In Halloween vote, US House formalises Trump’s impeachment process

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has voted to formalise the inquiry process. Photo: PTI File.

The US Congress on Thursday (October 31) voted for the first time to advance the impeachment process targeting the US president Donald Trump.

“Today the House takes the next step forward as we establish the procedures for open hearings… so that the public can see the facts for themselves. What is at stake in all of this is nothing less than our democracy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

The top Democrat and Trump’s opponents in Congress addressed fellow lawmakers shortly before her chamber took a Halloween morning vote along party lines – 232 to 196 – to pass a resolution that lays out rules for the next stages of the impeachment process.

“The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!” he boomed on Twitter.

He called on Republicans to rally behind him even as he faced the embarrassing likelihood of becoming the third president in history to be impeached and placed on trial for removal in the Senate, over an alleged extortion scheme to obtain Ukraine’s help to get him reelected in 2020.

The embattled president retweeted a rallying cry from Fox News host Laura Ingraham that called on Republicans to “stand together and defend the leader of their party against these smears.”

“This farce should never be allowed to roll into a winter show trial,” read the tweet – suggesting Trump would want the Republican leadership in the Senate to shut the process down.