In a historic moment on Wednesday, the Democrat-led House of Representatives voted 230-197 along party lines to impeach President Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. This is only the third time in American history that a president has been impeached.
The articles of impeachment will now be sent to the Senate, where senators will vote on whether to remove President Trump from office. In order to be removed from office, two thirds of the Senate (67 senators), would have to vote in favor of removal. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed that the Senate will quickly vote to clear the President of the charges against him.
The two other presidents who have been impeached by the House of Representatives include Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. No president has ever been impeached and removed from office.
The power for the legislative body to impeach executive branch officials is derived from the Constitution which provides in Article II Section 4 that, “The President shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Prior to the vote to impeach President Trump, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, tweeted, “President Trump abused his power to cheat in the next election, then obstructed Congress to cover it up. The only question is: will members honor their oath to uphold the Constitution? History will remember the vote we take today. #DefendOurDemocracy.”
Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted, “What Democrats are doing today – and what they’ve been doing for the last two and a half years – is cheapening impeachment. For them, this is about political gain, not the rule of law.”
The official vote on impeachment culminates three and a half years of speculation President Trump could be impeached. On April 17, 2016, over six months prior to the 2016 presidential election, Politico published an article titled, “Could Trump be impeached shortly after he takes office?” The article noted, “Impeachment is already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress.”
In response to the impeachment of President Trump, president of Focus on the Family Jim Daly issued a statement in response. “Like so many of you, I’m deeply troubled by what’s happening in Washington D.C., including the most recent development. Today’s impeachment of President Donald J. Trump by the Democrats in the House marks the continuation and deepening of a dangerous cultural and partisan divide in our country. Please join me in praying for a just and swift resolution of this process and for protection, wisdom and strength for President Trump as well as the members of the United States Congress.”
It’s not often one can live through an occasion knowing that the annals of history will record the events of that day. No matter whether one views impeachment positively or negatively, we can be sure that today is such a day.