The United States House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump in a historic vote on Wednesday evening, making Trump the third American president ever to face such a fate.
The vote in the Democrat-led House, which followed some six hours of fierce back-and-forth debate on the House floor, sends the matter to the Republican-led Senate, which will have to determine whether to convict or acquit Trump on the two charges against him.
In the House vote for the first charge, 230 lawmakers voted that Trump abused his power by asking Ukraine to investigate his political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, and withholding security aid while doing so. 197 members voted against this charge.
In the vote for the second charge, 229 members voted that Trump obstructed Congress’ ability to investigate that incident when he refused to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry and told his officials not to testify. One hundred ninety-eight members disagreed.
All told, a majority of members voted to impeach Trump after months of depositions and public hearings surrounding his conduct. In the weeks ahead of the vote and throughout the day’s debate, Trump lobbed scathing insults at House Democrats and derided the impeachment process. He sent a vitriolic six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday and tweeted in all caps during Wednesday's debate.
SUCH ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT, DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS. THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA, AND AN ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2019
Trump told reporters on Tuesday he does not accept any responsibility for actions that led to his impeachment. “No, I don’t think any,” he said. “Zero, to put it mildly.”
The House vote on Wednesday fell almost completely along party lines, with all but three Democrats present voting to impeach Trump on at least one article of impeachment, and all Republicans present voting against impeachment.
Among Arizona lawmakers, the five House Democrats voted to impeach and the four House Republicans voted against impeachment on both articles, as expected.
But in the Grand Canyon State, which many are projecting could be a swing state in the 2020 presidential election, and where one Democratic lawmaker represents a district that Trump won in 2016, the votes could have greater implications on state politics in the year ahead.
Here’s how Arizona’s representatives voted:
Representative Tom O’Halleran, D-01 — For Impeachment
Representative O’Halleran used his vote to support both articles of impeachment. A traditionally moderate Democrat — and a former Republican — in a district that Trump won in 2016, O’Halleran made waves on December 13 when he announced his plan to vote in favor of impeachment.
He’s since faced pressure from GOP groups, who say they will fight to win back his seat in the 2020 election. The White House also shamed O’Halleran on Tuesday for his stance on impeachment with a statement from Deputy Press Secretary Steven Groves.
“Instead of working across the aisle with President Trump on these important issues, O’Halleran has locked arms with Nancy Pelosi and progressive Democrats trying to impeach President Trump,” Groves said.
O’Halleran clapped back with a statement on Tuesday saying he was “focused on the important issues facing hardworking Arizona families,” including health care, support for veterans, and the rural economy.
Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, D-02 — For Impeachment
Representative Kirkpatrick has staunchly supported the idea of impeachment for months; over the summer, she called for an impeachment inquiry with an impassioned plea on the House floor.
Accordingly, the freshman Tucson congresswoman did not waver on Wednesday, voting in support of both articles of impeachment.
Representative Raul Grijalva, D-03 — For Impeachment
Representative Grijalva voted to impeach the president on both charges during Wednesday’s vote, as expected.
In a statement on December 10, he forecast his vote — an unsurprising one in a safely Democratic district that overwhelmingly voted against Trump in 2016.
“It’s a sad day when the President unapologetically violates his oath of office and jeopardizes our national security,” he said. “Trump is a danger to our democracy, and I hope my Republican colleagues will look beyond their partisan interests and uphold the Constitution that they swore to protect along with the American people.”
During Wednesday's debate, he said he would vote for impeachment "not as a partisan act, but as a serious, urgent, and necessary one."
Representative Paul Gosar, R-04 — Against Impeachment
Representative Paul Gosar, a Trump ally, has called the impeachment inquiry a “total sham” and even poked fun at it with a viral Twitter thread that promulgated a right-wing conspiracy theory.
He also boycotted 15 out of 15 closed-door deposition hearings he was entitled to attend as a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, even though he was the only member of the Arizona congressional delegation with the opportunity to be there.
So it was no surprise when he voted against both articles of impeachment on Wednesday.
Representative Andy Biggs, R-05 — Against Impeachment
Representative Biggs voted against both articles of impeachment.
The Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee has been vocal throughout impeachment proceedings, and used procedural delays to slow down the hearings as they neared a conclusion earlier this month.
“This process has been partisan, vindictive, dishonest,” he said in his Wednesday floor speech.
He also issued an opinion dissenting from the Judiciary Committee majority on December 13 saying Democrats have “no facts” to support impeachment.
Representative David Schweikert, R-06 — Against Impeachment
Representative Schweikert voted against impeachment on both counts on Wednesday.
He was the only Arizona House lawmaker who didn’t issue a public statement in the days before the historic vote indicating what he would do. But the GOP lawmaker, who typically votes with Trump’s positions and has called the impeachment inquiry "political theater," didn’t surprise constituents with his vote.
Representative Ruben Gallego, D-07 — For Impeachment
Representative Gallego represents Arizona’s 7th Congressional District, which leaned Democratic in the 2016 presidential race.
Accordingly, the Democratic lawmaker from Phoenix voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday after calling for impeachment for months.
“No president in the history of our country has ever been subject to as many credible allegations of illegal conduct as Donald Trump,” he said in a statement on September 24.
Representative Debbie Lesko, R-08 — Against Impeachment
Representative Lesko, a Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee, has used the floor at impeachment hearings, as well as her own social media accounts, to tirelessly defend Trump.
She even got into a public Twitter feud with Bette Midler after the singer-songwriter accused her of “grandstanding” during impeachment proceedings.
Therefore, her vote against both articles of impeachment comes as no surprise.
Representative Greg Stanton, D-09 — For Impeachment
Representative Stanton, also on the House Judiciary Committee, voted in support of both articles of impeachment.
During the impeachment hearings, the freshman congressman condemned Trump for his unwillingness to participate in the process. Stanton called the president’s actions a “cover-up to protect the American people from learning the truth.”
What Happens Now?
Next, the Senate will hold a trial to determine whether to convict or acquit Trump. A two-thirds super-majority would be needed to remove the president from his office. That would be an unprecedented outcome, and an unlikely one, given the Senate’s Republican majority.
But here in Arizona, all eyes will be on Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Senator Martha McSally, both of whom have toed the line to appease an increasingly purple state population.
Sinema, a moderate Democrat who won Jeff Flake’s former seat to become Arizona's first Democratic senator in decades, hasn’t yet indicated how she’ll vote.
McSally, a Republican appointed to replace the late John McCain who is facing a contentious race for re-election next year, told constituents she “hasn’t been convinced” it’s the right move to impeach Trump.
The Senate is expected to meet for its trial early in the new year.
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