Donald Trump was on Wednesday impeached as the House of Representatives formally charged him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The historic votes capped a three-month inquiry by House Democrats into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. But the impeachment process is far from over: The proceedings now move to a trial in the Senate, which holds the final authority on whether to convict Trump and remove him from office, or to acquit him.
The vote comes after months of investigations marked by explosive testimonies from a number of current and former White House employees.
Lawmakers say Trump abused the power of the office of the president of the United States in his dealings with Ukraine by temporarily freezing nearly US$400 million in military aid.
Officials allege the freeze was a bid to pressure the Ukrainian government to publicly announce separate investigations into purported interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election as well as former vice-president and political rival Joe Biden’s son Hunter‘s work on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.
In a 650-page impeachment report released on Monday, investigators said Trump “betrayed the nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections.”
Trump is now only the third president in the history of the United States to be impeached, joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.