The Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee approved parameters Thursday for a possible impeachment investigation into President Trump, although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly distanced herself from the vote.
It was the first time the committee had voted on the issue. The resolution passed along a party-line vote.
Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) said the vote represented “the necessary next step in our investigation of corruption, obstruction and abuse of power.”
“The president’s 2016 campaign asked for and received the assistance of the Russian government,” Nadler said. “Key figures from the campaign then lied to federal investigators about it. The special counsel found that, at least ten times, the president took steps to interfere with the investigation. In at least five of those incidents, the special counsel concluded that all of the elements necessary to charge obstruction of justice had been met.”
The resolution lists rules that would be used during an investigation into Trump to determine whether impeachment articles should be brought. For example, Trump’s counsel “may respond in writing” to testimony presented to the committee.
“Under these procedures, when we have finished these hearings and considered as much evidence [as] we are able to gather, we will decide whether to refer articles of impeachment to the House floor,” Nadler said. “We have a constitutional, historical, and moral obligation to fully investigate these matters. Let us take the next step in that work without delay.”
Pelosi, though, did not want to discuss the vote, although she said she supported “what is happening in the Judiciary Committee because that enables them to do their process of interrogation and investigation,” Politico reported.
She never used the word “impeachment” and eventually said, “I’m not answering any more questions on this subject.”
Republican Rep. Tom McClintock (Calif.) criticized Democrats for trying to “have your impeachment and deny it too.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Win McNamee/Staff