Donald Trump impeached: Inside the chamber, the historic vote passed as metal detectors pinged outside

There was no spasm of celebration or wave of applause at the moment Donald Trump made history by becoming the first US president ever to be impeached twice. 

Instead there was near silence in the US House of Representatives after Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House speaker who green-lit the lightning quick impeachment drive, uttered the critical words.

“On this vote, the ayes are 232, the nays are 197. The resolution is adopted,” she said from the Speaker’s chair, swiftly followed by a thwack of the gavel.

Belatedly one congressman on the Democratic side of the chamber, sensing a moment missed, attempted a flutter of claps but it lasted just a few seconds.

Most congressmen – those who were still on the floor of the House of Representatives  – either muttered to colleagues or headed for the exits.

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