Local Democratic members of the House of Representatives were among those who voted to approve a set of rules on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
The Democratic members argued they approved the measure to have a transparent process.
U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, said in a statement that he voted to move the inquiry to the next phase, which will include public hearings, allow the president and his counsel to participate in the process and establish procedures for the transfer of evidence to the Judiciary Committee. He said this follows precedents set in previous impeachment proceedings.
“The ongoing impeachment inquiry has collected extensive evidence and testimony that paints a disturbing picture of a president who abused his power,” Foster said. “It’s time for the American people to learn firsthand about the president’s misconduct and for the House of Representatives to move forward with its constitutional obligation.”
In a statement, U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, echoed her previous comments on such an inquiry being a “tragedy” for the country, but also argued that this was the right approach on potential impeachment.
“With public hearings and unprecedented transparency, the investigation will uncover all the facts to guard against abuses of power at the highest levels of our government and to ensure foreign interference in our elections never happens again,” Underwood said in the statement.
U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, also emphasized in a statement the rules he voted for were transparent and followed precedent. He said his decision would be made on “the complete record and all of the facts and evidence.”
“This process is consistent with prior precedent, including the process used with Presidents Nixon and Clinton,” Lipinski said.
One Republican member, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, voted with his party against the package of rules. Kinzinger decried the process, calling it “broken.” He also directly refuted his Democratic colleagues’ arguments.
“As I have said countless times, we need answers to what happened with regard to Ukraine, but my colleagues across the aisle chose to start this impeachment process behind closed doors well before bringing this resolution to the House floor today,” he said in a statement.