According to Politico, the House Judiciary Committee will take its first formal vote next week—possibly on Wednesday—to define the impeachment investigation. This is meant to make the House’s impeachment probe official, according to Politico.
Until now, it was widely believed that an impeachment probe already was underway, reflected in various court filings by Democrats. Those court actions seek to obtain grand jury testimony and other evidence related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian influence in U.S. elections, possible links to the Trump campaign, and accusations of obstruction of justice against the president.
Several Democratic members of the committee acknowledged earlier in July that an impeachment probe had started, although with lawmakers on summer recess, talk of formal impeachment proceedings had briefly waned, at least in Washington. Additionally, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has clearly opposed such a move, saying it would be too divisive for the country and that most Americans oppose it.
But a majority of House Democrats—more than 130 out of 235—now support impeachment, according to CNN. That includes more than 35 Democrats who have publicly backed an impeachment inquiry since Congress went to recess.
Some Democrats also seized on two emoluments scandals this week involving the administration to push for Trump’s impeachment. One situation involved Vice President Mike Pence staying at Trump’s golf resort in Doonbeg, Ireland, during a recent overseas trip, despite his meetings being held on the other side of the country.
In the second incident, reports on Friday noted that the House Oversight Committee is investigating stopovers at Trump’s Turnberry golf resort in Scotland by members of an Air National Guard crew earlier this spring. That would mean that taxpayer and military funding are going directly to benefit Trump properties.
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to those reports by tweeting that Trump “is corrupt and must be impeached.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar called the latest scandal “insanely corrupt,” adding that “we don’t need Muller report for impeachment.”
“Though the language of the resolution is still in flux, some sources said it could incorporate elements of traditional impeachment probes, such as offering access to the president’s attorneys or providing for more time to question witnesses,” Politico reported.
Lawmakers on the committee also plan to revisit hush money payments Trump allegedly ordered for several women during the presidential campaign to hide extramarital affairs, a crime that sent his former fixer, Michael Cohen, to prison.