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Politics Analysis: House Impeachment Inquiry Vote Underscores Intense Polarization

14:20  01 november  2019
14:20  01 november  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

Pentagon official handling Ukraine and Russia appears in impeachment inquiry

  Pentagon official handling Ukraine and Russia appears in impeachment inquiry A senior Pentagon official who oversees U.S. defense policy on Ukraine and Russia arrived for the latest testimony in the Democratic-led U.S. House inquiry.WASHINGTON — A senior Pentagon official who oversees U.S. defense policy on Ukraine and Russia arrived on Wednesday for the latest testimony in the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives inquiry against Republican President Donald Trump.

In 232-196 Vote , House Approves Rules for Trump Impeachment Inquiry . House Democrats and Republicans were divided on setting rules for the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The resolution would make evidence public and also allow Mr. Trump’s legal team to mount a

The House of Representatives on Thursday approved a resolution to formalize the procedures of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, marking a significant step in the ongoing investigation and setting the stage for the next phase in the investigation.

WASHINGTON — When the Republican-led House voted in 1998 to begin an impeachment inquiry into President Bill Clinton, 31 Democrats sided with Republicans, and the White House breathed a sigh of relief that the number was not significantly larger. In today’s hyper-polarized Washington, defections of that magnitude on the question of impeachment would be considered a tsunami.

Bill Johnson, Mark Meadows, Lee Zeldin standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Representative Lee Zeldin of New York at a news conference held by Republicans after the impeachment inquiry vote on Thursday. Not a single Republican voted for the inquiry. © Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times Representative Lee Zeldin of New York at a news conference held by Republicans after the impeachment inquiry vote on Thursday. Not a single Republican voted for the inquiry.

Not a single House Republican on Thursday joined Democrats in supporting a resolution outlining the parameters for the next stage of impeachment proceedings, despite having demanded such a vote for weeks. Just two Democrats broke from their party to oppose the investigation.

A Divided House Endorses Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump, Moving to Public Phase

  A Divided House Endorses Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump, Moving to Public Phase A bitterly divided House of Representatives voted on Thursday to endorse the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Trump.WASHINGTON — A bitterly divided House of Representatives voted on Thursday to endorse the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Trump, in a historic action that set up a critical new public phase of the process and underscored the toxic political polarization that serves as its backdrop.

/en-us/news/politics/ analysis - house - impeachment - inquiry - vote - underscores - intense - polarization /ar-AAJFc7m. www.msn.com. (no page preview available for this URL).

The U.S. House voted 232-196 on Thursday morning to pass the resolution that lays out the rules for the impeachment inquiry into President Donald J Thursday’s vote was the first time since the Democrats began their inquiry last month that the entire House was asked to go on the record about

The stark division in the 232-to-196 vote made clear that the accelerating impeachment inquiry will continue to be highly partisan as it moves into its more public phase, with the two parties pulling ever further apart as they dig in deeper on the righteousness of their respective causes.

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Democrats say it is their constitutional duty to hold a lawless President Trump to account even if he is unlikely to be removed from office. Republicans are determined to defend a president they say is being persecuted for political gain. Little evidence has emerged that either side is willing to give an inch, and the certainty of facing a major political backlash for doing so would seem to decrease chances of that prospect even further.

3 takeaways from the House’s impeachment inquiry vote

  3 takeaways from the House’s impeachment inquiry vote The Republicans' process argument is transitioning into an attempt to demonize Democrats and the inquiry.

The House plans to vote on a resolution laying out Democrats’ next steps in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump and move to a public Announcement follows failure by impeachment witness Charles Kupperman, Trump’s former deputy national security adviser, to appear for interview in inquiry .

A majority of the House would be needed to vote to impeach the President in order to send the process to the Senate. However, CNN's count includes many Democrats who say they support an impeachment investigation but are still waiting for the results of the probe before deciding whether to

“It shows the bases are controlling both parties,” said Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, who ended up voting against Mr. Clinton’s impeachment in 1998, about the sharp lines being drawn.

