Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi presides over the US House of Representatives as it votes on a resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry centered on US President Donald Trump, in the House Chamber October 31, 2019 in Washington, DC. Win McNamee / POOL / AFP
Congress formally opened a new, public phase of its presidential investigation on Thursday as US lawmakers voted for the first time to advance the impeachment process against Donald Trump.
“Today, the House takes the next step forward as we establish the procedures for open hearings conducted by the House Intelligence Committee so that the public can see the facts for themselves,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said shortly before the vote.
The chamber voted largely along party lines, 232 to 196, to formalize the process, which also provides for opportunities for Trump’s counsel to cross-examine witnesses
President Trump is accused of trying to pressure Ukraine into investigating unsubstantiated corruption claims against his political rival, Joe Biden, and his son, who worked with Ukrainian gas company, Burisma.
Trump denies wrongdoing and calls the impeachment inquiry a “witch hunt”.