After nearly 12 hours of debate on the House floor Wednesday, Democrats voted to approve articles of impeachment against President Trump. The vote on the Article I, abuse of power, came down 230-197-1 (present). The second vote on Article II, obstruction of Congress, 229-198-1.
When Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the final vote count for Articles I and II, Democrats erupted in cheers. She attempted to scold them.
After reading the vote totals for Article I of impeachment, @SpeakerPelosi appears to cut off clapping Democrats. The speaker had reportedly told her colleagues not to do so. pic.twitter.com/EdYuI8FesV— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) December 19, 2019
Two Democrats, Jeff Van Drew (NJ) and Collin Peterson (MN), joined Republicans in voting against impeachment on Article I. Van Drew, Peterson and Jared Golden (ME) voted against Article II. Democrat Tulsi Gabbard (HI) voted present on both. Drew plans to change his party affiliation to Republican, citing unfair impeachment as the reason why.
"Today marks the culmination in the House of one of the most shameful political episodes in the history of our Nation. Without receiving a single Republican vote, and without providing any proof of wrongdoing, Democrats pushed illegitimate articles of impeachment against the President through the House of Representatives. Democrats have chosen to proceed on this partisan basis in spite of the fact that the President did absolutely nothing wrong. Indeed, weeks of hearings have proved that he did nothing wrong," White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham released in a statement about the votes. "The American people are not fooled by this disgraceful behavior. They understand fairness, due process, and substantial, reliable evidence are required before any American should be charged with wrongdoing—and certainly before impeaching a duly elected President."
"The President is confident the Senate will restore regular order, fairness, and due process, all of which were ignored in the House proceedings. He is prepared for the next steps and confident that he will be fully exonerated. President Trump will continue to work tirelessly to address the needs and priorities of the American people, as he has since the day he took office," she continued.
The articles will now go to the Senate for a trial, unless Speaker Pelosi engages in a new game and holds them so President Trump cannot be acquitted. From POLITICO:
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking lawmaker in the House, said Wednesday that Democrats must discuss a last-ditch gambit to delay sending articles of impeachment to the Senate and prevent the Republican-controlled chamber from summarily discarding the case against President Donald Trump.
“Some think it’s a good idea. And we need to talk about it,” Hoyer said just as the House began debating articles of impeachment that charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
In the meantime, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is in regular contact with the White House on how impeachment will proceed. The trial will likely start on January 6 and last for one-to-two weeks.
Earlier this week, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer ironically demanded McConnell "hold a fair trial" and allow Democratic Senators to call witnesses. McConnell has declined that request.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss the next steps.
"I am not going to support witnesses being called for by the president. I am not going to support witnesses being called for by Sen. Schumer," Graham said. "My goal is to have as short a trial possible."
This story has been updated with additional information.