House Passes Resolution Formalizing the Impeachment Probe

After more than two hours of impassioned debate on both sides of the aisle, the lawmakers — largely along party lines — elected to move forward on a process against Trump

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Screenshot CNBC video

The House of Representatives on Thursday morning passed the impeachment process resolution against President Donald Trump, 232-196.

It’s a procedural vote on process.

The resolution will spell out the format for what occurs up ahead. And it will set rules for public hearings to be held in the weeks to come.

“It’s very dramatic,” declared Chris Wallace on the Fox News Channel on Thursday morning.

“It’s a moment in history,” he declared — and rather melodramatically at that.

Tempers had flared all morning on the House floor as lawmakers prepared to cast their votes to formalize the impeachment inquiry.

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While not a vote on impeachment itself, this vote makes an eventual House vote on the impeachment issue itself all but certain.

“The president has done nothing wrong and the Democrats know it,” said Stephanie Grisham, White House press secretary, in a statement right after the vote passage was announced.

She had shared a statement yesterday on the impeachment push as well:

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), in a statement on Thursday morning after the vote, said that the actions in the House are “nothing more than a charade … a stunt.”

Trump, by the way, is holding a 2020 campaign rally on Friday night of this week — and he undoubtedly will address the House’s actions against him.

Republicans are holding fast to the notion that the whole process is a kangaroo court.

Rep. Ross Spano (R-Fla.) told the assembled House, “A yes vote on this resolution today gives a stamp of approval to a process that has been damaged beyond all repair and a blatant and obvious coup to unseat a sitting president of the United States.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said it was fitting the vote was happening on Halloween — and urged his colleagues to rise above the partisan divide and reject the measure.

Related: On ‘Sham Impeachment,’ ‘Why Do You Not Trust the People?’ Said Kevin McCarthy to Dems

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) even called supporters of impeachment part of a “cult.”

Democrats countered that they were holding the president accountable to the law.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), the sponsor of the resolution, said, “I do not take any pleasure in the need for this resolution. We are here because the facts compel us to be here…It’s about transparency and it’s about due process for the president. Some on the other side will never be satisfied with any process.”

The vote had been expected to go generally along party lines — with Justin Amash (I-Mich.) voting with the Democrats and Rep. Van Drew (D-N.J.) with the GOP.

All Republicans voted against the impeachment probe’s process.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), ahead of time, said she would vote “if the spirit moves me.”

Ultimately, she did cast a vote for moving forward.

House Resolution 660 is about bringing the question itself to a vote in front of the full House — and it should be a reliable indicator on the eventual vote totals.

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David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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