Trump impeached by House of Representatives

President Donald J. Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zalensky Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, at the InterContinental New York Barclay in New York City. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead via Wikipedia)

Donald Trump has become the third U.S. president in the country’s history to be impeached by the House of Representatives.

After hours of debate on Wednesday, the majority of a Democrat-controlled House voted in favour of formally charging Trump with two articles of impeachment.

The first article charges the president with abuse of power. Trump is accused of withholding military aid from Ukraine until that country agreed to launch an investigation into former U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Biden is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and if successful, he would become Trump’s political rival in the 2020 presidential election.

There has been no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden, and neither man has been charged with a crime.

The second article charges Trump with obstructing congress. The 45th President of the United States is accused of ordering members of his administration and White House staff not to comply with duly-issued subpoenas from Congress.

Trump will now stand trial in the U.S. Senate, a trial that will be presided over by John Roberts, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.  A two-thirds majority in the Senate is needed to convict Trump and remove him from office.

Trump has continued to deny any wrongdoing. Republicans in Congress have accused the Democrats of pushing impeachment charges due to personal dislike of the president, as well as sour grapes over the outcome of the 2016 election. Democrats said the process is not politically-motivated and that no one, including the president, is above the law.

In the 243-year history of the United States, only two other presidents have been impeached by the House. Andrew Johnson was impeached, then acquitted in the Senate in 1868 for violating the Tenure of Office Act. Bill Clinton was impeached and also acquitted in the Senate in 1999 for lying to a grand jury about his affair with a White House intern. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before the full House could vote on articles of impeachment presented over his handling of the Watergate affair.

-With files from Mark Brown