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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

Democrats vote on impeachment probe against Donald Trump

The approved measure laid down the rules of investigation granting lawyers for Democrats and Republicans to directly question witnesses after the lawmakers were done, and allow White House counsel to file written response in realtime, granting the president due process.

world Updated: Sep 12, 2019 22:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Washington
Democrats, on their part, are split on whether or not to launch impeachment proceedings against the president.
Democrats, on their part, are split on whether or not to launch impeachment proceedings against the president. (REUTERS)
         

The judiciary committee of the Democrat-led US House of Representatives voted along party lines Thursday to move towards an impeachment investigation against President Donald Trump on charges of obstruction of justice, abuse of power and corruption amid confusion about what to call it.

The approved measure laid, which passed 24-17, down the rules of investigation granting lawyers for Democrats and Republicans to directly question witnesses after the lawmakers were done, and allow White House counsel to file written response in realtime, granting the president due process.

But confusion reigned if this was the start of an impeachment inquiry. Republicans argued it wasn’t.

Committee chair Gerold Nadler, a Democrat, sought to get past that debate, when he said with a touch of exasperation: “This committee is engaged in an investigation that will allow us to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with respect to President Trump.”

He added: “Some call this process an impeachment inquiry. Some call it an impeachment investigation. There is no legal difference between these terms, and I no longer care to argue about the nomenclature.”

Republicans contend that Democrats are using the new process to breath life into their ongoing investigation of the president after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into the Russian interference failed to find any evidence to establish Trump or anyone in his orbit conspired with the meddling, and not enough evidence of obstruction of justice.

Democrats, on their part, are split on whether or not to launch impeachment proceedings against the president. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has opposed it fearing the proceeding will be divisive, may not result in impeachment and may cost the party seats in conservative-leaning seats. But a growing number of her party colleagues, specially the progressives, are pressing for it fear they may be running out of time.

Trump was following the vote closely, of course, and let retweeted some remarks slamming Democrats. “Dems have never gotten over the fact that President Trump won the Election!” read one posted by Kevin McCarthy, leader of the House Republicans.

First Published: Sep 12, 2019 22:02 IST