Pelosi Announces House Impeachment Vote
President Trump will get his wish when Democrats hold a House impeachment vote this Thursday.
In a move made to counter President Trump’s arguments that the House of Representatives’ impeachment investigation is illegitimate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Monday that a House impeachment vote would be held on Thursday.
“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. “Nobody is above the law.”
President Trump has repeatedly sought to discredit the Democrat-led impeachment investigation as “illegitimate” and “unconstitutional” pointing to the lack of a House impeachment vote as sign of a lack of “due process.”
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.”
“All of this violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent. Never before in our history has the House of Representatives — under the control of either political party — taken the American people down the dangerous path you seem determined to pursue.
“In the history of our nation, the House of Representatives has never attempted to launch an impeachment inquiry against the president without a majority of the House taking political accountability for that decision by voting to authorize such a dramatic constitutional step,” Cipollone wrote.
In Pelosi’s statement Monday addressed to Democrat colleagues and announcing the House impeachment vote, Pelosi countered Trump’s claims that the House was required to hold a vote, stating, “Multiple past impeachments have gone forward without any authorizing resolutions. Just last week, a federal court confirmed that the House is not required to hold a vote… More than 300 legal scholars have also refuted this argument, concluding that ‘the Constitution does not mandate the process for impeachment and there is no constitutional requirement that the House of Representatives authorize an impeachment inquiry before one begins.”
Is There Support for Trump’s Impeachment?
However, an impeachment inquiry is won in the court of public opinion as much as it is during the official investigation and witness interviews. Knowing this, holding and passing a House impeachment vote will boost the legitimacy of the Democrats’ inquiry in the public eye and make it exceedingly difficult for Trump to justify his refusal to cooperate with the investigation.
In recent weeks, public opinion for the impeachment inquiry has steadily climbed as more independents have supported the investigation. 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.
The odds of the vote House impeachment vote passing are high as it’s almost guaranteed House Speaker Pelosi would not have called the vote if, after surveying the 235 Democrats in the House, she was unsure of the potential result. Democrats only need 217 votes to pass the impeachment resolution. After the vote passes it would move on to the Senate where it will have a more difficult time passing in the Republican-controlled Senate.