U.S. lawmakers moved closer on Thursday to impeaching Republican President Donald Trump, as members of a House of Representatives committee debated formal charges that are likely to be sent to the full House for a final vote next week, Reuters informs.
The House Judiciary Committee is expected to approve two articles of impeachment later on Thursday, setting up a vote by the Democratic-controlled House next week that is expected to make Trump the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.
Should the House impeach Trump, who is charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, he would then go on trial in the Senate. The Republican-led chamber is unlikely to vote to find the President guilty and remove him from office.
Republicans on the Judiciary panel repeatedly complained about the procedures followed by Democrats in the impeachment inquiry, and said Democrats had overplayed their hand in a desperate attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election, Reuters adds.
Republicans requested another hearing and said their rights had been trampled in the inquiry, but were voted down by the panel’s Democratic majority. Republicans also moved to strike the first charge of abuse of power but the committee rejected it on a party line vote.
“Rules have just been thrown out the window in this process,” said Republican U.S. Representative Debbie Lesko. “It continues to amaze me how corrupt, how unfair this process has been from the start.”
Democrats accuse Trump of abusing his power by trying to force Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and of obstructing Congress when lawmakers tried to look into the matter. Former Vice President Biden is a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to run against Trump next year.