The House of Representatives voted for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s conduct in relation to Ukraine. Democrats in Congress were already investigating him, but this vote makes it official and lays out the boundaries of the probe.
House Votes for Impeachment Inquiry
The vote for the impeachment inquiry fell mostly along party lines, with no Republicans supporting the measure and only two Democrats voting against. After House Democrats finish their investigation — which could happen soon — they will have public hearings about the president’s conduct. They will then decide whether they should try to remove him from office. Over the past couple weeks, the House spoke with two witnesses about a phone call with the Ukrainian president. Those witness were Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman and Timothy Morrison.
Vindman believed that there were issues with the call. He wanted the president to restore military aid to Ukraine. Morrison had a different perspective. He told investigators he didn’t think the president broke any laws. But he did oppose the strategy of pressuring Ukraine’s government because it could benefit Russia. He also said he worried that the call could damage the president politically. Now that the inquiry has begun, many are wondering where it will lead.
Public hearings will likely begin after the investigation is concluded. Depending on how the hearings go, the House of representatives will decide whether to impeach the president. During these hearings, members of the House will question witnesses in a public setting.
Democratic Party leadership has not said for sure whether they will impeach the president and attempt to remove him from office. But the reality is that many in the party have been working to impeach Trump since he took office, so it seems unlikely they will abandon their quest now. Even so, if they go forward with impeachment proceedings, the process will go to the Senate, which is still controlled by Republicans.
The senate is where the impeachment effort will likely end, as the Republicans will not vote to remove President Trump from office unless the investigation turns up evidence of wrongdoing that justifies removal. So far, it does not seem that the Democrats have managed to find any indication that Trump committed a crime or engaged in behavior unethical enough to remove him from office. Even if impeachment does not succeed, they might find some information that will damage the president in the next election.