SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump on two charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The historic vote followed weeks of testimony, which culminated in six hours of debate Wednesday.
“We gather today under the dome of this temple of democracy to exercise one of the most solemn powers that this body can take,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s said.
Shortly after the debate began, the president tweeted about the proceedings, calling them “AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA.”
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga. 9th District) took the floor, questioning Pelosi.
“Why do we keep calling this a solemn occasion when you’ve been wanting to do this ever since [President Trump] was elected?” he asked.
Republican Congressman Buddy Carter, who represents Georgia’s 1st District, echoed Collins’ sentiment on the House floor.
“I rise today in opposition to the Democrats’ sham process which makes a mockery of the rules of the House and is, frankly, dangerous to this country,” Carter said. “Since day one, the Democrats have made it clear that they wanted to move towards impeachment well before any of the accusations took place.”
He added, in part: “This impeachment process isn’t focused on strengthening and protecting our political foundations, but rather shaping public opinion. I ask you, is it worth that?”
Rep. Joe Cunningham, the Democrat representing South Carolina from Hilton Head Island to Charleston County, on Tuesday stated that he would support both articles of impeachment against Trump.
The congressman wrote an op-ed piece in The Post and Courier explaining his reasoning.
“We are a nation of laws and no single person is above the rule of law in America,” Cunningham wrote, adding, “I made my decision concerning the president’s impeachment judiciously, withholding judgment until I could review all evidence, hear all relevant testimony and weigh both sides of the argument.”
He wrote that Trump “blatantly and repeatedly abused the power of his office by coercing a foreign government into investigating his political rival, withholding appropriated military assistance to do it.”
Rep. Rick Allen, the Republican representing much of the east-central parts of Georgia, said Wednesday that he’s against impeachment, calling the House proceedings “a charade” and “a kangaroo court.”
“This is going to create a permanent problem in that House chamber under this current leadership. You can’t trust them,” Allen said. “They’re not telling the truth down there and it’s sad. Sad day for the country.”
In an impassioned speech, Democratic Congressman John Lewis, who represents the Atlanta area, said lawmakers are obligated to impeach the president.
“When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something, to do something,” Lewis said. “Our children and their children will ask us what did you do? What did you say?”
He concluded his remarks saying, “For some this vote may be hard but we have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”
The articles of impeachment will move now to a Senate trial where the GOP has the majority and will likely acquit Trump.