What to expect as the House votes on the articles of impeachment

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Once the House Democratic majority votes to impeach on Wednesday, the Republican-controlled Senate is expected to start the formal impeachment trial which is likely to occur in the coming weeks. "He gave us no choice", said Pelosi, launching debate in the House of Representatives on impeaching the U.S. leader.

McCarthy's motion failed, and debate began shortly thereafter.

The rare undertaking to impeach a president, set to unfold over more than six hours of debate Wednesday, is splitting the lawmakers in Congress much the way Americans have been divided over the issue. Five of them are U.S. senators who will act as jurors in the impeachment trial.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened the formal debate over the articles.

"Very sadly, the facts have made clear that the President abused his power for his own personal, political benefit and that he obstructed Congress", Ms Pelosi told her party colleagues.

"Today is going to be a lot of things".

Nadler, the Judiciary Committee chair, said Trump's actions threatened the integrity of the November 2020 presidential and congressional elections.

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"The impeachment inquiry is not an effort to overturn an election", he later added. "During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afforded this President in this process".

The real Trump impeachment procedure will begin in the Senate.

Ms Pelosi, who warned earlier this year against pursuing a strictly partisan impeachment, nonetheless has the numbers from Democrats to approve it.

"We will never surrender our nation to career establishment DC politicians and bureaucrats".

Democratic Representative Veronica Escobar said the impeachment represented "a great tragedy and a moment of truth" for Trump.

Fearful of the political blowback, Democrats were long resistant to an impeachment inquiry even after Special Counsel Robert Mueller outlined potential episodes of Trump obstructing justice in his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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