The United States (US) House of Representatives, largely controlled by Democrats has voted to formalize the inquiry process into the impeachment of American President, Donald Trump, ABC News can report.
The vote which serves as the first formal test of support for impeachment detailed how the inquiry will move into a more public phase and not a vote on whether to impeach the President.
Speaking in the House, Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated that the process is to seek the truth and “make it available to the American population.”
“This process is open herein seeking the truth and making it available to the American people. We’ll inform congress the very difficult decisions we will have to make in the future as to whether to impeach the President. That decision has not been made. That’s what the inquiry will investigate and then we can make the decision based on the truth,” she said.
According to her, the democracy of America is at stake and therefore urged every member of the House to support the inquiry.
“Every member should support allowing the people to hear the facts for themselves. That is really what this vote is about, it’s about the truth. And what is the stake in all of this, is nothing less than our democracy.
“I don’t know why the Republicans are afraid of the Truth,” she added.
Only two Democrats – representing districts that Mr. Trump won handily in 2016 – voted against the resolution, along with all Republicans, for a total count of 232 in favor and 196 against.
President Trump is accused of trying to pressure Ukraine into investigating unsubstantiated corruption claims against his political rival, Joe Biden, and his son who worked with Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
Mr. Trump has subsequently denied any wrongdoing in the allegation.
According to Speaker Pelosi, “When we have a President who says article 2 says I can do whatever I want that is in defiance of the separation of powers, that’s not what our constitution says. So what is at stake? Our democracy. What are we fighting for? Defending our democracy for the people.”
The American President, reacting to the vote by the Democrats wrote on his Twitter handle, “The Greatest Witch Hunt in American History!
The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2019
After the vote, the White House Press Secretary said in a statement: “Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats have done nothing more than enshrine unacceptable violations of due process into House rules.”
Also on Thursday, another White House official began testifying in the impeachment inquiry. He was expected to corroborate earlier statements about conditions placed on the release of US military aid to Ukraine.
The vote moves the inquiry into a new phase, which could eventually see articles of impeachment recommended against Mr. Trump. If that happened, and the House voted to pass the articles, a trial would be held in the Senate.