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IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

What to know ahead of Thursday’s procedural vote in the U.S. House of Representatives as we inch toward an impeachment outcome.

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IMPEACHMENT 101

  • An impeachment proceeding looks like a criminal trial, but isn’t.
  • First, the House Judiciary Cmte. drafts “articles of impeachment” (charges); a simple majority is needed to impeach in the House.
  • Next, the Senate holds trial. A 2/3 supermajority is required for conviction (removal from office).
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BACKGROUND

  • The House opened the inquiry after accusing Pres. Trump of violating campaign finance laws during a July call with Ukraine’s president by urging Ukraine to investigate fmr. VP Joe Biden while also withholding military aid.
  • Pres. Trump has denied the quid pro quo allegations, saying that he is obligated to investigate potential corruption.
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WHO (LEADS INQUIRY)?

  • Led by U.S. House Intelligence Cmte Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA).
  • Involves six House cmtes (Financial Services, Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight, and Ways & Means).
  • Unlike the impeachment investigations into Pres. Clinton and Nixon, no independent prosecutor has been named by the AG to lead the inquiry (yet).
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WHAT (HAS HAPPENED)?

Three House cmtes, with Democrats & Republicans, have heard from many witnesses including:

  • Fmr. White House aides
  • Career U.S. diplomats (including top Ambassador in Ukraine)
  • State Dept & Nat’l Security Council officials
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WHERE (IT HAPPENS)

  • The impeachment inquiry has existed mostly in a secure room (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or “SCIF”) at the U.S. Capitol.
  • A SCIF has secure walls, built to handle classified information. Those in the SCIF need a certain security clearance and cannot bring unauthorized cell phones or laptops.
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“Democrats go 4+ weeks with a secretive, free for all, no rules impeachment process—and now try to save face with a short on substance resolution that only pretends to give the minority rights and blows up precedent.”

Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) on the impeachment inquiry process.
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“This week, we’re voting to establish the format for open hearings that will be conducted as part of the impeachment inquiry. The American people will hear firsthand about the President’s misconduct.”

House Intel Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) on a House vote to set the parameters of the impeachment inquiry, which will include public hearings.
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BIGGER PICTURE

  • Thursday’s vote is about procedures going forward (public hearings, release of closed-door depositions transcripts, etc).
  • No word on when the House will hold a formal impeachment vote.
  • BOTTOM LINE: Even if the House (which has a Dem majority) votes for impeachment, it’s unlikely the Senate (which has a GOP majority) will vote for removal.
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According to recent polling averages, 48% of Americans support impeachment and 43% do not.

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