Trump impeached

A few minutes ago, Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives, becoming only the third president to be impeached in the history of the US.

On the first article that dealt with abuse of power, the vote was 230-197. A few minutes later the second article that dealt with obstruction of justice, passed by a vote of 229-198. For both votes, one person voted ‘present’. (There are 233 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one Independent, and four seats vacant. This means that three votes are unaccounted four in the final tally.)

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard was the one who voted ‘present’ for both articles and has explained her reasoning in a tweet.

Democratic congresspersons Jeff Van Drew (who was backed in his congressional race by the Democratic party leadership but has voted with the Republicans on key issues and is expected to switch to the Republican party after this vote) voted against both articles. Another Democratic congressperson Collin Peterson has also voted no on both. A third Jared Golden voted in favor of the first article but against the second.

The next stage is for the House of Representatives to forward the articles to the Senate that will then conduct a ‘trial’ with the Chief Justice John Roberts presiding. I put the word ‘trial’ in ironic quotes because the majority leader Republican Mitch McConnell has made it perfectly clear that it will not be like a trial at all, if by that we mean a process by which the members of the Senate try to arrive at an impartial judgment after examining the evidence. Instead he has in fact admitted proudly that he is working in close collaboration with the accused to make sure that the process ends quickly with an acquittal.

Remember, folks, the US Senate boasts proudly, in typical self-congratulatory fashion, that it is the world’s greatest deliberative body. That has always been a laughable claim but this process has made it even more manifestly so.

Some are urging the speaker Nancy Pelosi to delay forwarding the article of impeachment to the Senate until McConnell agrees to better terms for the conduct of the ‘trial’. It is clear that Trump wants to be acquitted so that he can proclaim victory. Withholding the articles and just keeping the impeachment article over his head without a ‘trial’ would likely irritate him no end.

Meanwhile, a whole host of newspapers have endorsed the idea of impeaching Trump, though in this day and age it is not clear how much that will sway people.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Pelosi’s rush-it-through strategy seems guaranteed to fail -- and she surely has known that all along.

  2. says

    I don’t know, Pierce. Wouldn’t a take-it-slow strategy also be guaranteed to fail? Seriously, were you expecting some other strategy to produce anything but failure? What strategy would that be? What is your logical reasoning to believe that strategy would not fail?

    On another note, Gabbard’s reasoning is a doozy. The more I learn about her, the more I believe she is a fraud. Not necessarily a “Russian agent” as others claim, but she seems to have some sort of personal agenda. I don’t know what that is yet, though. Seriously, she suggests that censuring Trump would “send a strong message.” Surely she doesn’t believe that, does she???

  3. says

    I don’t understand how negotiating his defense with the senate majority leader, and the senate majority leader saying that they’re going to not take the case seriously, while everybody refuses to testify or provide requested documents -- how is that not all “obstruction of justice”? The entire situation includes a contradiction, namely “this is not a valid charge of obstruction of justice, so we refuse to, uhhhh, participate. Because that’s what innocent people do when they are hauled into court.”

    Is it not obstruction if your actions are an admission that the charges are true?

    Not that any of this matters. The republicans have the whole thing sewed up in the senate. Given that they have packed the courts, too, it seems likely that their voter suppression tricks are going to work. If this is a “cold civil war” its heading toward a mopping-up operation.

  4. brucegee1962 says

    It sounds to me like a hail mary pass from Gabbard. She isn’t making any headway, so she needs to do something to stand out and get people talking about her. This will either endear her to moderates and never-Trump Republicans and help her in the polls, or else sink her for good so she can do other stuff besides campaigning.

    BTW, when I was driving across South Carolina recently, she was the ONLY dem politician I saw billboards for.

  5. file thirteen says

    Gabbard “believes President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing.”

    Yet Gabbard cannot “in good conscience” bring emself to vote yes.

    If ey said that ey simply didn’t know, then I could understand em taking a neutral stance. But if ey thinks Trump is guilty, isn’t ey morally obligated to vote yes?

    I just think eir conscience can’t be very good. Trying to straddle the political fence won’t help em though. Nobody on either side is going to be impressed by this.

