Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi announced on Monday there would be a vote to formalize the impeachment inquiry that has already begun. The vote will take place on Thursday.
The vote “establishes the procedure for hearings that are open to the American people, authorizes the disclosure of deposition transcripts, outlines procedures to transfer evidence to the Judiciary Committee as it considers potential articles of impeachment, and sets forth due process rights for the President and his Counsel,” Pelosi said in a letter to her colleagues.
The need to vote on an impeachment inquiry was previously bucked by Pelosi and Democrats in the House, deemed as unnecessary, according to prior reporting from HillReporter.com.
President Donald Trump and his allies have criticized the impeachment process for not including a full vote within Congress. Pelosi recognized those complaints as justifying, in their minds, the administration’s attempts to thwart congressional requests for documents and witnesses.
“For weeks, the President, his Counsel in the White House, and his allies in Congress have made the baseless claim that the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry ‘lacks the necessary authorization for a valid impeachment proceeding.’ They argue that, because the House has not taken a vote, they may simply pretend the impeachment inquiry does not exist,” Pelosi said in her letter to Democrats.
Pelosi maintained that a formal vote still wasn’t needed.
“The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives ‘shall have the sole Power of Impeachment,'” the Speaker pointed out. “Multiple past impeachments have gone forward without any authorizing resolutions.”
Nevertheless, Pelosi will bring forward a resolution to the floor of the House, in part to keep the process moving forward.
Pelosi Just Announced a Full House Vote on Impeachment Proceedings https://t.co/N4kx7gXuyH
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) October 28, 2019
“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,” she wrote.
Pelosi originally announced the start of an impeachment inquiry at the end of September, after a whistleblower complaint described conversations that Trump had held with the president of Ukraine allegedly pressuring him to open investigations in that country that might benefit Trump’s politically. Some purport that the president made demands for investigations while holding back military funds that the United States had planned to give to Ukraine, alleging that a quid pro quo between the investigations and the aid existed.
“The actions of the Trump presidency revealed the dishonorable fact of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our elections,” Pelosi said in her announcement in September.