UPDATE: Following the vote, Nadler vowed to hold an "aggressive" series of hearings investigating corruption and obstruction allegations against President Trump.
House Judiciary Committee Democrats have passed a resolution to set the ground rules on an impeachment inquiry against President Trump.
"The conduct under investigation poses a threat to our democracy," Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) maintained in his opening statement. "We have an obligation to respond to this threat. And we are doing so."
The vote would, in part, allow Nadler to call impeachment hearings, and allow staff members to question witnesses in those hearings.
A fed up Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) tried to explain what was really going on.
"The Judiciary Committee has become a giant Instagram filter," he said. "To make it appear that something’s happening that is not."
After 32 months of investigations that have produced no evidence that then-candidate Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win in 2016, still Democrats are pursuing other avenues that could lead to impeachment.
Collins has seen and heard a lot of in the past few years, but he is still shocked by his colleagues' willingness to grant their staffers so much responsibility.
"I’ve never seen a majority of members who desperately want to give their authority to staff members," he noted.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) had a similar message. He was frustrated that in the past 48 hours, the committee has voted to strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights, and to try and impeach the duly elected president.
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee:— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) September 12, 2019
-First voted to take away Americans' firearms
-Then voted to impeach the guy we elected President
All in less than 48 hours. And you wonder why people can't stand this town. pic.twitter.com/4dJxW5vUbW
Jordan surmised that the Democrats are "trying to change the rules" because so far they've hit nothing but dead ends.
"The Michael Cohen hearing was a flop," Jordan noted. "The John Dean hearing was a flop. And everyone in the country knows the Bob Mueller hearing...that was a flop."
But, Jordan added, the Democrats won't give up because they've "got to find something" to get this president in trouble.
Media have noted that the impeachment inquiry has sparked confusion among Democrats, many of whom are nervous to vote on such a controversial topic in an election year.
In early August, Nadler publicly declared that his committee had already launched impeachment proceedings despite taking no formal vote to do so. The claim sparked confusion, even among some Democrats, who sought clarification as they faced questions from progressive constituents about the status of the House's effort to recommend Trump's removal from office. (Politico)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has attempted to put the brakes on all this impeachment talk, urging her colleagues to focus on other issues.