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Sewell votes for resolution authorizing a formal impeachment inquiry of Trump

Congresswoman Terri Sewell during a committee hearing. Office of Rep. Terri Sewell

Thursday, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-Selma) voted to support H. Res. 660, a resolution that establishes the format for public hearings that will be conducted by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of which Sewell is a member. Thursday’s vote is part of the House’s ongoing impeachment inquiry and authorizes the public release of the Intelligence Committee’s deposition transcripts.

“From the outset, the Intelligence Committee has been committed to following the facts surrounding President Trump’s phone call with the President of Ukraine in which, by his own admission, Trump asked a foreign leader to initiate an investigation into a political rival,” Rep. Sewell said. “Today’s vote reinforces our commitment to holding the President to account for what increasingly appears to be an extreme abuse of his presidential power. The Committee has collected extensive evidence and testimony, and remains committed to pressing forward to expose the truth to the American people.”

Democrats on the Intelligence Committee are claiming that they have uncovered a substantial amount of evidence showing that President Donald J. Trump (R) betrayed his oath of office and the American people. Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee claim that they have evidence including: The President’s own words in the call record released by the White House, Ambassador Volker’s text messages, testimonies provided by several witnesses, witness opening statements released publicly, including that of Ambassador Bill Taylor and Colonel Alexander Vindman, and the public admission of a quid pro quo by White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have seen all the same evidence and none of it moved any of them to vote for the resolution, which passed on a near party line vote. Two Democrats voted with the Republicans against the impeachment resolution.

The resolution also establishes procedures for the transfer of evidence by the Intelligence Committee to the Judiciary Committee as it considers potential articles of impeachment, and sets forth due process rights for the President and his counsel in the Judiciary Committee proceedings. In doing so, the resolution affirms the House’s ongoing impeachment inquiry by directing the committees to continue their ongoing investigations under the umbrella of the inquiry to determine whether there are sufficient grounds for the House of Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach President Trump.

Removing the President seems extremely unlikely. Not a single Republican voted for the inquiry. To actually remove the President takes a two thirds majority of the Republican controlled U.S. Senate. While it is early in the process, that seems like an impossible goal.

House Democrats are hopeful that impeachment hearings will weaken support for the President and give the eventual Democratic nominee talking points that will help the Democrats take the White House back in 2020.

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On Thursday, a poll by the New York Times shows residents of six battleground states oppose impeaching and removing the President of the United States from office by a 52 percent to 44 percent margin. The states polled were: Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, and North Carolina – all states that the President won in 2016.

Republicans have dismissed the impeachment inquiry as a partisan witch hunt.

Congresswoman Sewell is a member of the House Intelligence Committee. She is running for her sixth term representing Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District.

(Original reporting by Fox News and the New York Times contributed to this report.)

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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