After weeks of momentous congressional hearings, the House Judiciary Committee voted Friday to impeach President Donald Trump, sending the two articles of impeachment to the full House, where Trump would become the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.
The House floor vote would come before lawmakers adjourn for the holidays this month, setting up a Senate trial in January.
Friday’s party-line committee vote, 23-17, had been postponed from Thursday, when committee members debated late into the night on the second day of markup hearings. Republicans dragged out the hearing with the introduction of long-shot amendments to the two articles of impeachment, unveiled by House Democrats Tuesday.
In them, lawmakers said Trump abused his power when he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and obstructed the congressional investigation into the matter by directing White House officials not to testify and withhold relevant documents.
After several marathon days of testimony from former and current U.S. officials in November, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released a detailed report last week, laying out “overwhelming” evidence of misconduct by Trump.
Chiefly, they concluded that his July 25 phone call with Zelensky represented “stark evidence of misconduct; a demonstration of the President’s prioritization of his personal political benefit over the national interest.”
The House Judiciary Committee began its own set of impeachment hearings last week, with several constitutional law scholars testifying that Trump’s actions unquestionably amounted to grounds for impeachment.
In response to the committee vote Friday, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham celebrated the “shameful end” of what she called “this desperate charade of an impeachment inquiry.”
“The President looks forward to receiving in the Senate the fair treatment and due process which continues to be disgracefully denied to him by the House,” Grisham added.
Later Friday, Trump decried the vote as “a witch hunt,” “a sham” and “a hoax,” and again claimed his call with Zelensky was “a perfect phone call.”
Throughout the impeachment inquiry, most Republicans have continued to stand by Trump.
This article has been updated to include comments from Trump and Grisham.