The House will vote on impeachment by the end of the year, Democrat Ro Khanna (D-CA) told CNN.
“I expect that the House, before the end of the year, will have a vote on impeachment,” Khanna said, according to Breitbart.
Although the Democrats say they have launched an impeachment “inquiry” of Trump, their timeline remains unclear. Things may not move as quickly as initially thought after the White House characterized the impeachment steps taken thus far as an “illegitimate” and “unconstitutional” process on Tuesday.
Democrat predicts impeachment by end of year
The status of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is still uncertain, since Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has not yet taken a House vote to authorize the official proceedings. Trump and his Republican allies lashed out at Pelosi’s ambivalence in a scathing letter on Tuesday, arguing that the inquiry is a baseless, partisan exercise and vowing that the White House has no plans to cooperate as things currently stand.
The State Department blocked Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, from appearing before Democrat-led panels Tuesday to testify about Ukraine. Responding on CNN to the challenge from the White House, Khanna said that Democrats would continue investigating — per Pelosi’s plan — and that the Judiciary panel would eventually bring articles of impeachment, perhaps before year’s end.
“I now expect that the Judiciary Committee will act on articles of impeachment,” Khanna said. “It’s not a positive thing for this country. Impeachment is a process that is very, very divisive. But he’s left the Judiciary Committee and the speaker with really no choice.”
But why don’t Democrats just get it over with and vote already, if they already know that Trump abused his power? Echoing Pelosi’s longtime admonitions for Democrats to pursue “the facts,” Khanna said that Democrats still need to investigate further, but that “actual” impeachment will eventually happen, once Democrats have made “the whole case.”
Pelosi has said that she wants to move “expeditiously,” and Democrats have said that they want impeachment articles by the end of the year, but the process nevertheless remains shrouded in uncertainty. Republicans have blasted Pelosi’s failure to hold a vote as a maneuver to protect vulnerable Democrats in swing districts while enabling Democrats to stage a one-sided investigation.
“In the history of our nation, the House of Representatives has never attempted to launch an impeachment inquiry against the president without a majority of the House taking political accountability for that decision by voting to authorize such a dramatic constitutional step,” the White House wrote in a blistering letter Tuesday pledging to defy the “unconstitutional” inquiry, according to Fox News.
All presidential impeachments in recent history have begun with a formal vote, but Democrats argue that the Constitution merely specifies that the House has authority over impeachment and is not specific on how it must be conducted. Republicans have further argued that Pelosi is trying to deny Republicans an equal playing field by blocking their subpoena power, something Khanna denied, saying that Pelosi “wants members to go on the record once, after a full case has been made” and that there is no political maneuvering afoot.
Still, Khanna insisted that “we’re not going to do it prematurely, and we’re not going to do it on the president’s timeline, especially when the House rules are very clear that the chair of the Judiciary can start this inquiry,” echoing Pelosi, who told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week, “If we want to do it, we’ll do it. If we don’t, we don’t. But we’re certainly not going to do it because of the president.” If this is really about country and not party, though, what are they waiting for?
Before launching this “inquiry,” Pelosi said repeatedly that Trump needed to be held “accountable,” but it took her months to make a move. It looks like she’s still not in any rush to have Democrats go on the record.