The House on Thursday approved a resolution that formalizes the next phase of the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump. The measure calls for public hearings and sharing evidence with the president’s counsel. Republicans continue to criticize the process as a “sham.”
A look at what’s in the resolution:
- It calls for open hearings and requires the House Intelligence Committee to submit a report outlining its findings and recommendations, with a final recommendation on impeachment left to the House Judiciary Committee.
- It authorizes House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff to release transcripts from the closed-door depositions now being conducted in the impeachment inquiry, with redactions for classified material and sensitive information.
- Republicans will be allowed to request subpoenas, but such requests would ultimately be subject to a vote by the full Intelligence and Judiciary committees, which Democrats control as the House majority.
- Trump and his lawyers will be allowed to attend all Judiciary Committee presentations and hearings and to question any witness. The president can call witnesses if the committee’s Democratic majority agrees the testimony is “necessary or desirable to a full and fair record in the inquiry.”
The White House calls the impeachment process an “illegitimate sham” and says it “does nothing to change the fundamental fact that House Democrats refuse to provide basic due process rights to the administration.”
The inquiry is looking into Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which Trump asked for a “favour” — to investigate former Vice-President Joe Biden and his family. Democrats say that request and other actions by the administration amounted to a quid pro quo that offered important military aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation of a Democratic rival.
If the House votes to impeach Trump, the Senate would conduct a trial that could result in his removal.