That’s the legal position of House Democrats, and they are sticking with it, for now, even as President Donald Trump decries impeachment as “illegitimate” without a formal House vote to start it. Trump has said he won’t cooperate with the impeachment investigation, which is looking into his dealings with Ukraine, unless there is a vote and Republicans are treated more fairly.
For the Democrats, there are legal, strategic and political reasons to stay the course.
The legal rationale
Under the law, Democrats say they have no obligation to hold a vote. The Constitution gives the House “the sole power of impeachment” and the Senate “the sole power to try all impeachments.” And it dictates the removal from office of an impeached president who is convicted by the Senate of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Congress is left to fill in the details. And there is no requirement for a vote under House rules.
Republicans are pointing to precedent. They note that the House held votes to authorize impeachment investigations against Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
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