Nancy Pelosi penned a letter to Democrats on Monday announcing that the House will take a formal vote to open the impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump, responding to criticism from Republicans and lobbing a final warning to the president — “No one is above the law.”
Pelosi closed the letter with those words, signaling that Democrats are moving closer to the conclusion of the inquiry into whether Trump abused his office by pushing Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political rival, Joe Biden. As NPR News reported, Democrats are now prepared to make the inquiry official with a resolution that will outline the procedure for public impeachment hearings and release of transcripts from the depositions taken to date. It will also outline the rights of due process afforded to Donald Trump in the process.
“We are taking this step to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump Administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives,” Pelosi wrote.
Trump is accused of pressuring Ukraine to launch an investigation of Biden and his son by withholding military aid.
The vote would address one of the major criticisms from Republicans, who have called the impeachment process unfair and claimed that Republicans have been shut out of the process. Last week, a group of House Republicans stormed a secure room where an impeachment deposition was taking place, demanding to take part. Trump has also blasted the impeachment process as a witch hunt, saying that he has not been afforded the right to defend himself.
If the House votes to impeach Donald Trump, it would then move to the U.S. Senate for a trial in which Trump could publicly defend himself against the charges.
As Business Insider noted, there are signs that Democrats are close to wrapping up the impeachment inquiry. The report noted that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on Monday that Democrats do not plan to ask a judge to compel witnesses to testify, but instead they will use the White House’s refusal to cooperate in the process as a potential article of impeachment against Trump.
“Schiff’s statement is a big sign that House Democrats likely have all the information they need to move forward on impeachment, and any additional testimony is icing on top,” the report noted.
The vote to formalize the impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump is set to take place on Thursday.