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House To Hold First Impeachment Inquiry Vote Thursday; Army Officer Says Ukraine Call Improper

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House To Hold First Impeachment Inquiry Vote Thursday; Army Officer Says Ukraine Call Improper

The House of Representatives is set to hold its first vote Thursday in its ongoing impeachment inquiry into the conduct of President Donald Trump.

What Happened

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that the vote will allow the public to hear the evidence being gathered against the president, and give the Trump team due process, allowing it to understand the evidence so it can mount a defense.

What It Means

The move also will force members of Congress to take their first on-the-record vote of where they stand on the impeachment.

It also signals that Pelosi likely has the support of a majority of the members of the House, which Democrats control.

The impeachment investigation is in its sixth week and is examining reports from several top government officials that the president pressured Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, the former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate. 

Also at issue is whether the pressure included withholding aid to Ukraine, and whether Ukrainian officials understood a connection between the aid and a Biden probe.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-California) said the House resolution will also make clear that it will be the intelligence committee that conducts the hearings, which will be open. 

White House: Impeachment 'Unauthorized' 

Among those expected to testify are Ambassador William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, according to a report Tuesday in The Washington Post.

At least one White House official has agreed to testify. The lawyer for the administration's senior director for Europe and Russia, Tim Morrison, confirmed this week that he will testify in the inquiry if called. 

The White House said that opening the process now highlights that its work to this point has been unfair.

“Speaker Pelosi is finally admitting what the rest of America already knew — that Democrats were conducting an unauthorized impeachment proceeding, refusing to give the president due process, and their secret, shady, closed door depositions are completely and irreversibly illegitimate,” press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

Security Council Official Concerned

The number of top officials willing to say publicly that they were concerned about the president's conduct in regards to Ukraine — and a call he made to the country's president in the summer in which he brought up the Biden probe — continued to increase. 

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, plans to speak with congressional investigators Tuesday.

In prepared testimony obtained by the Times, Vindman said he was on the Trump call with the Ukrainian president and reported his concerns to a superior. He will be the first person on that July call to speak with Congress. 

“I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine,” Vindman said in the statement.

Related Links:

Impeachment Talk And The Stock Market: How Will It Impact You?

Trump Denies Wrongdoing In Call With Foreign Leader; Congress Seeks Whistleblower Complaint

President Donald Trump arrrives in Chicago Monday, where he spoke to a convention of police chiefs and appeared at a fundraiser at his hotel. White House photo by Shealah Craighead. 

 

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