Trump

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Wednesday evening to approve two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

The Democrat-controlled House approved articles of impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress against Trump concerning allegations that he leveraged military aid to Ukraine for his own personal political gain.

Both votes were heavily split between party lines, with no more than three Democrats voting not to impeach Trump and only one Republican voting to approve the impeachment.

"I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the President of the United States," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California. "He gave us no choice."

The next step for the impeachment process is a trial in the Senate in January, where a vote of two-thirds will be necessary in order to convict President Donald Trump and terminate his presidency. While Democrats possess the majority in the House to impeach Trump, Republicans control the Senate, and many are expected to acquit the president.

"This is not a rush to judgment. It's a rush to justice," Democratic Rep. Cedric Richmond, of New Orleans said from the House floor. "The longer we wait the more time we allow this president to do irreparable harm to our country and our democracy."

House GOP Whip Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, has been one of the most vocal opponents of impeachment, making multiple television appearances in recent weeks to defend the president.

Last week, Scalise took a vote count of Republican caucus members and none said they would vote for impeachment.

U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, a Shreveport Republican who is on the influential Judiciary Committee, has also become a high-profile opponent of impeachment. He was among the first House GOP members to speak during the impeachment debate today.

“Our Democrat colleagues have weaponized the impeachment provision of the constitution to nullify the votes of 63 million Americans who elected President Donald J. Trump,” he said. “This is not about a phone call or Ukraine or even the use of executive privilege … They are trying to meet their own arbitrary, completely reckless timeline to take down a president that they loathe.”