Donald Trump has become the third US president in history to be impeached by the House of Representatives, setting up a trial in the Senate that will decide whether he remains in office.
The House voted that the president abused his power – the first of two impeachment charges against him.
The vote fell roughly along party lines with 229 Democrats voting for the charge and 197 Republicans against. Mr Trump now faces a vote on a second charge – obstruction of Congress.
As the voting took place President Trump was addressing a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, along with Vice-President Mike Pence. The proceedings on Wednesday began with members of Mr Trump’s Republican Party calling for votes on procedural issues in an effort to frustrate the process.
That was followed by a vote on the rules to be set out for the impeachment, which kicked off six hours of partisan debate on the merits of the two impeachment charges against President Trump.
At about 20:30 local time (01:30 GMT), the House called for votes on the two charges: first, abuse of power, stemming from Mr Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into his Democratic political rival, Joe Biden; and second, obstruction of Congress, because the president allegedly refused to co-operate with the impeachment inquiry, withholding documentary evidence and barring his key aides from giving evidence.
The vote on the first article meant Mr Trump had been impeached, placing him alongside only two other presidents in the nation’s history – Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton – and setting up a trial in the Senate for his presidency. (BBC)