2020 Democrat presidential candidates on Thursday applauded House Democrats’ partisan approval of their impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
The lower chamber voted 232-196 in favor of House Resolution 660. The vote split mostly down party lines, with four members abstaining. No Republican voted for the resolution and two Democrats — Reps. Collin Peterson (MN) and Jeff Van Drew (NY) — voted against the resolution. One independent lawmaker, former Republican Justin Amash (MI), favored the bill.
The measure directs “certain committees to continue their ongoing investigations as part of the existing House inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House to exercise its constitutional power to impeach Donald Trump, president of the United States of America, and for other purposes.”
The resolution also enables Republicans to request witnesses and documents, authorize committees to release interview transcripts and outline public hearings. It also allows President Trump and White House counsel to attend hearings, question witnesses and recommend additional testimony and evidence.
Following the vote, several Democrat White House contenders expressed their support for the development.
“This president took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. So did every member of Congress,” tweeted South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “This president violated that oath, betraying our country and leaving our representatives with no choice but to uphold their own. Congress must move forward with impeachment.”
This president took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. So did every member of Congress. This president violated that oath, betraying our country and leaving our representatives with no choice but to uphold their own. Congress must move forward with impeachment.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) October 31, 2019
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) tweeted of the vote: “Reminder: no one is above the law, including the president of the United States.”
Reminder: no one is above the law, including the president of the United States.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 31, 2019
Progressive billionaire Tom Steyer — founder the pro-impeachment organization “Need to Impeach” — tweeted “two years ago, the political establishment told me I was wrong to call for Donald Trump’s impeachment.”
“When we organize, we win,” he added.
Two years ago, the political establishment told me I was wrong to call for Donald Trump’s impeachment. Today, the House votes to begin public hearings. When we organize, we win.
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) October 31, 2019
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) stated that he was “proud of House Democrats for putting partisan politics aside and setting up a process that builds consensus by ensuring the American people see the damning evidence.”
Trump may have betrayed his oath of office, but we will honor ours. Proud of House Democrats for putting partisan politics aside and setting up a process that builds consensus by ensuring the American people see the damning evidence.
— Gory BOOker 👻 (@CoryBooker) October 31, 2019
Thursday’s authorization is the first major step toward the impeachment of President Trump.
“The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!” the president tweeted after the vote.
In a statement after the vote, the White House defended President Trump and faulted Democrats for trying to “destroy” his presidency.
“Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats’ unhinged obsession with this illegitimate impeachment proceeding does not hurt President Trump; it hurts the American people,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. “Instead of focusing on pressing issues that impact real families, like reducing gun violence or passing the USMCA, improving healthcare, lowering proscription drug costs, securing our southern border, and modernizing our aging infrastructure, the Democrats are choosing every day to waste time on a sham impeachment — a blatantly partisan attempt to destroy the president.”
The UPI contributed to this report.