news·5 min read

Daily Skimm: The House of Representatives Votes to Impeach President Trump

Trump impeachment vote
Getty Images
Dec 19, 2019


The Story

We just witnessed history.

I heard.

Yesterday, President Donald Trump became the third president in US history to be impeached. Here's how it went down: the House of Representatives put two articles of impeachment to a vote. The first one was abuse of power. It accused Trump of seeking election interference by trying to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations, including into a political rival (former VP Joe Biden). The second was obstruction of Congress. It accused Trump of working to undermine the House's impeachment inquiry by doing things like refusing to hand over requested documents and directing potential witnesses not to cooperate. The House voted 230 to 197 to charge Trump with abuse of power. And 229 to 198 on obstruction. With that, the president was officially impeached.

So no big surprises?

Not on that front. The votes were expected to go down largely along party lines – and that's what happened. Republicans argued this is just the latest attempt by Democrats to undermine the results of the 2016 election. And introduced a series of motions and resolutions, apparently to delay or halt the vote. But Dems said that they had "no choice" but to impeach. And that it's important to "defend democracy" – making history in the process.

A little context on that, please.

As we said, Trump is the third president to be impeached. First was Democrat Andrew Johnson in 1868, who was impeached mainly over the firing of his secretary of war. The second was Democrat Bill Clinton in 1998, who was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice after lying about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

And what about Richard Nix-

He wasn't actually impeached. The House Judiciary Committee recommended impeachment related to Watergate. But Nixon resigned before the full House could vote. In the case of Johnson and Clinton: they were both acquitted by the Senate, and remained in office. The same outcome is expected for Trump when the Republican-majority Senate holds a trial.

About that. When is that happening?

It was supposed to start as early as next month. But yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused to say when she'd send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, potentially delaying a trial indefinitely.

What's the reasoning there?

She implied the Senate isn't playing fair. For context, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made it clear he thinks this impeachment process is politicized, and has no intention of convicting Trump. He's also rejected a Dem request to hear from new witnesses, saying it was the House's job to investigate – and it's the Senate's job to judge. Now, Pelosi seems to want assurances she'll see a "fair" process in the Senate. But the move could also help Dems avoid an expected acquittal for Trump in the Republican-majority Senate.

Got it. How has everyone else been reacting to impeachment?

Polls show Americans may be more or less split. But tens of thousands of people marched across the country in support of it. Meanwhile, Trump's said he's done nothing wrong. And that he sees this as an assault on America and the Republican party.


One branch of government just exerted one of the biggest tools in its arsenal to accuse another branch of government of operating against the interests of the people. It's a choice the American public is divided over, and one that historians will dissect for years to come.

Skimm More: Our latest podcast ep explains the legal angle on impeachment.


What's looking to its neighbor for an assist…

The US. Yesterday, the FDA published a rule that would allow for the import of prescription drugs from Canada. If it goes into effect, states, wholesalers, and pharmacies would be able to order cheaper versions of the drugs being sold there. The goal is to lower the costs for patients – a top priority for the Trump admin. But some worry the move could compromise patient safety by letting in substandard or counterfeit drugs. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the admin is working to make sure the imported drugs are safe. Next up: there's a comment period before the rule's finalized.

What's been going all-in on cuffing season…

Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group. Yesterday, Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot's parent company rode off into the sunset and announced a merger. When finalized, the new company is expected to be the fourth-largest automaker in the world, all without cutting jobs or closing plants. The focus will be on (surprise, surprise) autonomous and electric vehicles.

Amazon, Apple, and Google. The three major tech companies are singing 'we're the three best friends that anyone could have.' They created a joint standard for gadgets to be able to connect to smart home products (think: Echo, Google Home, HomePod). The goal is to allow for more gadgets – like smart lights – to be able to work across the various devices.

Who won't be on the block on the regular…

Tekashi 6ix9ine. Yesterday, the Brooklyn rapper was sentenced to two years in prison on federal charges including racketeering. He'd originally faced decades in prison. But he'd pleaded guilty to charges – and received a lighter sentence after he became a key witness against his gang, the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. Now, he's expected to be released late next year, since his sentence includes the 13 months he's already served in prison.

Why you might not want to pet every dog you cross…

This illness. The CDC says 30 people across 13 states have been infected by a bacteria called campylobacter. It's been linked to petting puppies from pet stores. The good news: those who are infected usually recover within a week without antibiotic treatment.

Who claims to have grown…

Camila Cabello.

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