The United States President, Donald Trump has become the third American President to be impeached in office.
Impeachment in the United States is the process by which a legislature (usually in the form of the lower house) brings charges against a civil officer of government for crimes alleged to have been committed.
The House voted on two charges – that the president abused his power and that he had obstructed Congress.
Nearly all Democrats voted for the charges and every Republican against.
President Trump’s Republicans control the Senate so it is highly unlikely he will be removed from power.
As voting took place in the House, Mr Trump was addressing a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan.
He told a cheering crowd: “While we’re creating jobs and fighting for Michigan, the radical left in Congress is consumed with envy and hatred and rage, you see what’s going on.”
The White House released a statement saying that the president was “confident that he will be fully exonerated” in a Senate trial.
After 10 hours of partisan debate on the merits of the two impeachment charges against President Trump, the House called for votes at about 20:30 local time (01:30 GMT).
The first charge is abuse of power, stemming from Mr Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into his Democratic political rival, Joe Biden.
It passed by 230 votes to 197, almost completely on party lines. Only two Democrats opposed – New Jersey’s Jeff Van Drew, who is set to leave the party, and Minnesota’s Collin Peterson.
The second charge is obstruction of Congress, because the president allegedly refused to co-operate with the impeachment inquiry, withholding documentary evidence and barring his key aides from giving evidence.
It passed by 229-198. Democrat Jared Golden of Maine voted for the first charge but opposed this.
No Republicans supported impeachment, although ex-party member Justin Amash, from Michigan, did.
Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard voted “present” on both charges – effectively an abstention. Two members were absent for personal reasons.
Being impeached places Donald Trump alongside only two other presidents in the nation’s history – Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
And so it is done. Donald Trump now becomes the third member of the exclusive club that no-one wants to be a member of.
But the framers of the constitution with its impeachment provision could never have imagined the hyper-partisanship – on both sides – that has been witnessed during today’s sterile House proceedings. Each side with its own narrative, neither side listening to the other. And one can say with some certainty – I would bet all my yet-to-be-gifted Christmas presents – that it will be much the same once this becomes a trial in the Senate in the New Year.
Donald Trump will be acquitted. He won’t be forced from office.
Donald Trump will have a place in the history books – and for a man with such a huge sense of self that will hurt. Acutely.
However, this impeachment might turbo charge on his bid for a second term. The House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was always wary about going down the impeachment route. In the main time, let’s keep our feet crossed till next November 3, 2020 to see what happens.