The Democrats in the United States House of Representatives on Thursday secured enough votes to advance the impeachment inquiry against Republican President Donald Trump, AFP reported.

“Today, the House takes the next step forward as we establish the procedures for open hearings conducted by the House Intelligence Committee so that the public can see the facts for themselves,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said before the vote.

Democrats control 234 seats in the 435-seat chamber, and needed a simple majority to approve the resolution. Only two Democrats voted against the resolution, along with all other Republicans, for a total count of 232 in favour and 196 against.

This is only the third time the US House has voted to proceed with an impeachment inquiry, and only two presidents have ever been impeached – Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.

Trump’s impeachment inquiry focuses on a July 25 telephone call, in which Trump had allegedly asked Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy to investigate his Democratic political rival Joe Biden, a former US vice president, and his son Hunter, who had served as a director for Ukrainian energy company Burisma. Trump has denied any wrongdoing in the matter and repeatedly attacked the investigation.

After the vote, Trump in a tweet called it “The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!”

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