House Democrats are moving into a new phase of their impeachment inquiry, with plans to vote this week on a resolution to formalize the next steps of the investigation into President Donald Trump.
The House vote signals Democrats are preparing to take the probe public, and Democratic leaders say it should neutralize GOP attacks on their process — though Republicans quickly pivoted toward new angles to blast the legitimacy of the probe.
The resolution — which Democrats are still finalizing and are expected to introduce Tuesday — will grant investigators authority to sidestep traditional time limits on questioning witnesses in public hearings and spell out specifics of the due process rights Democrats intend to provide Trump and his legal team once the probe moves into the public domain.
“This is a resolution on how to proceed in the committee,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday evening. “This resolution gives us more opportunity in the committee, spells out protection of the rights for the president and his counsel. They should welcome this.”
The House is expected to vote on the resolution Thursday.
Republicans have focused on Democrats’ reliance on closed-door hearings during the fact-gathering stage of their inquiry and have also demanded that Democrats detail their plans to give Trump a chance to cross-examine and call his own witnesses.
The decision to call for a vote comes at an unexpected moment, just days after a federal judge unequivocally ruled in Democrats’ favor, validating their argument that there was no need for the House to vote to formalize their impeachment inquiry.