Nancy Pelosi's vote to set the ground rules for impeachment hearings passed easily this morning but along party lines, with two Democrats voting no and independent Justin Amash, run out of the GOP, voting yes in the 232-196 final tally.
At issue is whether Trump abused the power of his office to pressure a foreign leader to investigate his domestic political rivals.
In remarks before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) described the impeachment inquiry as a “solemn” and “prayerful” process — “not cause for any glee or comfort.”
At the same time, Pelosi said, “I don’t know why Republicans are afraid of the truth.”
“Every member should support the American people hearing the facts for themselves,” she said in a floor speech. “That is what this vote is about. It’s about the truth. And what is at stake in all of this is nothing less than our democracy.”
Republicans immediately moved the goalposts of "why won't you formalize the impeachment process?!?" to the vicinity of Saturn.
The White House blasted Democrats’ “unhinged obsession with this illegitimate impeachment proceeding” in a statement following the vote.
“The Democrats are choosing every day to waste time on a sham impeachment — a blatantly partisan attempt to destroy the President,” press secretary Stephanie Grisham stated.
Trump, who had no public events on his daily schedule, tweeted: “The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!”
House Republicans echoed the White House in their criticism, describing the inquiry as an effort aimed at removing Trump from office.
“Democrats are trying to impeach the president because they are scared they can’t defeat him at the ballot box,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on the floor before the vote, calling the opposing party’s approach a “disaster for democracy.”
“To my colleagues on the other side, I say this: Give the people back their power. Let them choose the next leader of the free world. Follow the principles of our Constitution. And do not dilute our democracy by interfering in elections from Washington,” McCarthy said.
The House’s resolution clears the way for nationally televised hearings as Democrats look to make their case to the American people that Trump should be impeached.
Still "illegitimate, illegal, unconstitutional and un-American" even with the formal vote, according to the GOP. Surprise! Still, we all know this is going to a Senate trial, and Trump is already setting the stage for jury tampering.
President Donald Trump is rewarding senators who have his back on impeachment — and sending a message to those who don't to get on board.
Trump is tapping his vast fundraising network for a handful of loyal senators facing tough reelection bids in 2020. Each of them has signed onto a Republican-backed resolution condemning the inquiry as “unprecedented and undemocratic.”
Conspicuously absent from the group is Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a politically vulnerable Republican who’s refused to support the resolution and avoided taking a stance on impeachment. With his new push, Trump is exerting leverage over a group he badly needs in his corner with an impeachment trial likely coming soon to the Senate — but that also needs him.
Republican senators on the ballot next year are lagging in fundraising, stoking uncertainty about the GOP’s hold on the chamber, and could use the fundraising might of the president. Trump’s political operation has raked in over $300 million this year.
On Wednesday, the Trump reelection campaign sent a fundraising appeal to its massive email list urging donors to provide a contribution that would be divided between the president and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis. Each of the senators are supporting the anti-impeachment resolution despite being endangered in 2020.
“If we don’t post strong fundraising numbers,” the message warned, “we won't be able to defend the President from this baseless Impeachment WITCH HUNT.”
Next week, Trump will lend a hand to Georgia Sen. David Perdue, a staunch ally who has also spoken out against impeachment. On Nov. 8, the president will host an Atlanta fundraising lunch that will jointly benefit his campaign, the Republican National Committee, and Perdue’s reelection effort. Attendees are being asked to give up to $100,000, according to an invitation obtained by POLITICO.
Trump is also set to appear next week at a reception for Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC closely aligned with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and party leadership.
The offensive comes as Trump presses Republicans to remain united behind him. During a cabinet meeting last week, the president implored Republicans to “get tougher and fight” while lamenting that Democrats “stick together. You never see them break off.”
So the President is fundraising to buy off Republican senators with millions in fundraising cash as long as they support his acquittal before the Senate trial even begins.
Seems about right.