House panel to take formal steps on Trump impeachment probe next week

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The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is planning to vote to determine the parameters for conducting an impeachment probe of President Donald Trump.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings sent letters to the White House, the vice president, Secret Service and the Trump Organization seeking details on Mr. Pence's two-night stay at the Doonbeg resort, which was 180 miles away from scheduled meetings in Dublin.

The requests come as House Democrats are expanding their focus on alleged Trump corruption from beyond just special counsel Robert Mueller's report, while they consider moving forward with impeachment proceedings.

It's not known how much the visit cost - however it's estimated 3.6 million dollars was spent on President Trump's visit to Doonbeg in June.

"Because Department of Justice policies will not allow prosecution of a sitting President, the United States House of Representatives is the only institution of the Federal Government that can now hold President Trump accountable for these actions", the committee wrote in a filing in U.S. District Court.

A House panel eager to impeach President Trump will adopt rare investigative procedures next week to bolster its probe, tools used in previous impeachments of American presidents.

"If you have a chance to get to Doonbeg, you'll find it's a fairly small place, and the opportunity to stay at the Trump National in Doonbeg, to accommodate the unique footprint that comes with our security detail and other personnel, made it logical", he said at a news conference Tuesday outside the USA ambassador's residence in Dublin.

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"We have been focused on the Mueller report, and that is a very small part of the overall picture", said Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the Judiciary panel.

Despite the growing number of House Democrats backing impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has repeatedly poured cold water on the idea and instead called for committees to continue their ongoing investigations into the president and his associates.

"The American people deserve a government that serves their interests, not one that's being exploited to line the president's pockets", Pelosi wrote in a blog post.

The House Judiciary Committee is preparing to vote to formally define an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The Judiciary Committee has a busy investigative agenda this fall and a panel full of lawmakers who feel leadership has been dragging their feet on holding Trump accountable.

Several other 2020 hopefuls, including Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders, have said they support impeachment.

House Democrats gave the White House until September 19 to respond. Democrats have argued that Congress must approve such transactions between foreign governments and a president's personal businesses.

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