The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to approve a resolution establishing rules and procedures for the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. 

“What is at stake in all of this is nothing less than our democracy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said on the House floor before the vote

Lawmakers voted 232-196, with all Republicans voting against the resolution. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Michigan), an Independent who left the GOP earlier this year, voted in favor of the measure. Four lawmakers, three of which are Republicans, did not vote. The final tally highlights how sharply divided Congress’s lower chamber is on the subject of impeachment. This also marks the third time in U.S. history that the House has voted to formalize an impeachment inquiry into a sitting president, the two previous instances being when Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were in office.

The resolution — which comes slightly more than a year before the 2020 elections — dictates the procedures and rules to be followed over the course of the impeachment inquiry, including how evidence is publicly presented and how Trump and his attorneys will plan a defense. The measure also outlines rules for public testimonies and other depositions, as well as the process of issuing subpoenas and other requests for documents as part of the probe. The resolution also demonstrates that after roughly five weeks of private investigating, the Democratic caucus is now confident enough in its conclusions related to Trump’s efforts to enlist Ukraine to investigate prominent Democrats to begin building a case to take the impeachment inquiry public.


Some Republicans blasted the resolution by saying Democrats are taking on this effort simply because they fear a Trump re-election in 2020.

“Democrats are trying to impeach the president because they are scared they cannot defeat him at the ballot box,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California), per the Times. “Why do you not trust the people?”


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