WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US House of Representatives convened on Wednesday for a full session to vote on two articles of impeachment that have been filed against President Donald Trump.
The articles of impeachment accuse Trump of abusing power and obstructing justice, charges that House Democrats say fall under the umbrella of "high crimes and misdemeanours" for which a US president can be impeached.
After the session convened at 9:00 a.m., Republican Congressman Andy Biggs filed a motion to adjourn the proceedings and to stop wasting time on impeachment. The procedural manoeuvre delayed the day's proceedings by forcing the full House to vote on the motion. Democrats defeated the measure.
Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy then brought up a privileged resolution that accused Democratic committee Chairmen Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler of abusing power.
"I am calling for a vote on a privileged resolution to condemn their actions," McCarthy said, before Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer moved to "table" or suspend consideration of McCarthy's motion. Democrats supported Hoyer's motion.
Republicans are expected to make similar moves throughout the day to protest against the impeachment process. A vote on the two impeachment articles is expected to be held at some point later in the day.
According to the US Constitution, a president shall be removed from office "on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours."
A majority of the 435-member House must vote in favour of impeaching Trump before moving to the next phase of the process. The House is currently made up of 233 Democrats, 197 Republicans, 1 Independent and has four vacancies.
Once the House Democratic majority votes to impeach on Wednesday, the Republican-controlled Senate is expected to start the formal impeachment trial which is likely to occur in the coming weeks.