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US House votes to impeach President Trump for abuse of power, obstruction

US President Donald Trump Photograph:( Reuters )
Dec 19, 2019, 07.57 AM (IST)

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday became the third US president to be impeached as the House of Representatives formally charged him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The first of the articles accused Trump, 73, of abusing his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival and leading Democrat candidate for the presidential nomination for the 2020 race. 

Democrats alleged that Trump held back $391 million in security aid intended to combat Russia-backed separatists and a coveted White House meeting for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as leverage to coerce Kiev into interfering in the 2020 election by smearing Biden, the report added.

The second article accused Trump of obstruction of Congress by directing administration officials and agencies not to comply with lawful House subpoenas for testimony and documents related to impeachment.

The 229 to 198 vote fell almost entirely along party lines. All of Trump's fellow Republicans opposed it, and all but three Democrats supported it, the report added.

The House has already voted on the first article of impeachment, which charges Trump with abusing his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

(With inputs from Reuters)