House Passes Impeachment Vote: How the Votes Came In
The Democrat-led impeachment inquiry into President Trump will continue after a House vote on Thursday formalized the steps ahead.
Just over a month since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump, members of the U.S. House of Representatives sat on Thursday to vote on the rules and continuation of the impeachment inquiry in the President.
What was expected to be a highly partisan vote, proved to be just that. H.R. 660 passed by a vote of 232-196, only needing 217 votes to pass. The votes came in along party lines with 231 Democrats voting yes, 2 no and 1 abstaining, and 194 Republicans voting no and 3 not voting. One independent, Justin Amash, voted yes. Amash was a member of the Republican party until he made national headlines in July of 2019 when he chose to leave the party and called for the impeachment of President Trump.
While the vote’s result is largely unsurprising, it marks a new more public phase in the impeachment process and more formally establishes the impeachment inquiry. President Trump and the White House frequently pointed to a lack of a vote on the impeachment inquiry in the House as evidence of its illegitimacy. In a somewhat surprising move, on Monday, House Speaker Pelosi announced the Thursday impeachment vote.
“We are taking this step to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump Administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives,” Pelosi said in a written statement on Monday. “Nobody is above the law.”
In an eight-page letter addressed to Pelosi sent in early October, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone vowed the Executive Branch would refuse to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry citing its lack of “any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections.”
The passing of the House vote will make it exceedingly difficult for Trump to justify his refusal to cooperate with the investigation and any cries of illegitimacy will sound increasingly hollow.
An impeachment inquiry is won in the court of public opinion as much as it is during the official investigation and witness interviews. In bad news for President Trump, as each phase of the impeachment inquiry has progressed public opinion polls have also continuously shifted in favor of the impeachment proceedings, though they are still divided on highly partisan lines.
A Quinnipiac University poll released October 23 showed 55% of Americans approved of the impeachment inquiry while 43% disapproved, an increase from 51% supporting the inquiry a week earlier.
According to the poll, Democrats approve of the inquiry 93 – 7 percent and independent voters approve 58 – 37 percent, while Republicans disapprove of the inquiry 88 – 10 percent. In the poll a week prior, Democrats approved of the inquiry 90 – 8 percent, and independents were divided with a 50 – 45 percent approval, and Republicans disapproved 90 – 9 percent.