By: Paige Riddell, Staff Writer
On October 31, 2019, the House of Representatives took a step moving forward with the impeachment process of President Trump. After many depositions taking place behind closed doors the House accepted H.Res.660, which consists of the rules of the impeachment inquiry. The vote passed at 232 to 196, according to the congress.gov. Accepting H.Res.660 means that the House has agreed on how the impeachment process will look like moving forward into the public phase. After the resolution had been accepted, Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House, addressed the members of congress and media,
“No one, I doubt anybody in this place or anyone you know, takes the oath of office, comes to Congress to impeach the President of the United States. Unless his actions are jeopardizing, are honoring our oath of office,” said Pelosi.
According to CBS News, the members of the House were at an extreme split on this vote. Members of the House voted along party lines, every single member Republican Party along with two Democrat members voting against H.Res.660. Republican Representative Devin Nunes of California spoke out after the vote saying impeachment has been the Democrats’ goal since gaining control of the House.
“It’s clear since the democrats took control of the House of Representatives, they have always intended to transform the intelligence committee into the impeachment committee. Every one of their actions from the staff they hire to the Trump conspiracy theories they investigate,” said Nones. “Their willful neglect of our basic oversight duties demonstrate that this has been their plan since day one.”
In the coming months, all transcripts of the public depositions will be available to the American people, in accordance to H.Res.660. This means everyone will be able to see all of the evidence against President Trump. Hearings thus far have all been behind closed doors, there hasn’t been a definitive answer to the evidence they have against the President.
This vote also determines the impeachment inquiry procedures for the Committee on the Judiciary. According to senate.gov The Committee of the Judiciary consists of 22 members, which create subdivisions and committees for specific issues. As said on history.house.gov the Committee on the Judiciary historically have had jurisdiction over impeachments. H.Res.660 authorizes the Committee on the Judiciary to start conducting proceedings related to the impeachment inquiry. It also gives the committee authorization to add additional procedures in regards to the impeachment process if they are deemed necessary.
The only comments from the President thus far are a tweet where he said, “The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!” Although the White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a Statement from the Press Secretary saying,
“The President has done nothing wrong, and the Democrats know it. Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats’ unhinged obsession with this illegitimate impeachment proceeding does not hurt President Trump; it hurts the American people,” said Grisham.
The United States Constitution grants the House of Representatives, “the sole Power of Impeachment” (Article I Section 2). The Constitution gives the Senate “the sole Power to try all Impeachments” ( Article I Section 3). This means the House of Representatives has the power to determine impeachments, but the Senate has the capability of removal. If the House does move to impeach in the future, the decision goes to the Senate for a trial to determine if removing President Trump from office is necessary. The Senate needs a 3/4 majority vote to attain a conviction and removal successfully. Currently, the Republican Party has control over the Senate, according to senate.gov, holding 53 of the 100 seats.
As of right now, the House hasn’t released any dates of when the public hearings will begin or who they will be calling upon. Time is of the essence; in November 2020 many seats are coming up for a vote. This includes 34 seats in Senate, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, and the Presidency.