US House Democrats plan first formal vote on Trump impeachment inquiry


President Donald Trump has ordered witnesses to skip testimonies, calling the inquiry illegitimate and unfair.

William Taylor, the current top diplomat in Ukraine, testified last week that he was told aid to the country would be withheld until it conducted investigations into Trump's potential 2020 Democratic rival Joe Biden and his family, and into Ukraine's involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The House Intelligence Committee will then govern the process of firming up evidence from testimony and documents, with both sides equally able to question witnesses in a public setting. "What it would do, however, is put that individual and their family at risk of harm".

Jordan dismissed criticism from Democrats who say the Republicans were trying to find out who the "whistleblower" that triggered the impeachment probe is.

"It is shameful to question their patriotism, their love of this nation", she said, "and we should not be involved in that process".

House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) announced he would present a resolution before his panel meets on Wednesday to "ensure transparency" and "provide a clear path forward" in the impeachment investigation.

Derek Harvey, a former Trump aide who now works for Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., reportedly leaked documents identifying the Ukraine whistleblower, the Daily Beast reported.

Meanwhile, House Democrats released a resolution Tuesday laying out how public hearings in their impeachment investigation will be conducted, ahead of an expected vote later this week.

From a bigger perspective, Pelosi has been working a long-game impeachment strategy ever since retaking the House in November 2018.

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A White House national security official who is prepared to testify that he was concerned about a call between President Donald Trump and the Ukrainian president has arrived for a closed-door deposition on Capitol Hill. "They need to have a vote".

Republicans pushed back, arguing they were simply asking questions about who Vindman might have spoken with - and that it was not an effort to out the whistleblower.

Trump is claiming that the impeachment probe is a "sham" and says if people read the record of the call his White House released the investigation would be "OVER!"

Trump called senior House Democrat Adam Schiff the "biggest leaker in Washington".

Senate Republicans took a wait-and-see approach to the resolution.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Schiff, along with House Judiciary Committee chair Rep.

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., would not comment on the substance of Vindman's testimony, but noted that, based on Vindman's opening statement, "there are some inconsistencies" between Vindman's statement and the testimony of Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union and a major Trump donor.

Many government officials have cooperated with the inquiry despite Trump's orders.