On Thursday, in a historic move, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump’s abuse of power.
Although there is no legal requirement for the House to vote on an impeachment inquiry, Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided to hold a full House vote in order to counter Republican attacks that the process is illegitimate.
The resolution reaffirms the ongoing impeachment inquiry against Trump and establishes the rules of the road going forward, which include open hearings and the release redacted transcripts. They also allow for the president or his counsel to participate in impeachment proceedings, with the caveat that this right can be revoked if the White House refuses to cooperate with the inquiry.
“It is the responsibility of Congress to investigate the matters of the President’s conduct with the seriousness and fairness they require,” said Rep. Lizzie Fletcher of Houston in a statement. “It is the responsibility of the President and his administration to participate fully in that investigation: to comply with the law and the Constitution.”
The impeachment investigation was triggered last month following a CIA whistleblower who flagged national security and abuse of power concerns around a phone call between Trump and Ukraine’s president. In closed hearings held by the House over the past few weeks, evidence is mounting that Trump pressured a foreign country to dig up dirt on an American citizen, who is also a political rival.
Public opinion has shifted dramatically over the past few weeks, with a solid majority of the country backing not just an investigation of Trump but his total removal from office.
The resolution passed the House 232 to 196. All except two Democrats voted for the resolution. Not a single Republican crossed party lines. The entire Democratic Texas delegation voted “yay” for the resolution, including:
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Sheila Jackson Lee
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