TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS. – The House of Representatives of the United States approved on Thursday the rules of the political trial process against President Donald Trump. The crucial vote will allow legislators to publicly question witnesses.
The House of Representatives – where Democrats have 224 of the 435 seats – voted in favor of a resolution that gives a formal framework to the investigations and authorizes the organization of public hearings, after five weeks of closed-door interrogations.
The vote largely followed the party lines, with 232 votes in favor against 196 against, to formalize the process of political trial, which also provides opportunities for Trump's defense to interrogate witnesses.RELATED
After the approval of the rules of the process, Trump could become the third president of the United States to be subjected to a political trial.
After knowing the vote, Donald Trump He reacted and wrote on Twitter: "The biggest witch hunt in the history of the United States!"
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For its part, the White House said "This is unfair, unconstitutional and fundamentally anti-American" and also accused the opposition Democrats of having an "obsessed obsession with this illegitimate dismissal."
"Today the Chamber took the next step by establishing the processes for open hearings conducted by the House Intelligence Commission so that the public can see the data for itself," the House of Representatives leader said before the vote, Nancy Pelosi
On September 24, Pelosi announced his party's decision to take the dangerous path of political trial, after learning about a controversial phone call between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelenski, in which the US president asked his interlocutor to investigate to his Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter, for his business in Ukraine.
By this conversation, made public after the appearance of a whistleblower, the Democrats accuse Trump of abusing his power for personal purposes, as Biden is well positioned to eventually become his rival in the 2020 presidential elections.
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Behind closed doors
To determine whether Trump used state resources to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Biden, Democrats have already interviewed a dozen White House diplomats and advisers behind closed doors in the lower house.
According to what has transpired, ambassadors and senior officials have offered potentially overwhelming testimonies to the White House at those hearings.
Especially they have revealed the efforts made for months by the closest circle of the president, including his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, outside official diplomacy, to convince Kiev to generate information harmful to the image of Biden.
The president and his environment have criticized the secret of the hearings, accusing the Democrats of filtering selected elements to give a distorted image of reality. They have also been told to violate Trump's right to defend himself and to advance the investigation without having previously made any vote.
The resolution passed on Thursday authorizes Republicans to summon their own witnesses within the framework of the investigation phase.
The text also approves the transfer of evidence to the Judicial Commission, responsible for drafting the articles of the possible accusation against the president. At that point, "the participation of the president and his lawyers will be authorized," says a copy of the text.