US lawmakers approve rules for Trump’s impeachment
A deeply divided US House of Representatives took a major step on Thursday in the effort to impeach President Donald Trump when lawmakers approved rules for the next, more public, stage in the Democratic-led inquiry into Trump’s attempt to have Ukraine investigate a domestic political rival.
"DEMOCRATS ARE DESPERATE"
In the first formal test of support for the impeachment investigation, the Democratic-controlled House voted almost entirely along party lines - 232 to 196 - to move the probe forward in Congress.
The vote allows for public impeachment hearings in Congress, which are expected in the coming weeks, portending a bitter battle ahead as the United States heads into a presidential election year.
Democrats who accuse Trump of abusing his office and jeopardizing national security for personal political gain were almost unanimous in approving Thursday’s measure, but they did not pick up a single Republican vote. “It’s a sad day. No one comes to Congress to impeach a president,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said before the vote.
Republicans accused Democrats of using impeachment to overturn the results of his 2016 election victory.
Trump told a UK radio station the Democrats knew they were losing next year’s vote and so were trying to take him down. “The Democrats are desperate, they’re desperate. They have nothing,” Trump told LBC Radio in an interview. White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham denounced the process as “unfair, unconstitutional and fundamentally un-American.”