More than a few Republicans have privately expressed qualms in general about Mr. Trump’s actions, and in particular about his attempts to persuade the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a potential 2020 presidential rival, and his son Hunter. Yet none risked stepping forward during the first significant impeachment floor vote to suggest that the president’s conduct merited at least a review. Some of those who had been seen as potential Republican backers of the inquiry attributed their opposition to the way House Democrats have handled it so far.

a group of people standing in front of a window: Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing the final vote count Thursday on the House floor. © Erin Schaff/The New York Times Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing the final vote count Thursday on the House floor.

“I have been absolutely clear that from the beginning I wanted to see an open, transparent and fact-based process because I have been troubled by what has come out,” said Representative Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan, who dined with Mr. Trump days before the vote. “Legitimate questions remain to be answered. But I have been frustrated by how closed off the process has been so far.”

Pelosi Sets a High Bar for Impeachment Inquiry: ‘Ironclad’ Proof

  Pelosi Sets a High Bar for Impeachment Inquiry: ‘Ironclad’ Proof House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offers her most expansive view of the impeachment probe to date.Pelosi said the partial transcript of Trump’s July 25 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stood in sharp contrast to the less clear-cut allegations in Robert Mueller’s special counsel report. That phone call — where Trump is heard urging Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden — was a “bombshell” that peeled away her initial reluctance to take the politically divisive step.

House Democrats will hold a vote to push forward with the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed Monday. "This week, we will bring a resolution to the Floor that affirms the ongoing, existing investigation that is currently being conducted by our

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday announced her intention to bring about a formal vote on the Democrats' impeachment inquiry into For weeks, Republicans have called on Pelosi to bring about a vote on the Impeachment inquiry . Pelosi has avoided the move as a means of protecting

Polarization has consequences, and Democrats have been concerned from the start about running what Speaker Nancy Pelosi repeatedly called an inherently divisive process. The mostly party-line vote threatened to undermine public confidence in the proceedings, making it easier for voters to dismiss it as yet another skirmish in an endless partisan war, rather than a weighty constitutional process. Democrats are now faced with the challenge of mounting a compelling case to the public that can cut through the political noise and generate even the barest of bipartisan consensus, knowing that the greater likelihood is that Mr. Trump will be acquitted in the Republican-led Senate.

In President Richard M. Nixon’s case, warnings from members of his own party that he had lost their support forced him from office, and so far, there is no sign of any such movement from today’s Republicans. Although Mr. Clinton’s impeachment began with some bipartisan support, that dissipated and Republicans ultimately paid a steep political price for what was viewed as a partisan effort. In the current toxic atmosphere, there is even less chance that Democrats and Republicans can unite around a common view of what should happen to Mr. Trump.

Impeachment inquiry: How we got here and where we're going

  Impeachment inquiry: How we got here and where we're going How a phone call and a request for a favor moved the nation closer to the possibility of seeing a president impeachedThose words have now prompted deployment of the ultimate political weapon, an impeachment process enshrined in the Constitution as a means other than the ballot to remove a president from office.

House Democratic leaders are reaching out to members in swing districts to gauge support for an official vote on the impeachment inquiry .

The latest standoff between House Democrats and the Trump administration over the testimony of State Department officials has the White House questioning in a new letter sent Tuesday why the House is not voting to authorize a formal impeachment inquiry .

Jerrold Nadler, Eliot Engel are posing for a picture: Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York and other Democratic committee leaders leaving a news conference about the rules of the impeachment inquiry. Democrats believe they have taken a step toward neutralizing Republican complaints about how the inquiry has been conducted. © Erin Schaff/The New York Times Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York and other Democratic committee leaders leaving a news conference about the rules of the impeachment inquiry. Democrats believe they have taken a step toward neutralizing Republican complaints about how the inquiry has been conducted.

Democrats had hoped to win support from the likes of Mr. Upton and a handful of other Republicans in swing districts to put a bipartisan veneer on the official call for an inquiry. But with most Republican voters remaining devoted to Mr. Trump, no House Republican saw any advantage in breaking from the president.

