Democrats WILL hold a full-scale vote on impeachment this week


Respondents were asked, "Do you think that Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats are moving forward with their impeachment inquiry against President Trump mainly for political reasons to stop him from being re-elected or mainly for legal reasons?"

The rules will also allow for staff aides of the House Intelligence Committee to question witnesses directly during public hearings, according to an official working on the inquiry who described the measure on condition of anonymity because it had yet to be made public.

House Democrats have chose to hold a formal vote on opening impeachment proceedings against President Trump, a step they had resisted for several weeks. But Trump and his Republican colleagues have cited the lack of one to say that the probe is not real. White House officials have tried, with some success, to block current and former government officials from testifying in the inquiry. But Pelosi's letter comes as a national security official defied a House subpoena Monday, escalating the standoff between Congress and the White House over who will testify. It's a deposition, as Schiff and other Democrats keep reminding everyone, a preliminary step before going forward with an impeachment hearing.

The Sunday letter came in response to a stern warning issued Saturday from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and House Oversight Committee Acting Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.

Pelosi's announcement to hold this vote came the same day that Charles Kupperman, a top deputy to former National Security Adviser John Bolton, declined to show up for his testimony. In the wake of Pelosi's announcement, the White House said nothing had changed.

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Republican senators are lost and adrift as the impeachment inquiry enters its second month, navigating the grave threat to President Trump largely in the dark, frustrated by the absence of a credible case to defend his conduct and anxious about the historic reckoning that likely awaits them.

Mr. Schiff indicated Democrats now did not have the luxury of waiting, given the gravity of the allegations that Mr. Trump abused his power to enlist help from Ukraine in smearing his political opponents.

House investigators called the lawsuit a stall tactic and accused Kupperman of working with the White House to stonewall Congress. But he predicted that the White House would fight a Bolton appearance.

Kupperman's attorney, Charles Cooper, argued that his client was caught between competing demands between the Executive and Legislative branches and needed the courts to rule before Kupperman would testify. The longer impeachment drags out, the more voters will wonder why it's necessary when Trump will have to run for re-election anyway.