U.S. House formalizes rules for Trump impeachment proceedings

Friday, November 1, 2019

Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution to establish procedural rules for the next, public phase of the ongoing impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.

Pelosi in 2009
Image: Lauren Victoria Burke.
Trump in 2017
Image: Shealah Craighead.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House, announced the upcoming vote in a letter earlier this week to other Democratic members of the House. Pelosi herself presided over the vote, a move whose rarity, CBS noted, highlighted the significance of the resolution.

Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is to be in charge of presiding over public hearings.

The resolution passed primarily along party lines, with 231 Democrats supporting the resolution, and 194 Republicans opposing it; two Democrats opposed, and one independent supported. Republican Representatives attacked the impeachment inquiry, with Steve Scalise of Louisiana calling the investigation into Trump "Soviet-style" and Ross Spano of Florida calling the process "a blatant and obvious coup to unseat a sitting president of the United States". Trump repeatedly called the Democrats' investigation a "witch hunt", and on Twitter referred to the vote as "The Impeachment Hoax".

If the House of Representatives votes to impeach President Trump, he would then face trial in the Senate. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, previously committed to proceeding with such a trial. Republicans hold a majority in the Senate, and for a trial to result in removal from office a two-thirds majority is needed.

The House has only impeached two Presidents in the history of the United States, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson. Both were acquitted in the Senate.