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Two House Democrats break with party on impeachment vote

Two House Democrats break with party on impeachment vote
© Greg Nash

Two House Democrats bucked party lines on Thursday and voted against the impeachment inquiry procedure resolution on President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE.

Moderate Reps. Collin PetersonCollin Clark Peterson Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority Six ways to visualize a divided America On The Trail: The political losers of 2020 MORE (Minn.) and Jefferson Van Drew (N.J.), who represent swing districts Trump won in 2016, opted against the measure, which passed 232-196.

The resolution sets the groundwork for public hearings for the ongoing impeachment inquiry and lays out procedures for releasing the transcripts from testimonies that took place behind closed doors. 

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Republican leadership managed to hold its conference together on the vote, with no GOP lawmakers supporting the resolution.

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashBiden: 'Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK' Battle rages over vaccine passports Republicans eye primaries in impeachment vote MORE (I-Mich.), a vocal Trump critic who left the GOP earlier this year, voted with Democrats.

"Without bipartisan support, I believe this inquiry will further divide the country, tearing it apart at the seams and will ultimately fail in the Senate," Van Drew, a freshman who flipped a GOP-held district last year, said in a statement.

"However, now that the vote has taken place and we are moving forward I will be making a judgement call based on all the evidence presented by these investigations."

Peterson, who represents a district that Trump carried by about 30 points, said that pursuing the impeachment process without support from Senate Republicans is a "mistake."

"I have some serious concerns with the way the closed-door depositions were run, and am skeptical that we will have a process that is open, transparent and fair," Peterson said in a statement. "Today’s vote is both unnecessary, and widely misrepresented in the media and by Republicans as a vote on impeachment. I will not make a decision on impeachment until all the facts have been presented.”

In a tweet, Amash warned his former GOP colleagues that "history will not look kindly on disingenuous, frivolous, and false defenses" of Trump's behavior.

The Hill has reached out to Amash’s office for further comment.

The resolution marked the first House floor vote on impeachment since Democrats launched their inquiry last month into Trump’s efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Manchin, Biden huddle amid talk of breaking up T package Overnight Energy: 5 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline attack | Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week | Three questions about Biden's conservation goals MORE, a leading 2020 rival, and Biden's son Hunter Biden.

Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and following Thursday's vote he reiterated his characterization of the impeachment inquiry as a "witch hunt" against him.

—Updated at 1:42 p.m. Cristina Marcos contributed.