Tuesday, October 29, 2019

House to Vote on a Road Map for Its Impeachment Inquiry

Photo: Patrick Semansky/Associated Press
The House plans to vote on a resolution laying out Democrats’ next steps in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump and move to a public phase of the investigation, the first significant vote since the probe began.
This isn’t a vote to authorize starting an impeachment inquiry, but it would affirm the one started last month into whether Mr. Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate a political rival.
Democrats maintain that they aren’t under any obligation to hold a vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry—a position affirmed by a U.S. district court judge last week. But they said they plan to vote on a resolution to set up the next part of the probe that will be public and give Mr. Trump and his attorneys a chance to participate in the process.
House Republicans have demanded a more public process since the inquiry began. Mr. Trump, a Republican, has called the investigation a “kangaroo court,” and the White House has said it doesn’t need to cooperate with what it views as an illegitimate inquiry.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Monday the House would vote to affirm the continuing investigation and establish the procedure for open hearings.
The resolution, which hasn’t yet been released, will also authorize the disclosure of transcripts of the depositions, which have occurred behind closed doors, and will set forth due-process rights for Mr. Trump and his attorneys.
“We are taking this step to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump Administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives,” Mrs. Pelosi wrote to colleagues.
Two Democratic aides said they expected the vote to be Thursday.
The White House “won’t be able to comment fully until we see the actual text, but Speaker Pelosi is finally admitting what the rest of America already knew—that Democrats were conducting an unauthorized impeachment proceeding, refusing to give the President due process, and their secret, shady, closed door depositions are completely and irreversibly illegitimate,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said.
House Republicans denounced the resolution as legitimizing an impeachment investigation that they refer to as a sham.
“Today’s backtracking is an admission that this process has been botched from the start,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the chamber’s GOP leader.
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE.

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