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Trump impeachment: House votes to formalise inquiry

Published: October 31, 2019 22:51:10 | Updated: November 04, 2019 10:24:20


The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution to formally proceed with the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

The measure detailed how the inquiry will move into a more public phase and was not a vote on whether to impeach the president, reports BBC.

The vote was the first formal test of support for impeachment in the Democratic-controlled house.

The White House condemned the vote, which passed along party lines.

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 favour and 196 against.

The resolution also sets out the rights Mr Trump's lawyers would have.

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 denies wrongdoing.

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 to the release of US military aid to Ukraine.

Republicans have criticised Democrats for the closed hearings - in which Republican lawmakers have also taken part. But Democrats insist they were needed to gather evidence ahead of the public stage of the investigation, and deny allegations they have been secretive.

The resolution 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.

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