U.S. House Votes to Impeach President Trump

impeach President Trump
Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

House Votes To Impeach President Trump 230-197

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday, citing two articles of impeachment.

Trump has been charged with abuse of power for holding back almost $400 million in military aid to Ukraine until that country agreed to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, and their interest in a Ukrainian gas company.

The second article of impeachment accuses Trump of obstructing Congress by ordering White House employees to ignore Congressional subpoenas and to turn over documents to the impeachment inquiry.

Only two other presidents, Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998, have been impeached. President Richard Nixon was about to be charged with three articles of impeachment but resigned before he could be impeached in 1974.

The impeachment trial will now move to the U.S. Senate, where a two-thirds vote will be required to remove Trump from office. If the President is removed from office, Vice President Mike Pence would be sworn in as President.

Impeachment timeline

Here is a timeline of the impeachment process:

April 25: Former Vice President Joe Biden announces that he is running for President in 2020.

May 9: Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, tells the New York Times that he is going to Ukraine to advocate for an investigation in to the Bidens and the 2016 election “because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government.” Giuliani cancelled the trip two days later.

May 20: Volodymyr Zelensky is inaugurated president of Ukraine.

June 13: In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Trump says he might accept assistance from a foreign government if it was offered. “I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” he said. “If somebody called from a country, Norway – ‘We have information on your opponent’ – oh, I think I’d want to hear it.” The Federal Election Commission chairwoman says this is illegal.

June 18: The Department of Defense announces $250 million in military aid will be sent to Ukraine.

Ukraine military aid put on hold

July 3: Aid to Ukraine is put on hold.

July 18: Pentagon officials for Russia and Eurasia learn that military aid to Ukraine has been put on hold.

July 24: Special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before Congress about his investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election.

July 25: Trump talks to Zelensky by phone. A readout of the call is posted on the Ukrainian president’s website saying “Donald Trump is convinced that the new Ukrainian government will be able to quickly improve image of Ukraine, complete investigation of corruption cases, which inhibited the interaction between Ukraine and the USA.”

July 26: U.S. Special Envoy to the Ukraine Kurt Volker and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland advise Ukrainian officials how to “navigate” Trump’s demands. Sondland takes David Holmes, a political affairs counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, to lunch. During a phone call between Sondland and Trump, Holmes hears Trump ask whether Ukraine will conduct investigations.

Whistleblower files complaint

Aug. 12: An anonymous whistleblower files a complaint with the intelligence community inspector general.

Sept. 9: Michael Atkinson, inspector general for the Intelligence Community, informs the House and Senate Intelligence Committees of the whistleblower complaint. Three House committees launch investigations into Trump, Giuliani and others’ efforts to pressure Ukraine.

Sept. 24: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announces a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump, charging him with enlisting a foreign government to investigate his political opponent.

Sept. 25: White House releases transcript revealing that Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate the Bidens.

Sept. 26: The whistleblower complaint is released, alleging Trump abused his office by soliciting interference from a foreign country in the 2020 presidential campaign, specifically that he asked for damaging material on Vice President Joe Biden.

Oct. 3: Trump asks China and Ukraine to investigate Biden while addressing reporters at the White House.

Attorneys say there are multiple whistle blowers

Oct. 6: Attorneys for the whistle blower state that they represent multiple officials.

Oct. 8: The White House tells House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that it will not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.

Oct. 22: The U.S. top diplomat in the Ukraine, Bill Taylor, tells impeachment investigators that Gordon Sondland told him U.S. aid to Ukraine was directly tied to Ukraine’s promise to investigate the Bidens.

Nov. 4: Sondland revises testimony saying he does remember telling an aide to Ukrainian President Zelensky that U.S. military aid was tied to political investigations.

Nov. 12: Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent testify in public impeachment hearings in the Intelligence Committee.

Nov. 19: Ukraine expert Lt. Col Alexander Vindman and Jennifer William, an advisor to Vice President Mike Pence, testify about listening to the call between Trump and Zelensky. Vindman says it was inappropriate.

Sondland testifies that there were conditions for aid to Ukraine

Nov. 20: Sondland testifies that there was a quid pro quo and conditions for military aid to Ukraine.

Dec. 4: House Judiciary Committee begins impeachment hearings with testimony from constitutional law scholars.

Dec. 5: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces the House Judiciary Committee will draw up articles of impeachment against Trump.

Dec. 13: The House Judiciary Committee approves two articles of impeachment.

Dec. 18: The U.S. House of Representatives votes to impeach President Trump.