Democrats’ Impeachment Plan Formally Endorsed by Divided House
Republicans have been demanding Democrats hold a vote on the impeachment plan, and now the Democrats have. No Republicans voted for it.Two Democrats voted against it. But the machinery into probing and possibly removing President Donald Trump (unlikely to happen due to the GOP-dominated Senate) is now more-than-ever in motion.
The Washington Post:
A divided House approved a resolution Thursday formally authorizing and articulating guidelines for the next phase of its impeachment inquiry, a move that signaled Democrats are on course to bring charges against President Trump later this year.
The 232-to-196 vote, which hewed closely to party lines, was expected to fuel the partisan fighting that has accompanied every stage of the impeachment probe and much of the Trump presidency. Nearly all Democrats backed the resolution, and House Republicans, who spent weeks clamoring for such a vote, opposed it.
At issue is whether Trump abused the power of his office to pressure a foreign leader to investigate his domestic political rivals.
In remarks before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) described the impeachment inquiry as a “solemn” and “prayerful” process — “not cause for any glee or comfort.”
Ahead of a pivotal impeachment inquiry vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Oct. 31, “I don’t know why the Republicans are afraid of the truth.” (U.S. House of Representatives)
At the same time, Pelosi said, “I don’t know why Republicans are afraid of the truth.”
“Every member should support the American people hearing the facts for themselves,” she said in a floor speech. “That is what this vote is about. It’s about the truth. And what is at stake in all of this is nothing less than our democracy.”
The White House blasted Democrats’ “unhinged obsession with this illegitimate impeachment proceeding” in a statement following the vote.
“The Democrats are choosing every day to waste time on a sham impeachment — a blatantly partisan attempt to destroy the President,” press secretary Stephanie Grisham stated.
In separate news conferences after the vote, Republicans and Democrats continued to sharply disagree about the lasting impact of the impeachment process.
Republicans accused Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi of politicizing the impeachment process and ignoring the other work of Congress.
“If you look at where we are right now, were at an important point in history. Clearly there are people that we serve with that don’t like the result of the 2016 election. That is their prerogative. But the country next year will be deciding who our president is going to be. It should not be Nancy Pelosi and a small group of people that she selects that get to determine who is going to be our president,” Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said.
But Democrats, in their news conference, said they see themselves as being on the right side of history.
“We recognize the seriousness of this undertaking. We recognize that we have been compelled by the circumstances to move forward. When the president abuses his or her office, when a president sacrifice is national interest, when the president refuses to defend the constitution and does so for the purpose of advancing a personal or political agenda, the founders provided the remedy,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democrat leading the impeachment probe, said.
“I make no prejudgment as to whether that remedy will be warranted when we finish these hearings. I will wait until all the facts are put forward. We will undertake this duty with the seriousness it deserves and to the best of our ability,” he said.
Two House Democrats broke ranks with their party leadership on Thursday’s highly-contentious vote for a resolution setting the rules for the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
The resolution passed 232-196 but lacked votes from Reps. Jeff Van Drew, D-N.J., who has long expressed skepticism about impeachment, and Collin Peterson, D-Minn, whose district Trump won by 31 points. No Republicans voted for the resolution, signaling that the House GOP still stands firmly behind Trump as he comes under heavy fire.
“At the end of the day we’ll have the same president and same candidate and a failed impeachment process, and the only difference would be that the president will have been exonerated of charges,” Van Drew said in a statement to Fox News.