  6. file thirteen says

    As far as delaying forwarding the article of impeachment to the senate goes, I think that’s a great idea. Why allow the republicans a whitewash and Trump to claim victory if you don’t have to? Until and unless it goes to the senate, it will be a constant threat hanging over Trump’s head. Right now ey feels untouchable, but maybe one day, ey won’t be.

  7. invivoMark says

    Did anybody else hear that? I think it was the sound of Tulsi Gabbard’s last shred of credibility softly crumbling away.

  8. invivoMark says

    @file thirteen,

    Going on that crusade against gendered pronouns, are we? If you need some windmills to tilt at, I know where you can find some.

  9. Dunc says

    Pelosi’s rush-it-through strategy seems guaranteed to fail


    I don’t know, Pierce. Wouldn’t a take-it-slow strategy also be guaranteed to fail?

    Also yes.

    There is no winning strategy here, because the game is rigged.

  10. Holms says

    Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard was the one who voted ‘present’ for both articles and has explained her reasoning in a tweet.

    She did, but I’d’ve put the word reasoning in scare quotes. Her reasons were surprisingly bad.

  11. file thirteen says

    @invivoMark #8

    Yeah, it’s Elverson Spivak -- you use they, their, them etc, but drop the th if it isn’t plural. It’s actually more of a crusade against using singular they, because I’m used to plurals in English and it bugs me when a plural term is used as a singular replacement (Chinese readers might not agree).

    As far as gender-neutrality goes, “they” has long since entered the language in a singular sense. I just find it more aesthetically pleasing to drop the th when I use it in a singular sense, and if I’m going to do that, might as well do it everywhere. Now you know.

  12. Reginald Selkirk says

    “because removal of a sitting president must not be the culmination of a partisan process…”

    Republicans turn it into a partisan process, then complain that it is a partisan process.

  13. Matt G says

    Pursuing justice is a partisan issue, Tulsi? Let’s examine why that is so in this case, shall we?

  14. Pierce R. Butler says

    Leo Buzalsky @ # 2: … were you expecting some other strategy to produce anything but failure?

    Dunc @ # 10: There is no winning strategy here, because the game is rigged.

    The Dems could have stretched the investigation out for months longer, having limitless Trump™ malfeasance to work with, making it clear to even the most obtuse [e.g., cough, Chris Matthews] how much sleaze and incompetence we have in the White House, and hung it all around the necks of every Repub who didn’t repudiate it. We’d prob’ly still end up with an “acquittal”, but one visible as a badge of shame to even the lowest-info voter.

    Instead we get a narrow slice of apparently-inconsequential attempted extortion, interrupted by the Happy Holidays®, lost momentum guaranteed to fizzle out by February, long forgotten by November.

    Which brings me back to my original point -- Pelosi, staunch defender against impeachment of grossly guilty Republican presidents since 2007, clearly wants her nominal team to lose this fight. Surely only a lowly churl would point to the abundant streams of lobbyist $$$ which keep her perched atop her party’s pyramid of power as an explanation of this apparent self-sabotage -- but does anybody have a better explanation?

  15. jrkrideau says

    From some one outside the USA and not paying any great attention to the clown show impeachment hearings, I see Gabbard’s point.

    The entire process is tribal warfare or an internecine struggle among a power elite. It reminds me of appointments to the US Supreme Court.
    At one level it looks like a “legal” coup similar to the one that brought Jair Bolsonaro to power and on the other hand either street theotre or more seriously a gesture to illustrate just how contempable Trump and the Republicans are.

    It may be that the futile gesture worthwhile and is needed but anyone can see that it is not a serious attempt to remove the sitting president from office.

    The whole circus is a great way for both sides to avoid talking seriously about policy.

  16. Pierce R. Butler says

    jrkrideau @ # 15: From some one outside the USA and not paying any great attention …

    When *your* country teeters on the edge of fascism, threatening to bring down many others with it -- maybe you’ll pay attention then.

    You really can’t talk policy seriously with maniacs.

  17. anat says

    jrkrideau @15: The only reason the process is tribal is because Republicans are willing to abandon any last shred of rule of law for the sake of partisan interests.

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