Washington, Sep 26 (IANS) Democrats already have a majority of votes in the lower house in favour of starting impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
Between 218 to 219 lawmakers (all of them Democrats except one who was elected as a Republican and is now an independent) have spoken out in favour of initiating impeachment proceedings against Trump, reports Efe news.
A total of 218 votes are needed for a majority in the house of representatives, which was secured for the first time on Wednesday, a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump.
Fewer than 20 of the 235 Democratic lawmakers in the lower house are still opposed to or have not explicitly said they are in favour of the political trial.
If the lower house votes in favour of impeachment, a trial will be held in the Senate – which has a slim Republican majority of 53-47.
A two-thirds majority is needed in the 100-member upper house to actually impeach the president.
Pelosi’s decision to launch an impeachment inquiry came after news broke out that Trump asked Kiev for a “favour” of investigating former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, for alleged corruption in Ukraine.
The Democrats have accused Trump of betraying the constitution and national security by asking a foreign government to investigate Biden, who is among the favourites to win the Democratic primary next year.
Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy slammed the launch of the impeachment inquiry by the Democrat opposition and called it a “dark day for America”.
On Wednesday, the White House released the transcript of a phone conversation between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky, which took place on July 25 and whose existence was revealed after a whistleblower inside the US intelligence community filed a complaint alleging that Trump made inappropriate comments during the call.
The White House also handed Congress a copy of the internal complaint related to the conversation between Trump and Zelenski, something it had refused to do for weeks.
The House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution on Wednesday asking the administration to provide that copy.