WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Denver) presided over the House of Representatives during Wednesday's historic impeachment debate.
The House debated and voted on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, both of which are related to the president’s dealings with Ukraine and the subsequent investigation. The majority voted to impeach on both charges.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi asked DeGette to sit as speaker pro tempore during the debate. Following the announcement early Wednesday, Degette released this statement:
“I am honored that the speaker has asked me to serve as speaker pro tempore of the House and to preside over most of the impeachment debate. None of us came to Congress to impeach a president, but every one of us – when we assumed office – took an oath to uphold the constitution. This is a sad and somber moment in our nation’s history and the responsibility to preside over this important debate is something I will not take lightly.”
DeGette is currently serving her 12th congressional term, and she is the only member of the Colorado Congressional delegation to now vote in two impeachment hearings.
DeGette opposed impeaching Democratic Pres. Bill Clinton in 1998. According to the Washington Post, she is one of 84 members of Congress who participated in the Clinton proceedings.
"We have been told by the majority of Constitutional scholars that the president's actions do not fall in the meaning of high crimes or misdemeanors, but we persist," DeGette said of Clinton at the time of the vote. "We have divided this House with partisan politics, sewing mistrust and exposing darkness in our own hearts."
During Clinton's hearing, Colorado's delegation was made of four Republicans and two Democrats, with opinions split along party lines. Clinton was ultimately impeached by the House, but the U.S. Senate did not vote to remove him from office.
Trump, the 45th president, is now the third commander in chief to be impeached, after Andrew Johnson and Clinton. Richard Nixon resigned before the House could vote.
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