Trump's 2020 GOP Challengers Say Impeachment Was 'One of the Least Surprising Days' of His Presidency

President Donald Trump is the third president in American history to be impeached but his Republican primary challengers say it was "one of the least surprising days" of his tenure in office.

Joe Walsh and Bill Weld are Trump's only two rivals for the Republican nomination in 2020. Walsh, a former Illinois congressman, launched his White House bid in August and Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts, started his campaign in April.

"Inevitable. [I'm] not at all surprised," Walsh told Newsweek about Congress' decision to impeach Trump. "Yesterday was one of the least surprising days of the Trump presidency. We knew he was going to get impeached and he deserved to be impeached."

Weld agreed, telling Newsweek that there was an "overwhelming case" for Trump to be impeached. The former governor added that the argument is just as strong as to why the president should be convicted in a Senate trial and formally removed from office.

Both candidates said that Trump's impeachment doesn't change their 2020 message to voters. But they do hope that it will strengthen the case for having an alternative candidate as the Republican nominee.

"All this does is reinforce what I've been saying and others have been saying that Donald Trump is unfit and he is a danger to this country. He pressured a foreign government to cheat in the 2020 election. I think he's still trying to do that," Walsh said.

The House of Representatives spent hours on Wednesday debating two impeachment articles against Trump. The chamber voted 230 to 197 to approve the abuse of power article and 229 to 198 on the obstruction of Congress article.

House Democrats charge that Trump put his personal interests over the country's by trying to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to announce a politically damaging investigation of Joe Biden and his son Hunter and a probe of supposed Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

Republicans accuse Democrats of doing anything to impeach Trump because they are worried they will lose the 2020 presidential election. During Wednesday's impeachment debate, several conservative lawmakers asserted that the effort to remove Trump is based solely on Democratic "hate" for the president.

trump keep america great rally Michigan
President Donald Trump speaks during a Keep America Great Rally at Kellogg Arena December 18, 2019, in Battle Creek, Michigan. On December 18, Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on two articles: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

Next up for Trump is a trial in the Senate to decide whether or not he should be removed from office. The Constitution says the chamber has to hold a trial and that lawmakers must serve as jurors. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has thrown a wrench in the proceedings by asserting that he has no intention of behaving as an impartial judge.

As a result of McConnell's stonewalling, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that she may wait to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Many Democrats have urged her to hold them until McConnell agrees to the terms set out by the House for the Senate trial, including the demands for additional witnesses.

Trump used impeachment as a rallying cry during a "Keep America Great" rally in Michigan hours after the House's vote.

"It doesn't really feel like we're being impeached," he told a crowd of supporters. He then went on the offensive against House Democrats, asserting that the lawmakers were "surrendering" their dignity and that they "look like a bunch of fools."