The US House of Representatives is preparing to vote formally on Trump's removal[/rtl]
[rtl]Release date:: 2019/10/29 8:50 • 67 times read[/rtl]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The US House of Representatives will hold its first formal vote on Thursday to remove President Donald Trump, a Democrat official said, as Democrats pushed ahead with a measure of public hearings.
A senior Democratic official told "Agence France Presse", on Monday, that the voting session will "determine the next steps for the investigation," after the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats the next step.
The measure appears to be aimed at countering Trump's criticism, which the Republicans consider launching the isolation measures lacking authority unless it is voted on in the House.
"This week we will present a resolution to the House of Representatives that confirms the ongoing investigation," Pelosi said in a letter to her parliamentary bloc, adding that the text "establishes a mechanism for how the hearings are open to Americans" and "enumerates the rights guaranteed to the president and his defense."
The Democrat-controlled House is likely to approve the resolution, given that 228 Democrats in the 435-member body support the removal of the president or an investigation to remove him.
So far, witnesses have been heard in the month-long interrogation in closed session, drawing criticism from Republicans who call it secret and illegal.
Pelosi pointed out that the resolution "sets the rights of litigation procedures for the president and his adviser," steps Republicans have repeatedly considered the Council ignored.
"We are taking this step to remove any doubts about whether the Trump administration could withhold documents, prevent witnesses, refrain from enforcing subpoenas, or continue to hinder the work of the House of Representatives," Pelosi said.
Pelosi, Trump's main rival in Congress, took the step in a heightened debate in Washington over the investigation into the absence of a key witness from the hearing.
The White House is seeking to prevent former national security adviser Charles Cooperman from appearing before the inquiry.
Cooperman had filed a lawsuit in which the judiciary demanded a decision on "conflicting orders" from the executive and legislative branches.
Democrats want to hear Cooperman's testimony because he reportedly took part in a July 25 conversation between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelinsky in which he urged him to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump is accused of linking US military aid to Ukraine with Zelinsky's agreement to open an investigation into Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of Borisma for five years until April this year.
The House Committee on Laws will discuss the "transparency" of the measure and hold an initial vote on it at 3 pm on Wednesday, according to the committee's chairman Jim McGovern, and if approved, will be put to a vote in the House the next day.