to both articles, vehemently defending that she could not in good conscious vote either “yes” or “no”.
The Senate trial in a republican-controlled Senate is likely to begin early this year, around ten months before the president will face re-election. Additionally, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has mentioned prolonging the sending of the articles to the Senate as a way to gain leverage for the negotiations of the trial. While it is unlikely for Trump to be removed from office as he needs a two-thirds majority vote, it will be interesting to see how the impeachment will affect the next presidential election.