WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS4) – Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette presided over the historic impeachment of the President of the United States, for only the second time in our nation’s history. The House of Representatives voted on two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
As expected, both passed. All but two Democrats voted in favor of article one – abuse of power – and all Republicans opposed it. Three Democrats voted against article two – obstruction of Congress – and, again, all Republicans opposed it.
Colorado’s Congressional delegation voted along party lines. The vote came after six hours of debate divided equally between Democrats and Republicans.
For dozens of Democrats, it was a politically risky vote. They hail from districts where Trump remains popular. Democrats called it a sad and somber day. Republicans called it inevitable, saying it was three years in the making.
“In reality, this is nothing more than a partisan ploy by Democrats to overturn an election,” said Colorado Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn.
Republicans – including Lamborn and Colorado’s Ken Buck and Scott Tipton – said Democrats had been looking for a reason to impeach the President since he took office.
Tipton said, “This process did not begin with a whistleblower report. In fact, impeachment efforts began shortly after the President was elected.”
Buck insisted Democrats had not met the standard for impeachment.
“Today, Democrats lowered the bar for impeachment. Under the standard, a president can be impeached in the absence of a crime, without due process.”
Democrats – including Colorado’s Ed Perlmutter, Jason Crow and Joe Neguse – said the President invited a foreign government to interfere in our elections and tried to block Congress from investigating and that was why he was impeached.”
“President Trump and his administration have done everything they can to prevent Congress from uncovering the truth… unfortunately, President Trump left us no choice,” said Neguse. He and Crow insisted the President’s actions were egregious.
“The President’s abuse of power and scorn for the constitutional checks and balances is unprecedented,” said Crow.
Congressman Ed Perlmutter said the party-line vote wasn’t surprising.
“And that makes me sad because I think the evidence is overwhelming.”
The House essentially indicted the President. It will be up to the Republican-controlled Senate to convict or acquit him. It will hold a trial tentatively set to begin Jan. 6. It could go on for weeks.
It takes two-thirds of the Senate to convict the President, so 20 Republicans would have to defect. It takes a majority to remove a president from office – something that has never happened.
After nearly 11 hours at the helm of the impeachment hearing, Rep. Diana DeGette from Denver is receiving praise from many different corners for the job she did maintaining the proceedings.
DeGette announced early Wednesday morning she’d be the speaker pro tempore. DeGette held the gavel and kept order from just after 7 a.m. Mountain Time up until the time the house voted and approved both articles of impeachment.
Twitter users praised the 12-term Democrat for her even demeanor, but the praise wasn’t just online.
Tennessee Republican representative Tim Burchett went over his time during the hearing to say, “For the record Madam Speaker I think you’re doing a wonderful job.”