The vote laid down the rules as lawmakers transition from weeks of closed-door interviews with witnesses to public hearings and ultimately to possible votes on whether to recommend Trump’s removal from office.
The action also took on more than technical meaning, with each party aware that the impeachment effort looms as a defining issue for next year’s presidential and congressional campaigns.
Democrats spoke of lawmakers’ duty to defend the Constitution, while Republicans cast the process as a skewed attempt to railroad a president whom Democrats have detested since before he took office.
Congressman Tim Ryan, a Youngstown-area Democrat, said the vote was a “critical moment.”
“The President of the United States pressured a foreign nation to investigate his political opponent while withholding crucial American support. Make no mistake: not only is it an abuse of power, it is illegal,” Ryan said. “The testimonies from those present for the call and the demands for the investigation of a political opponent are damning. President Trump continues to put his personal agenda above the American people.”
Congressman Warren Davidson, R-Troy, said it was fitting the vote was on Halloween.
“Happy Halloween! A perfect day for House Democrats to trick the American people into thinking the impeachment process is fair,” Davidson said on Twitter.
We will release more reaction from Ohio lawmakers as we get them.