The majority of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday night voted to impeach President Donald J. Trump -- voting on the articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress -- making him the third president since America's founding to be impeached.
The first charges him with abuse of power for allegedly pressuring the president of Ukraine to investigate his Democratic rivals -- namely former vice president-turned-presidential candidate Joe Biden -- while crucial U.S. security aid was being withheld. The second charge charges him with obstruction of Congress for stonewalling investigative efforts.
The voting took place after a day of heated debate on the House floor between Democrats and Republicans making the case for and against impeaching the 45th president of the United States, whose presidency began on January 20, 2017.
“Today, as speaker of the House, I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
While Trump and the White House officials have tried to brush off the significance of being one of only three presidents to be impeached — noting there is little chance he will be convicted by the Republican-controlled Senate and removed from office — allies nonetheless acknowledge that Trump has indeed been angry over the stain the episode will leave on his legacy.
A defiant Trump kicked off the day, tweeting, "Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG! A terrible Thing. Read the Transcripts. This should never happen to another President again. Say a PRAYER!"
A subsequent tweet read, "SUCH ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT, DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS. THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA, AND AN ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!"
In an earlier tweet, Trump tweeted a quote he attributed to former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy McCarthy on Fox News.
"'In the end here, nothing happened," read the tweet. "We don’t approach anything like the egregious conduct that should be necessary before a President should be removed from office. I believe that a President can’t be removed from office if there is no reasonable possibility that the Senate won’t convict and remove the President - Then the House should not be Impeaching the President in the first place. If this is the new standard, every President from here on out is impeachable.'" Andy McCarthy @FoxNews So well stated. Thank you!"
While Trump had little on his public schedule as the debate was raging on during the day, he did head to Battle Creek, Michigan, for a rally.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.