09:13 GMT +321 January 2020
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    After a lengthy debate, the US House of Representatives voted on Wednesday in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump on two articles - a charge of obstruction of Congress and a charge of abuse of power. Trump now becomes the third US president in history to be impeached.

    In a statement, the White House characterized the impeachment result as one of the most shameful episodes in the nation's history, adding that Trump described the vote to impeach him as political suicide for the Democrats.

    "Today marks the culmination in the House of one of the most shameful political episodes in the history of our nation. Without receiving a single Republican vote, and without providing any proof of wrongdoing, Democrats pushed illegitimate articles of impeachment against the president through the House of Representatives", White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in the statement.

    According to the White House, Trump is ready for the next steps and is sure that a vote to remove him from office will not be supported in the Senate. Trump believes that the upper chamber will "restore regular order, fairness and due process", according to the statement.

    "The president is confident the Senate will restore regular order, fairness, and due process, all of which were ignored in the House proceedings. He is prepared for the next steps and confident that he will be fully exonerated. President Trump will continue to work tirelessly to address the needs and priorities of the American people, as he has since the day he took office", Grisham's statement read.

    The statement also alleged that the vote and the process to impeach Trump are triggered by a "desire to nullify the 2016 election results, and improperly influence the 2020 election" - a remark which echoes Trump's repeated accusations of a political witch hunt.

    Earlier Trump accused US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi - after she picked Wednesday for the impeachment vote - of declaring war on democracy in the US by going forward with his impeachment. Trump described the impeachment as illegal and as a partisan coup. Trump also denounced the two articles of impeachment against him that were passed in the US House Judiciary Committee.

    The Republican-controlled Senate is reportedly expected to start the trial to remove Trump in the coming weeks or even days.

    In September, House Democrats started an impeachment inquiry after a whistleblower complaint alleged that Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to probe a political rival in the 2020 presidential campaign - Joe Biden - for corruption. Trump has repeatedly complained that the impeachment inquiry is a sham and a political witch hunt by Democrats.


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    criticism, US House of Representatives, vote, Donald Trump, impeachment, White House
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