"House Democrats' hyper-partisan impeachment has been a sham since day one, driven by those whose bitter rage against President Trump has blinded their better judgement". "When the sun comes up tomorrow, I pray with all my heart that the anger and the division in this chamber will give way to an honorableness and a productivity and a time of working together".
As the debate wore on, Trump aides, including White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway, fanned out across Capitol Hill to bolster the president's message that impeachment is helping Republicans and damaging Democrats.
"Democrats have been obsessed with impeaching President Trump and overturning the will of the American people since before he was even sworn into office", Daines said in a statement issued just before 7 p.m. However, the Republican-controlled Senate is expected to vote to acquit him after a hearing next year.
Trump personally wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week to register his extensive concern with the inquiry, complaining that he was granted less due process than the accused in the famous Salem Witch Trials centuries ago.
The impeachment vote comes ahead of Trump's 2020 re-election campaign, which will pit him against the victor among a field of Democratic contenders, including Biden, who have repeatedly criticized Trump's conduct in office and promised to make it a key issue.
The WSJ/NBC News found that 48 per cent of respondents feel Trump should be impeached and kicked out of the White House while 48 per cent also feel the president should not be impeached. House Democrats say most of the managers are likely to come from the Judiciary Committee, and possibly from the Intelligence Committee that led the investigation.
Mr Trump's Vice President Mike Pence would then take over and he would remain in power until the elections in 2020.
Activists gather at a "Impeach and Remove" rally to show support for the Congressional impeachment of US President Donald Trump.
As the debate unfolded, Trump on Twitter called the proceedings "AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA" and on his party.
"Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG!" Trump said Debbie Dingell had thanked him for "A-plus treatment" after her husband's death, telling Trump that if her husband were looking down he would be thrilled.
CORNISH: The debate over the two articles of impeachment - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress - continued for hours. Five of them are USA senators who will act as jurors in the impeachment trial. Rather than attempting to enforce their subpoenas in court, they have also made a decision to declare it a high crime and misdemeanor when the President of the United States asserts his constitutional privileges.
In 1974, President Richard Nixon resigned after the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment in the Watergate corruption scandal but before the full House could pass them.
Only two previous presidents have been impeached.
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