The House has voted to impeach President Donald Trump in a historic vote on Wednesday.
Lawmakers approved Article I, abuse of power, in a 230-197 vote, and Article II, obstruction of justice, by 229-198, almost entirely on party lines.
That split was mirrored within Colorado's Congressional delegation. Democratic Reps. Diana DeGette, Joe Neguse, Jason Crow and Ed Perlmutter voted to impeach on both articles Republican Reps. Doug Lamborn, Ken Buck and Scott Tipton rejected both.
The Coloradan lawmakers' positions did not change from what they indicated the day before the vote.
Two Democratic lawmakers, New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew and Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, broke party ranks and voted against impeachment on the both articles, as they were predicted to. A third Democrat, Maine Rep. Jared Golden, voted yes on Article I but no on Article II.
Democratic Hawaii representative and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard voted present both times. Democratic New York Rep. Jose E. Serrano and Republican Reps. Duncan Hunter and John Shimkus did not vote both times.
House Democrats say the president abused the power of his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election and obstructed Congress by aggressively trying to block the House investigation from its oversight duties as part of the nation’s system of checks and balances.
More on the historic impeachment vote in the House:
- Watch the House debate and landmark vote on Trump articles of impeachment
- Denver Rep. Diana DeGette wielded the gavel for the impeachment vote
- Colorado representatives voted for impeachment on party lines. Here's how they (and the senators) are reacting
- How Colorado’s House representatives got to their positions on impeachment
- Sen. Michael Bennet: If the evidence heard in House impeachment hearings isn't refused, ‘I’m likely to vote to convict’
- Protestors on both sides of the impeachment divide clashed in Grand Junction and in Denver on the eve of the vote
The vote was preceded by eight hours of debate in the House.
Neguse told his colleagues he'd vote yes for both articles because it's what the constitution requires.
"President Trump has left us no choice. The fact of the matter is that the president abused the power of his office and invited a foreign country to interfere in our elections," he said on the floor.
Neguse said Trump's refusal to allow any of his aides with relevant knowledge to testify constitutes obstruction of Congress.
However, Tipton said neither of the articles justify removing the president from office.
"Previous administrations, Republican and Democrat both, have dealt with these issues and claimed executive privilege," he said. The articles that are before this House are unsubstantiated
Buck said Democrats are impeaching the president for lawful behavior. and underlined his point by listing a number of abuses of office by previous Democratic presidents.
"Despite these clear abuses of power by FDR, JFK, LBJ and Obama, Republicans did not impeach. Why? Because the framers did not want a low bar for impeachment," Buck said.
Buck said no president could avoid impeachment with the standards being used against Trump.
DeGette had a high-profile role in the Wednesday debate as she presided over the House as speaker pro tempore. In her comments ahead of the debate, she said seeing the impeachment process through was part of their duty to uphold the Constitution.
“None of us came to Congress to impeach a president, but every one of us — when we assumed office — took an oath to uphold the Constitution," DeGette said. "This is a sad and somber moment in our nation’s history and the responsibility to preside over this important debate is something I will not take lightly.”
Now that the articles are approved, impeachment moves to a 2020 trial in the Senate. State attention will shift to Sens. Michael Bennet, a Democratic presidential candidate, and Cory Gardner, a vulnerable Republican up for re-election. Bennet told CPR News that unless the evidence he heard from testimony in the House is refuted, he would vote to convict the president.
You are one of the CPR readers who wants to know what is really going on these days. We can help you keep up - The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!