Colorado's U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette presided Wednesday as the House of Representatives voted to send impeachment articles to the Senate and appoint seven of her Democratic colleagues to prosecute charges against President Donald Trump in what will be only the third impeachment trial in American history.
The Denver Democrat wielded the gavel as House speaker pro tempore during brief debate before she announced the 228-193, nearly party-line vote to transmit two articles alleging Trump abused power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and then obstructed the ensuing congressional investigation.
The Colorado delegation split along party lines, with all four Democrats voting to send the articles to the Senate and approve the appointment of House managers, and all three Republicans voting against the moves.
U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, an Aurora Democrat serving his first term, is among the seven Democrats named by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to prosecute the case against Trump in a Senate trial expected to start on Thursday.
It was a familiar role for DeGette, an attorney serving her 12th term representing Colorado's 1st Congressional District. She presided over the House 15 times last year, including for the day-long debate last month over whether to impeach Trump.
“None of us came to Congress to impeach a president, but President Trump’s conduct left us no choice," DeGette said in a statement after the vote Wednesday.
"By voting to formally submit these articles of impeachment to the Senate, we have fulfilled our constitutional duty to defend our democracy the best that we can. I hope our colleagues in the Senate will now do the same.”
DeGette said in a tweet that she was "honored that the speaker has asked me to fill such an important role."
Introducing her prosecution team earlier in the day, Pelosi said: “This is what an impeachment is about. The president violated his oath of office, undermined our national security, jeopardized the integrity of our elections.”
Trump's Republican allies blasted the Democrats for advancing impeachment charges the president rejected Wednesday as a "hoax."
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Springs Republican, described impeachment as a "cynical, partisan witch hunt" in a tweet celebrating Trump's announcement that he had singed a trade deal with China. "Promises kept!" Lamborn added.
Calling impeachment "an ongoing partisan sham," U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, who won an endorsement last month from Trump, accused Pelosi of pursuing the charges "out of desperation to distract the American public from the economic success story we are experiencing."
Added Tipton: "I encourage the Senate to end this process quickly and get back to work on the real issues Americans are concerned about.”
Trump anticipates a quick acquittal in the GOP-controlled Senate, even as new evidence raises fresh questions about his dealing with Ukraine.
Ahead of Wednesday's session, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California, who was later named as an impeachment manager, released new records from Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, about the Ukraine strategy, including an exchange with another man about surveying later-fired Ambassador Maria Yovanovitch.
Schiff said the new evidence should bring more pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is reluctant to allow witnesses to testify.
McConnell dismissed what he called a rushed impeachment.
“This isn’t really about Ukraine policy or military money,” McConnell said. “This has been naked partisanship all along.”
Hours after the vote, the House managers were scheduled to walk the articles across the Capitol to the Senate in a dramatic procession.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.