House to Take First Vote in Impeachment Inquiry

October 31, 2019 Updated: October 31, 2019

The Democrat-controlled House will hold its first vote related to the push for the impeachment of President Donald Trump on Oct. 31.

The hearing is scheduled to start around 10:30 a.m., with the vote coming after debate and procedural motions.

The House will be voting on a resolution released on Tuesday. It doesn’t explicitly authorize the inquiry but lays out the next phase of the probe, including giving powers to House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).

Republicans have accused Democrats of trying to grant the chairs extraordinary powers, targeting Schiff for major blunders like fabricating a portion of the Trump phone call transcript at the center of Democrats’ efforts to impeach, and misleading the public about his staff’s contact with the anonymous whistleblower that triggered the effort.

During the markup of the resolution on Wednesday, Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) responded to Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who said that without “a Ken Starr”—referring to the investigator who built the impeachment case against President Bill Clinton—”these committees are building the case.”

The House Rules Committee holds a full committee markup of House Resolution 660 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 30, 2019. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

“You said Ken Starr—he’s an independent counsel,” Lesko said. “I’m sorry, Adam Schiff is NOT an independent counsel. In fact, he has made repeated statements over and over and over again that he wants to impeach the president. He’s very biased.”

McGovern’s committee agreed to none of the 17 amendments Republicans proposed to the resolution.

The resolution is expected to pass. Few, if any, GOP members will vote for it and at least one Democrat is expected to vote against it.

“I would imagine that I’m not voting for it,” Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) said on Tuesday.

Other Democrats on the fence announced on Thursday they’d be voting for the resolution.

“I think the vote will allow a fair and open process and will finally let Americans judge for themselves,” Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.) told Syracuse.com.

“This is not a decision I made lightly, and this is not a vote for impeachment,” Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Okla.) added in a statement.

Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) said in a statement late Wednesday, “While I disagreed with the initial decision to open the impeachment inquiry, it is clear that the investigation has confirmed information contained in the whistleblower complaint. For the good of our country and the public’s understanding of the process, this investigation should no longer continue solely in a closed setting.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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