For the third time in American history, the House of Representatives has voted to impeach the president of the United States. The White House responded the morning after, saying the impeachment is "concerning for future presidents."
"This impeachment in particular is going to go down in history as one that was done on partisan political lines, and it's concerning for future presidents, whether they'll be Republicans or Democrats, because if this is the standard that we're going to have, presidents can be impeached by just having a policy dispute, and that's not good for the country," White House press secretary and communications director Stephanie Grisham said Thursday on "CBS This Morning."
House lawmakers approved two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – on a pair of party-line votes Wednesday night. Only two Democrats voted against the first article of impeachment and three voted against the second. Every Republican voted "no" on both.
Grisham said she doesn't expect any defections going forward from Republican lawmakers.
"This has been incredible to see the Republicans unify behind this president," she said. "When you truly look at the evidence and the transcript that the president he himself released, the Republicans know that he did absolutely nothing wrong. He had a very normal conversation with a foreign leader," Grisham said, referring to Mr. Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that sparked the impeachment inquiry.
She said "the Republicans are just really rallying behind him. It's been a great thing to see."
"I think this is actually better for our party and I think that that's going to show in 2020. I think this is truly backfiring on the Democrats," she added.
Grisham said the White House strategy for the impeachment trial "isn't set yet." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has called for witnesses in the trial, but so far, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has rejected the request.
"The Democrats continue to change the rules. They've been doing that throughout this entire process," Grisham said. "So it will be difficult to get a real strategy set until we have the articles of impeachment in the Senate and Mitch McConnell has had a chance to really look at what the fair, just thing to do will be."
McConnell is "hiding the truth" and has given "no good answer" for why there shouldn't be witnesses.
As he was condemned by the House, Mr. Trump said at athat Democrats are "declaring their deep hatred and disdain for the American voter."
"They've been trying to impeach me from before I ran," Mr. Trump said.
Grisham said, "The president was simply saying that this is bad for the country, that since he was elected by the people of this country, Democrats have been trying to get him out of office. That is not good for a country who voted him into office and for the people who want him in the White House working on his behalf."
"So it really is about the American people because they're trying to take a president down ever since the 2016 election, and they're trying to stop him from winning in 2020," she said.