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U.S. House Votes To Formalize Trump Impeachment Probe


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a measure that sets up the next steps in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

The October 31 vote is the first formal test of support for the inquiry that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched on September 24.

The measure detailed how the investigation will move into a more public phase, and sets out the rights Trump's lawyers would have.

All Republicans in the House and only two Democrats voted against the measure, for a total count of 232 in favor and 196 against.

The impeachment inquiry focuses on whether Trump tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy into helping him in his 2020 reelection campaign by launching an investigation into one of his rivals, Democratic former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Trump denies the allegations and calls the impeachment inquiry “the Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!”

Meanwhile, Tim Morrison, who handled Russian and European affairs at the White House, testified before congressional investigators that are looking into whether Trump misused the power of his office for personal political gain.

Resigning a day before being deposed, Morrison was one of the officials authorized to listen in on Trump's July 25 telephone call in which he asked Zelenskiy to investigate the Bidens.

At the time, Trump was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine.

Morrison corroborated much of what William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, said of being concerned over Trump’s foreign policy toward Kyiv.

"I can confirm," Morrison said in his prepared remarks, that the substance of the diplomat's testimony "is accurate."

But the aide, who resigned from his position on October 30, also told lawmakers: "I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed" during Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian leader.

Taylor testified last week he was concerned that U.S. assistance was contingent on Kyiv publicly making a promise to investigate the Bidens.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and the BBC
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