-Watch impeachment proceedings live on Today’s Echo
SWITZERLAND, DECEMBER 18 – The United States House of Representatives is expected to vote on Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power related to his dealings with Ukraine.
If the articles of impeachment are approved, as expected, Trump would become only the third US president to be impeached. No US president has been removed from office via the impeachment process.
Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi has the majority she needs to approve the two pending articles of impeachment, members said on Tuesday. Wednesday’s votes, which are set for sometime in the afternoon or early evening, are expected to play out largely among party lines.
Democrats control the House 233 to 197 seats over Republicans, with one independent and four vacancies.
The impeachment process has deepened political divides in the US as the country heads for the 2020 presidential election. Those divides were on further display on the eve of the House votes.
In a vitriolic six-page letter to Pelosi on Tuesday, Trump called the House’s impeachment drive a “charade” and a “colossal injustice”.
“You are turning a policy disagreement between two branches of government into an impeachable offence,” Trump said in the letter.
“I have no doubt that the American people will hold you and the Democrats fully responsible in the upcoming 2020 election,” Trump wrote.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks next to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler as they announce articles of impeachment for US President Donald Trump during a news conference at the US Capitol [Saul Loeb/AFP]
Pelosi called the letter “sick”.
She wrote her own letter, urging her colleagues to “support and defend our constitutions from all enemies, foreign and domestic”.
“Tomorrow the House of Representatives will exercise one of the most solemn powers granted to us by the Constitution as we vote to approve two articles of impeachment against the president of the United States,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to fellow Democratic legislators on Tuesday.
“During this very prayerful moment in our nation’s history, we must honor our oath to support and defend our Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic,” she added.
Following a day of divisive rhetoric, hundreds of rallies were held across the US in support of impeachment on Tuesday night. US media also reported counter-rallies in some cities.
On Wednesday, Trump continued his rhetoric, tweeting: “Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG! A terrible Thing. Read the transcripts. This should never happen to another President again. Say a PRAYER!”
Wednesday’s proceedings will kick off at 9am (14:00 GMT) with debate on the rule governing the longer impeachment debate. After the rule is approved, there will then be six hours of debate, divided equally among Democrats and Republicans before the final votes.
You can watch the live impeachment proceedings via this link: