The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday evening. Trump is the third president to be impeached. (He’s continuing as if it’s just another Wednesday by going to a rally in Michigan.)
At her press conference after the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the vote “a great day for the Constitution,” yet “a sad day for America.” Pelosi said the House showed “moral courage” with their vote as these votes was not “whipped,” which means representatives were not cajoled, strong-armed, made promises or other harsh-like verb of your choice. Basically, these votes were allowed to be made without party leadership influence so they should be more of a reflection on the lawmaker than a normal vote. It’s a cool vote.
“I view this day, this vote, as something that we did to honor the vision of our founders to establish a republic, the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform to defend our democracy and the republic, and the aspirations of our children that they will always live in a democracy, and we have tried to do everything we can to make sure that that is their reality,” Pelosi told reporters.
With all this history and “moral courage” happening, Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard chose to respond to the call by voting “present” on both counts. “After doing my due diligence in reviewing the 658-page impeachment report, I came to the conclusion that I could not in good conscience vote either yes or no,” Gabbard said in a statement released Wednesday night after her vote. “I am standing in the center and have decided to vote Present [sic]. I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing.”
Gabbard said the impeachment inquiry has “tragically” become too much of a “partisan endeavor” for her to vote for — seemingly ignoring that this is a political process and not a criminal trial. “I also could not in good conscience vote for impeachment because removal of a sitting President must not be the culmination of a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country,” she said in the statement.
To that end, the votes basically followed party lines. The first vote on abuse of power was passed at 230-197 while the second vote on obstruction of Congress was passed at 229-198. That one changing vote was by freshman Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) who voted yes on abuse of power but no on obstruction of Congress. (Golden posted a lengthy Facebook Note about why he’s voting this way, if you want more information.)