After 10 hours of debate, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of justice.
By Ron Kampeas
Featured photo courtesy of JTA via Noam Galai
WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump for abuse of power based on allegations that he withheld defense assistance to Ukraine to pressure its government into investigating his political rival.
The House voted Wednesday evening after 10 hours of debate. The charges were abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, based on charges that the Trump administration did not cooperate with the procedure.
The first vote on abuse of power, on largely partisan lines, passed with 230 voting for impeachment and 197 voting against. The second vote, on obstruction of justice, passed as well, 229-198 with 1 present.
Trump is the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. He will likely be acquitted in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Leading the proceedings for the Democratic majority were the two Jewish committee chairmen who had led the impeachment hearings: Adam Schiff of California, the Intelligence Committee chairman and Jerry Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee chairman.
Two Democrats crossed the aisle to vote with Republicans for the first vote, and one Democrat, presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, voted present. Three Democrats voted with Republicans for the second vote, and Gabbard voted present again.
Justin Amash, an Independent from Michigan voted for impeachment. Amash quit the Republican Party over the summer because he had decided then that Trump was worthy of impeachment.
As for the rest of Michigan’s representatives, they voted along party lines with the seven Democratic members – Debbie Dingell of Dearborn, Dan Kildee of Flint Township, Andy Levin of Bloomfield Township, Brenda Lawrence of Southfield, Elissa Slotkin of Holly, Haley Stevens of Rochester Hills, and Rashida Tlaib of Detroit – voting to impeach Trump.
The six Republican representatives — Jack Bergman of Watersmeet, Bill Huizenga of Zeeland, Paul Mitchell of Dryden, John Moolenaar of Midland, Fred Upton of St. Joseph and Tim Walberg of Tipton — all voted against impeachment.
While the impeachment debate ensued, Trump was in Battle Creek for his campaign rally. During his speech, Trump targeted a few of the Michigan Democrats including Rep. Debbie Dingell where he referenced that her late husband, U.S. Rep. John Dingell, might be in hell.
“I said that’s OK. Don’t worry about it. Maybe he’s looking up, I don’t know. Maybe,” Trump said to the crowd. “But let’s assume he’s looking down.”
Rep. Dingell responded back to Trump’s comments on Twitter: “Mr. President, let’s set politics aside. My husband earned all his accolades after a lifetime of service. I’m preparing for the first holiday season without the man I love. You brought me down in a way you can never imagine and your hurtful words just made my healing much harder.”
Reps. Slotkin and Stevens also took to Twitter to express their disappointment in the president’s comments and show support for Dingell.
“Mr. President, shame on you,” Slotkin wrote. “Going after Rep. John Dingell, a WWII vet and devoted public servant who spent his life fighting for Michiganders, demeans you and your office.”
“This is shameful Mr. President,” Stevens wrote. “Insinuating that John Dingell, a loving catholic, WWII hero, now rests in hell. How dare you? I have no words for the pain you are causing my dear friend Debbie Dingell and the people of Michigan right now.”