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House Approves Resolution Formalizing Impeachment Inquiry In Party-Line Vote

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House Democrats voted Thursday to approve a resolution that establishes the procedure for the next phase of an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

The Democratic-controlled House voted 232 to 196 in favor of the resolution, with the vote coming down largely along party lines.

Two Democrats, Congressmen Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Jeff Van Drew, D-N.J., joined with all Republicans in voting against the resolution. Former GOP Congressman Justin Amash, I-Mich., voted in favor.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the vote a "solemn occasion," claiming nobody "comes to Congress to impeach the President of the United States."

Pelosi noted the resolution establish the procedures for the House Intelligence Committee to conduct open hearings so that the public can see the facts for themselves.

"This resolution ensures transparency, advancing public disclosure of depositions transcripts and outlining the procedures for the transfer of evidence to the Judiciary Committee to use in its proceedings," Pelosi said.

The Speaker said the resolution gives Republicans the same rights in questioning witnesses as Democrats and provides Trump and his counsel opportunities to participate.

The impeachment inquiry stems from allegations Trump abused the power of his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his potential rival in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump and his Republican allies have repeatedly denied there was any "quid pro quo" with Ukraine, claiming the president was only interested in rooting out corruption.

"The President has done nothing wrong, and the Democrats know it," White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

"Instead of focusing on pressing issues that impact real families," Grisham added, "the Democrats are choosing every day to waste time on a sham impeachment—a blatantly partisan attempt to destroy the President."

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., accused Democrats of trying to "not only change the results of the LAST election, but also influence the NEXT one."

The resolution does not amount to an impeachment of Trump but directs House committees to report their findings to the House Judiciary Committee, which will decide whether to move forward with articles of impeachment.

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