The first formal vote in the House related to the impeachment investigation of President Trump is in the books. In a largely party-line vote, 232-196, the House on Thursday approved the ground rules for the public phase of the investigation. This vote doesn't address whether Trump did or did not act improperly in his dealings with the Ukraine government—instead, it merely outlines the rules for the inquiry into that question that will now proceed, per the AP. No Republicans voted in favor, while two Democrats—Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jefferson Van Drew of New Jersey—voted against. Both of the dissenting Democrats represent districts won by Trump in 2016, notes the Hill. Independent Justin Amash, who left the GOP this year, voted in favor.
“This is something that is very solemn, that is something prayerful,” said Nancy Pelosi from the House floor before the vote. "What is at stake in all of this is nothing less than our democracy." But GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Trump had done nothing impeachable and accused Democrats of trying to oust him "because they are scared they cannot defeat him at the ballot box." An election is only a year away, he added. "Why do you not trust the people?" (Read more Trump impeachment stories.)