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Congress approves ‘impeachment’ resolution authorizing Schiff’s secret probe of Trump

Congress approves ‘impeachment’ resolution authorizing Schiff’s secret probe of Trump
The US House of Representatives has approved a resolution authorizing the impeachment probe of President Donald Trump, despite Republican opposition arguing that the “Soviet-style” bill lacks transparency and due process.

The 232-196 vote ended up being almost entirely along party lines, with only two Democrats voting against and no Republicans voting for the resolution.

The White House has reacted to the outcome with a statement saying that "with today’s vote, Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats have done nothing more than enshrine unacceptable violations of due process into House rules," adding that the "unhinged obsession with this illegitimate impeachment proceeding does not hurt President Trump; it hurts the American people."

Meanwhile, Trump branded the process "The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!" in a tweet.

The resolution puts House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-California) in charge of the impeachment proceedings, while limiting the access of Republican members of Congress and White House attorneys. 

It comes following criticism from the GOP that the inquiry launched by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) 37 days ago has not been properly authorized by a full House vote, breaking with precedent established by the previous impeachment campaigns in US history. 

Also on rt.com House Democrats release resolution to take Trump impeachment proceedings public – and legal

In speeches on the House floor on Thursday morning, Democrats and Republicans both invoked the Founding Fathers, the Constitution and the defense of duty and democracy. Democrats maintain that Trump abused his power, undermined US national security and the integrity of elections – citing a July phone call with the president of Ukraine.

Trump and the Republicans have pointed out that none of these things are true, and that there was nothing untoward about the call. The White House has released a transcript of the call, which Schiff famously mischaracterized in a “parody” during a committee hearing. The Democrat-led interrogations of the people involved in US-Ukraine relations have been kept secret, with bits and pieces being leaked to friendly media outlets.

Republicans have called the process an attempt to overturn the 2016 election and influence the 2020 presidential vote, citing a prominent Democrat who said Trump must be impeached or else he will win re-election.

An alliance of 40 conservative groups submitted an ethics complaint against Pelosi on Wednesday, accusing her of “misconduct” for using the inquiry as a “weapon of political battle” to usurp the authority of the president. The belated impeachment vote is too little, too late, the group alleges, claiming “all that 'evidence' that has been gathered before the casting of a single vote is tainted by the corrupt, secret process in which it was gathered.

It is poisoned, and must be discarded for the sake of fairness,” the group’s leader, Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots Action, told the Hill.

No US president has ever been successfully impeached. Richard Nixon resigned before an impeachment vote. Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached in the House but not in the Senate, remaining in office as the result.

Also on rt.com Better ISIS than Trump? WaPo, Hollywood, Nats fans show self-defeating toxicity of US politics

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