18, December 2019
The US House of Representatives is set to take a momentous and deeply polarizing vote on Wednesday when it is likely to impeach President Donald Trump on charges of abusing his office and obstructing a congressional probe.
The vote in the Democratic-controlled House is expected to fall almost entirely along party lines, underscoring the deep divide in Congress over Trump’s conduct – and the larger political schism within the nation itself.
Trump would become only the third US president to be impeached, an extraordinary check on presidential power spelled out in the US Constitution for executives who commit “high crimes and misdemeanors.” No president has ever been removed from office under its terms.
The vote, expected in the afternoon or early evening, would result in a trial next month in the US Senate in which House members would act as prosecutors. That chamber is controlled by Republicans, who have shown little interest in removing Trump from office.
House Democrats accuse Trump of abusing his power by asking Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, a former US vice president and a leading Democratic contender in the 2020 election. Trump is also accused of obstructing the congressional investigation into the matter.
Trump has insisted he has done nothing wrong, and on Tuesday called the process “a total sham.” He sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a lengthy letter in which he accused her of engaging in a “perversion of justice.”