WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives on the evening of Dec. 18 adopted two articles of impeachment against President Trump. The articles now go to a trial in the Senate, where a two-thirds vote for conviction on either article would remove Trump from office.
The votes were largely along party lines, and Alabama’s representatives followed that pattern. The state’s lone Democrat, Rep. Terry Sewell, voted for both articles; and the other members of the delegation, all Republicans, voted no.
Article I – Abuse of Power:
Voting 230 for and 197 against, the House adopted the first of two articles of impeachment against President Trump. The article declares Trump abused the powers of the presidency when he and his administration withheld military aid to Ukraine and dangled the prospect of a White House visit by Ukraine’s president in order to pressure Ukraine’s government to announce investigations related to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and any Ukrainian role in hacking Democratic Party e-mails during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Biden is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
The article was supported by 229 of the 231 Democrats who voted and opposed by all 195 Republicans who voted. Michigan independent Justin Amash voted yes. The Democrats breaking party lines were Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Collin Peterson of Minnesota. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, was present for the roll call but answered “present” instead of taking a pro-or-con stand. The members not voting were Democrat Jose Serrano of New York and Republicans Duncan Hunter of California and John Shimkus of Illinois.
The 12th paragraph of the 13-paragraph article says Trump “abused the powers of the presidency by ignoring and injuring national security and other vital national interests to obtain an improper personal political benefit. He has also betrayed the Nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections.”
Justin Amash, I-Mich., said “President Trump abused and violated the public trust by using his high office to solicit the aid (of) a foreign power, not for the benefit of the United States of America but, instead, for his personal and political gain. His actions reflect precisely the type of conduct the framers of the Constitution intended to remedy through the power of impeachment.”
Tom Cole, R-Okla., said the article is “based on an event that never happened, a purported quid pro quo that did not exist. Aid that was allegedly withheld that in reality was never withheld at all. And a narrative based on nothing more than fantasy.”
A yes vote was to impeach President Trump for abuse of power.
Voting yes: Terri Sewell, D-7
Voting no: Bradley Byrne, R-1, Martha Roby, R-2, Mike Rogers, R-3, Robert Aderholt, R-4, Mo Brooks, R-5, and Gary Palmer, R-6.
Not voting: None
You can find the complete list of votes on impeachment Article I here.
Article II – Obstruction of Congress
Voting 229 for and 198 against, the House adopted the second of two articles of impeachment against President Trump. The article charges Trump with interfering with the House’s constitutionally sanctioned impeachment process by directing executive branch agencies and current and former officials to defy subpoenas for documents and testimony. The article was supported by 228 of the 231 Democrats who voted and opposed by all 195 Republicans who voted. Amash voted yes. The Democrats breaking party lines were Van Drew, Peterson and Jared Golden, D-Maine. Gabbard answered “present” and Serrano, Hunter and Shimkus were absent from the roll call.
The ninth paragraph of the 11-paragraph article states that Trump “sought to arrogate to himself the right to determine the propriety, scope and nature of an impeachment inquiry into his own conduct. This abuse of office served to cover up the President’s own repeated misconduct and to seize and control the power of impeachment – and thus to nullify a vital constitutional safeguard vested solely in the House of Representatives.”
Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said: “Within our system of checks and balances, the president may not decide for himself what constitutes a valid impeachment inquiry, nor may he ignore lawful subpoenas or direct others to do so. Many presidents have asserted privilege, but only President Trump has ordered the categorical defiance of a congressional investigation.”
Tom McClintock, R-Calif., called the obstruction article “a made-up crime.” “The president sought to defend his constitutional rights and those of his office. It removes the judiciary from our Constitution and places Congress alone in the position of defining its own powers,” he said.
A yes vote was to impeach Trump for obstruction of Congress.
Voting yes: Sewell
Voting no: Byrne, Roby, Rogers, Aderholt, Brooks and Palmer.
Not voting: None
You can find the complete list of votes on impeachment Article II here.
Below are tweets posted by some of Alabama’s representatives after or shortly before the impeachment votes.
Democrat or Republican, it’s time for us to pull together and show unity, sending a message that we are still a nation willing to fight for our democracy.
The President forced the House’s hand. Now, the Senate must hold Trump to account for his betrayal of the American people.
— Rep. Terri A. Sewell (@RepTerriSewell) December 19, 2019
— Rep. Bradley Byrne (@RepByrne) December 19, 2019
The people of Alabama's 4th Congressional District gave President Trump his highest vote percentage in the country, 80.3 percent. They continue to support him today, and so does their Congressman!
— Rep. Robert Aderholt (@Robert_Aderholt) December 19, 2019
I voted "No", against Socialist Democrats' baseless, sham impeachment of President Trump.
Read my full statement here:https://t.co/SLn6ShtfgG
— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) December 19, 2019
From the beginning of this #ShamImpeachment process against POTUS, there has been no evidence of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors. For that reason, I will vote "NO" on both articles of impeachment. My full statement here: https://t.co/C3hSCO9AaU
— Gary Palmer (@USRepGaryPalmer) December 18, 2019