Trump impeachment: Nancy Pelosi glares at applauding Democrats after historic vote

Speaker warned Congress to maintain 'solemn' impeachment debate

Alex Woodward
New York
Thursday 19 December 2019 18:57
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Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces impeachment Article II is adopted, charging President Donald Trump with obstruction of Congress

Nancy Pelosi's stern warning to Democratic members of Congress who cheered for Donald Trump's impeachment has gone viral, as she appeared to whip members of her party in real-time while voting was under way to support the president's removal from office.

The House Speaker had reportedly ordered representatives to couch their reactions to the affirmative votes, but that didn't stop several representatives from applauding the vote.

Ms Pelosi widened her eyes and pointed to the members who clapped.

Republicans sarcastically responded "Oh!" at their Democratic colleagues.

Democrats repeatedly had reflected that the impeachment proceedings brought a sadness and disappointment to the US and the halls of Congress, voting to support Mr Trump's impeachment while "our founders' vision of a republic is under threat from actions from the White House", Ms Pelosi said as she opened the proceedings.

The speaker — who joined several other members of Congress in wearing black to reflect the historic event — said she "solemnly and sadly" opened the debate.

Twitter reactions to Ms Pelosi's stare compared her look to the one a mother gives her children, and pundits pointed out that the speaker was able to control House members mid-vote.

After nearly 12 hours of debate on Wednesday, the House voted largely on party lines by 230-197 to charge the president with abuses of power in his dealings with Ukraine, which was pressured by Mr Trump to announce an investigation into his political rivals in exchange for military aid.

The House also voted 229-198 to charge Mr Trump with obstruction, advising members of his administration to deny subpoenas or make himself and myriad documents unavailable to congressional committees investigating the president.

Ms Pelosi suggested delaying sending the approved articles of impeachment to the Senate, citing concerns that members of the Republican-controlled body that the president's trial would be impartial. The House must also pass a resolution to assign managers to present the articles to the Senate.

Several members of the Senate, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have boasted that they're in "total coordination" with the White House and have mulled whether to even allow witnesses, paving the way for Mr Trump's acquittal and and outright rejection of the Congress.

She told reporters on Thursday: "Frankly, I don't care what the Republicans say."

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