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House Approves Trump Impeachment Inquiry Rules

The House Trump impeachment inquiry took a step toward the kind of made-for-TV drama that captured the Watergate generation.

The House voted on a resolution that sets the ground rules for the ongoing impeachment investigation, including a series of public hearings. Republicans maintained a united front against the rules.

The vote was 232 to 196, with two Democrats voting against the resolution and no Republicans voting for it. One Democrat and three Republicans were recorded as not voting.

It essentially makes formal the impeachment inquiry that has been going on for weeks now and moves it to a public process.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said that this new, public, phase of the impeachment inquiry, will "allow the American people to hear from witnesses, see the evidence, and understand the troubling story of what the President and his allies did."

Among the things the resolution does is make the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the lead in impeachment proceedings and will allow for the release of transcripts from some of the closed-door depositions in the inquiry.

While the President has been challenging the House to hold the vote on the process, apparently this was not the process it was looking for.

"With today’s vote, [House] Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and the Democrats have done nothing more than enshrine unacceptable violations of due process into House rules. Speaker Pelosi, [House Intelligence Committee] chairman Adam Schiff and the Democrats conducted secret, behind-closed-door meetings, blocked the Administration from participating, and have now voted to authorize a second round of hearings that still fails to provide any due process whatsoever to the Administration," the White House said following the vote. "The Democrats want to render a verdict without giving the Administration a chance to mount a defense. That is unfair, unconstitutional, and fundamentally un-American."

The President's tweeted response was brief and familiar: