Late Thursday morning, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the rules of impeachment initiating the formalized impeachment process against President Trump.
According to the Associated Press, the package of rules was passed 232 to 196 with all but two Democrats voting to approve the rules and all Republicans voting against them.
While offering their opinions on the resolution, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stood before an American flag arguing that the impeachment inquiry is necessary in order to preserve America’s Democracy. She said, “The genius of the constitution: a separation of powers, three co-equal branches of the government to be a check and balance on each other. And it is to that that we take the oath of office. We gathered here on that opening day, with our families gathered round, to proudly raise our hand to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and that is exactly what we are doing today.”
Pelosi went on to note that the impeachment of a sitting president is not a joyous occasion, saying “this is not any cause for any glee or comfort. This is something that is very solemn. That is something prayerful.”
Ranking Republican member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul (R-TX) followed Pelosi stating at the start of his time speaking, “I’d also argue that article one does not say you can do whatever you want to do – and the constitution says that, and our founding fathers said that as well. For 38 days I have objected to this impeachment probe because it denies due process, fundamental transparency and basic fairness to Republicans, the White House and the American People. From day one, Democrats have ignored the rules and 45 years of historic impeachment precedent.”
He continued, “Without any authorization, Adam Schiff has conducted a secret probe outside of his committee’s jurisdiction, he’s blocked us from calling our own witnesses, his witnesses are being interviewed behind closed doors in the most secretive room in the United States capital. That is not democracy.”
McCaul went on to note that Schiff has “muzzled” Republicans, leaked “cherry-picked facts to the press.” refused to allow Republicans to hear directly from the whistleblower and has barred White House council from participation.
“You cannot make your game fair by allowing the opposing team on to the field at the two-minute warning,” McCaul argued.
According to the AP, the vote was a massive win for the Democratic party as the formalized impeachment process will now be set in motion. Democrats will control the House investigation into the president. Under the resolution’s rules, they will have the ability to deny Republicans the ability to subpoena witnesses and White House lawyers the ability to present witnesses.
The impeachment investigation is expected to run into 2020 and to be a major talking point for candidates seeking the seat of the presidency in the upcoming 2020 election cycle.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Win McNamee/Staff
Video courtesy: CBSN