The U.S. House of Representatives approved impeachment inquiry rules against President Donald Trump this morning.

The resolution passed 232-196, mostly along party lines. Democratic Reps. Colin Peterson (MN) and Jeff Van Drew (NJ), who represent swing-districts, voted against the resolution. New Independent Rep. Justin Amash (MI) voted for it.

The resolution allows the House Intelligence, Ways and Means, Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, and Judiciary Committees to continue their investigations.

From The Wall Street Journal:

The resolution approved Thursday morning sets out a road map for the probe and will make the investigation more public, though there is no time frame given for when that will happen. The resolution authorizes the House Intelligence Committee to release transcripts from past interviews and gives more power to Republicans, including the right to call witnesses—though those requests are subject to approval by Democrats.

“The House is a separate and coequal branch of government,” said Democratic Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.). “We have a constitutional responsibility to serve as a check and balance on an out-of-control executive branch.”

Trump and his counsel may attend all the hearings. They will also have the ability to “cross-examine witnesses and make closing presentations,” but only when the House Judiciary Committee receives the inquiry.

Trump’s administration lashed out at the rules because he does not have “these rights while the investigation is run by the Intelligence Committee.”

Trump responded on Twitter:

Republicans also criticized the new rules despite Pelosi giving in to their demands. They claim the new “rules still limit their authority – including requiring the consent of Democratic chairs to subpoena witnesses.” From Fox News:

The Democrats’ resolution specifies that Republicans in the minority on the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees will have the authority, with the concurrence of committee chairs in the majority, to subpoena witnesses and compel their testimony.

If the chair does not consent, the minority can appeal to the full committee. It is common in other proceedings for committee chairs to essentially have veto authority over subpoenas sought by ranking minority members.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), who introduced the resolution, insisted the resolution rules “are the same as those under the impeachments of both Presidents of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.”

Despite McGovern’s assurance, “the Judiciary Committee handles impeachment proceedings, not the intelligence panel.” The Democrats also chose to launch their impeachment investigations before holding a House vote. That has never happened before.

Republicans repeatedly called it a sham:

“Trying to put a ribbon on a sham process doesn’t make it any less of a sham,” Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who is the top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said.

“The White House counsel would be shut out of this process,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, of Texas, the top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee.

“This impeachment process is a total sham and this resolution that seeks to legitimize it misleads the American public,” said Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., a member of the Rules Committee.


Everyone has thoughts on the resolution.


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