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Trump impeachment crusade continuation of domestic political strife in US, says Putin

MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. The impeachment crusade against US President Donald Trump stems from the ongoing domestic political strife triggered by the Democratic Party, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters at his annual year-end news conference on Thursday.

"As for continuing our dialogue until the end of Trump’s presidency, it looks like you are raising the issue that it is about to end. As for me, I am not sure of that. The Senate vote, where, as far as I know, the Republicans have the majority, still lies ahead. They will hardly want to oust a representative of their party from power for some trumped-up reasons," Putin said.

"This is just the continuation of the domestic political strife. The party, which lost the election, the Democratic Party, tried to achieve results through other means, accusing Trump of colluding with Russia. Later on, it turned out that there had been no collusion, so this cannot be the basis for impeachment. Now they are referring to alleged pressure on Ukraine. I don’t know what it is all about. Your members of Congress should know better," the president added.

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives voted to approve two articles of impeachment against President Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The first vote accusing Trump of abuse of power was 230-197 in favor, with one vote of ‘present’ in abstention. Later, the second vote on accusing Trump of obstruction of Congress was 229-198 in favor, with one vote of ‘present’ in abstention.

Trump has become the fourth US president to face impeachment proceedings, after Andrew Johnson in 1868, Richard Nixon in 1973-1974 and Bill Clinton in 1998-1999. Johnson and Clinton were acquitted, while Nixon stepped down before the start of the hearings.