The House of Representatives on Thursday voted for the first time to formally approve the process for the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, The Washington Post reports.
The vote went down party lines, with all Republicans voting against the resolution and all but two Democrats -- Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson and New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew -- voted for it.
The resolution formalized the rules for how House committees involved in the inquiry will forward their evidence to the Judiciary Committee, which will decide whether to bring articles of impeachment against Trump.
The Intelligence and Judiciary committees will both hold public hearings and the transcripts of the closed-door depositions that are currently ongoing will be released.
“If we don’t hold this president accountable, we will be ceding our ability to hold any president accountable,” Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, the chairman of the Rules Committee, said in a floor speech. “The obstruction from this White House is unprecedented. It’s stunning. We don’t know if Trump will be impeached, but the allegations are as serious as it gets.”
Republicans who demanded vote now complain:
After weeks of demanding that the House formally vote on the impeachment inquiry announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Republicans continued to complain after the vote was held.
“To my colleagues on the other side, I say this: Give the people back their power,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “Let them choose the next leader of the free world. Follow the principles of our Constitution. And do not dilute our democracy by interfering in elections from Washington.”
“It is still not a fair process in my mind,” said Oregon Rep. Greg Walden. “It is still a process where the Democrats call all the shots and we were not consulted along the way.”
Vote comes as Trump official confirms quid pro quo:
The vote came on the same day that Tim Morrison, a top official on Trump’s National Security Council, testified that Trump withheld nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine to pressure the country into investigating the Bidens and the 2016 election.
Morrison is the third Trump administration official to confirm a quid pro quo between Trump and Ukraine, which was also confirmed publicly by Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, before the latter attempted to walk it back.