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The inquiry officially has rules

PoliticsThe inquiry officially has rules

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gavels as the House votes 232-196 to pass resolution on impeachment procedure to move forward into the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. The resolution would authorize the next stage of impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, including establishing the format for open hearings, giving the House Committee on the Judiciary the final recommendation on impeachment, and allowing President Trump and his lawyers to attend events and question witnesses.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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After a month of bickering about, well, basically everything, House Democrats laid down a marker Thursday: The rules to guide the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump have been set. Republicans shouted, “objection!” as the resolution passed, and no Republicans voted in favor of it. Two Democrats didn’t, either. But the Dems picked up Rep. Justin Amash, who is independent now after leaving the Republican Party earlier this year.

So, what’s next? Well, that’s a great question, dear OnPolitics reader. The short answer: We’re not sure. But public hearings are expected, along with the release of previously confidential testimony. When that all happens? Unclear. 

Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a military officer at the National Security Council, center, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington on Oct. 29.

This week in inquiry testimony

Prepared remarks that leaked to the media Monday night started the week off with a bang. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a decorated Army veteran who is the White House’s top expert on Ukraine, said he twice notified his superiors to share concerns that the president and the people around him were linking foreign aid with investigations that would help Trump politically. Trump and some allies immediately tried to discredit Vindman, but other Republicans decried those attacks on Vindman’s character. 

Vindman testified that he was on the call when Trump asked the Ukrainian president to look into former vice president Joe Biden, and that in another situation he confronted EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland that his statements to Ukrainian officials “were inappropriate, that the request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the NSC was going to get involved in or push.” 

This week in Syria

Terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, perhaps the most wanted man in the world, was killed over the weekend during a special operations raid. Al-Baghdadi is the highest-ranking terrorist to be killed or captured since the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011. “The world is now a much a safer place,” said Trump, who praised the commandos who executed the mission, as well as a military dog that was injured during the raid. 

So what happens to ISIS now? Al-Baghdadi’s death left the terrorist organization without a leader, a major setback for the group that earlier in year “was forced by American troops and Kurdish forces out of the last portion of its self-declared ‘caliphate,’ ” according to the Associated Press. 

This week in 2020

Thanks, as always, for reading. If you’re in D.C. for the Nats World Series parade, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. You’ll thank me later. — Annah Aschbrenner 

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