According to reports, the United States House of Representatives will hold its first formal vote on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Thursday. AFP quoted a senior Democratic aide as saying that the vote will "lay out the next steps for the inquiry," after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi informed fellow Democrats about the plan.
"This week, we will bring a resolution to the floor that affirms the ongoing, existing investigation that is currently being conducted by our committees as part of this impeachment inquiry," Pelosi said in a letter to her caucus.
The vote seems to be a move by the Democrats to counter allegations by Trump and the Republicans that the impeachment proceeding lacks authorisation without a full floor vote.
The measure will in all likelihood pass in the Democrat-controlled House - 228 Democrats, out of a total of 435 House members, are already on record supporting impeachment or an impeachment inquiry.
The measure "establishes the procedure for hearings that are open to the American people, authorizes the disclosure of deposition transcripts (and) outlines procedures to transfer evidence to the Judiciary Committee as it considers potential articles of impeachment," Pelosi added.
The Republicans have slammed the proceedings so far as secretive and illegitimate with all witness testimonies having been recorded behind closed doors.
The resolution, Pelosi said, also "sets forth due process rights for the President and his Counsel" -- steps that Republicans have repeatedly stressed were being ignored by the House's majority party.
"We are taking this step to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump Administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorised subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives," Pelosi added.
The House Rules Committee will debate and hold a preliminary vote on the impeachment inquiry "transparency" measure on Wednesday. If it clears the committee, it will head to the floor for a full vote on Thursday.