The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives took the historic step Thursday of passing a resolution that formalized the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
The resolution, which passed 232-196, affirms the Democrats’ investigation into the president and sets rules for transparency, said Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass.
Immediately following the passage of the resolution, Bass, a California Democrat, held an exclusive conference call with publishers from the Black Press of America, which includes The Washington Informer.
“I wanted you to know, first and foremost, that we did not vote to impeach the president,” Bass said. “We passed a resolution that had five major points. Over the last few months, we have been involved in an impeachment inquiry, and our Republican colleagues had wanted us to vote on an inquiry.
“What we did today was a vote on an impeachment inquiry, and we voted to continue the depositions and hearings and investigations that have been ongoing,” she said.
The action by the House was the first vote in the impeachment process.
It opens the door for Americans to hear all of the evidence presented against the president, and it allows testimony to be presented publicly.
The vote also provides the president and his legal team an opportunity to present evidence and witnesses, give testimony and cross-examine anyone who testifies against Trump.
The House Intelligence Committee will continue to hold private meetings on impeachment, but will soon hold public hearings, Bass said.
The congresswoman explained what has transpired, and what to expect going forward.
“The legislation directs the Judiciary Committee to review the evidence, and, if necessary, to report Articles of Impeachment to the House,” she said. “If and when we get to that point where Articles of Impeachment are introduced in the Judiciary Committee and voted out of the committee. If we take Articles of Impeachment on the floor and vote them off the floor, that will be the beginning of the impeachment process.”