House Democrats on Thursday took a major step toward impeaching Donald Trump by voting to formalize the inquiry that could eventually lead to Trump's removal from office.
The House Judiciary Committee voted for a resolution that allowed it to create the formal structure for impeachment hearings, CBS News reported. The resolution will give chairman Jerry Nadler power to designate committee and subcommittee hearings that will be related to the impeachment and give greater powers to question witnesses in closed sessions.
In a statement delivered before the vote on Thursday, Nadler called it a necessary step as the panel continues to investigate Donald Trump.
"The resolution before us represents the necessary next step in our investigation of corruption, obstruction, and abuse of power," Nadler said.
Nadler's committee has been investigating Trump on a number of fronts, including his presidential campaign, transition to the White House, the actions of his administration, and his ongoing connections to his businesses.
Thursday's move represents another slow step toward a potential impeachment, a deliberate path advocated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi despite a growing number of members of the Democratic caucus calling for a more aggressive approach. Nadler, like Pelosi, has been very careful in how he refers to the proceedings and has made it a point not to call it a formal impeachment hearing.
Other members have called for immediate impeachment proceedings. As The Inquisitr reported, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez this week called for Trump's impeachment after a report of an unusual uptick on military spending in and around his golf resort in Scotland.
As Politico reported, the disconnect has caused some tensions within the Democratic Party, with no clear message on whether they are seeking impeachment of Donald Trump or not.
"Some see the muddled messaging as a strategic boon — it allows moderate Democrats to sidestep politically explosive questions about impeachment while permitting progressives to insist they're aggressively hammering President Donald Trump," the report noted. "But others doubt the tactics are intentional and note that it has strained the Democratic Caucus, that it has aroused suspicion among the party's base and that it could weaken the House's hand in court."Donald Trump has continually pushed back against the hearings and talk of his potential impeachment, saying he has done no wrong in regard to the Russia investigation and characterizing the investigations as a "witch hunt." He has also warned Democrats that they would face political consequences if they push for his impeachment and issued dire warnings that the economy would sink if he were to be impeached.