Party leaders and the White House also worked feverishly to limit any desertions, with the president wooing possible defectors and top Republicans arguing to colleagues that they needed to present a united front against an unfair Democratic impeachment campaign.

“There were a lot of questions today about whether or not Republicans would stick together on this vote and do the right thing for the country,” said Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 House Republican. “I can tell you that our conference stood strong.”

Republicans also say nothing has emerged to justify impeaching the president and removing him from office, instead accusing Ms. Pelosi and her chief lieutenant in the inquiry, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, of pursuing the president to appease Democratic voters. Republicans derided the Democratic push for impeachment as a sham, a disgrace, a charade, a Soviet-style mock trial and an effort to overturn the 2016 election and impede the 2020 campaign.

Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser, skips impeachment deposition

  Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser, skips impeachment deposition John Bolton's lawyer previously made it clear that he would not appear voluntarily.Last week, Bolton — who was fired by Trump in September — was formally invited to testify before the three congressional committees in charge of questioning witnesses, but his lawyer, Charles Cooper, quickly made clear that his client was unwilling to appear voluntarily.

Democrats say they essentially called the bluff of Republicans by holding a vote to officially endorse an impeachment inquiry. Republicans had hammered them for weeks for not voting to open an inquiry even though the House had held such votes in the cases of Mr. Clinton and Mr. Nixon.

Democrats believe that they have taken a step toward neutralizing Republican complaints about how the inquiry is being conducted — though Republicans kept up that drumbeat Thursday — and that Mr. Trump’s allies will now have to focus more on the substance of the inquiry. Democrats believe they have an advantage on that front, with multiple witnesses appearing before a combined three committees to corroborate a whistle-blower complaint that the president was using the power of his office to pressure a foreign ally to help him with domestic politics. To Democrats, that is inarguably grounds for impeachment.

“We are not here in some partisan exercise,” Representative Jim McGovern, the Massachusetts Democrat who leads the House Rules Committee, said Thursday. “There is serious evidence that President Trump may have violated the Constitution.”

Despite the unanimous Republican resistance, Democrats also believe that continuing disclosures, coupled with wall-to-wall television coverage of public hearings, could pressure some Republicans to be more receptive to the idea of supporting articles of impeachment as the inquiry proceeds.

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The strong Democratic vote behind the inquiry represents a significant shift from where the party was just a few months ago, when many moderate Democrats — the key to the party’s majority in the House — expressed strong reservations about moving to impeach Mr. Trump with an election set for next year. But the revelations about Ukraine eased the concerns of all but two Democrats, Representatives Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, who sided with the Republicans. That led Republican leaders to declare that the only bipartisan vote Thursday was against the inquiry.

Should the intense House partisanship over impeachment remain, it is very likely to influence events in the Senate. Republican senators have said repeatedly that a highly partisan process in the House will result in a highly partisan outcome in the Senate, where Republicans are in the majority and have so far shown no inclination to entertain the Democratic call to oust the president. The near-blanket Republican refusal to challenge the president troubles one of their former colleagues.

“You just want to tell these Republicans that at some point you are going to have to face the facts,” said Jeff Flake, a frequent critic of Mr. Trump and a former Republican senator from Arizona. “You can decide that it is not impeachable behavior, or it will draw the country through a process we shouldn’t go through. But to defend the president and to support him for re-election when you know what you know is just beyond the pale.”

For the moment, what House Republicans and Democrats know is that they remain bitterly divided over a quickening inquiry likely to end in a House vote to impeach the president.

Analysis: Only 3 Senate Republicans aren't defending Trump from the impeachment inquiry. Here's why. .
Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have refused to sign a resolution denouncing the House Democratic effort.While a resolution denouncing the House Democrats' fast-moving probe hasn't received a vote, GOP Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska declined to sign on as co-sponsors — the only ones out of 53 Republicans — leaving the door ajar to the possibility that they could vote to convict President Donald Trump if impeachment moves to its trial phase in the Senate.

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