WASHINGTON, D.C., December 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. House voted 230 to 197 tonight to impeach President Donald Trump, the culmination of a long leftist campaign against him.
Only two Democrats voted against impeaching Trump. Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii voted “present.”
The impeachment push was sparked in September by Trump’s requests that the Ukrainian government help investigate foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as former Vice President Joe Biden’s role in the ouster of a prosecutor who had been investigating his son Hunter’s business dealings in the country.
Trump’s defenders argue it’s legitimate for world leaders to request assistance in rooting out a previous administration’s potential corruption. His opponents claim it was at the very least inappropriate given Trump and Biden’s political rivalry, and a serious abuse of power if Trump made congressionally-authorized foreign aid a condition of compliance.
The final articles of impeachment Democrats settled on accuse the president of “abuse of power” in his requests to Ukraine, and “obstruction of Congress” for the administration’s non-compliance with House subpoenas.
At National Review, former federal prosecutor and conservative legal analyst Andy McCarthy concluded the charges against Trump “range from insignificant to implausible to inane,” with the vague “abuse of power” meant to mask the “lack of an identifiable crime” on the president’s part. As for the obstruction claim, he argued that disputes between government branches over information requests often hinge on debatable issues of executive privilege or legal confidentiality, and as such “are meant to be resolved by politics, not judges.”
“Impeachment is a grave step of last resort to remove a duly elected president,” investigative journalist Gregg Jarrett writes. “The act of wrongdoing must be sufficiently egregious, and the evidence so clear and convincing, that the constitutional remedy of impeachment merits support from both political parties represented in Congress.”
The House vote is largely a foregone conclusion given the chamber’s Democrat majority, as is the expectation that the Republican-controlled Senate will vote against removing Trump from office. “The House made a partisan political decision to impeach,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. “I would anticipate we will have a largely partisan outcome in the Senate. I'm not impartial about this at all.”
To the extent the impeachment push has had any effect, it appears to have backfired on the president’s opponents – Gallup reports that Trump’s 45% approval rating is six points higher than it was when the House began impeachment proceedings.