Thursday morning, the House of Representatives voted 232-196 to pass a resolution supporting the impeachment investigation that was already taking place.
While the vote was mostly along party lines with Democrats in favor of the resolution and Republicans against it, there were a few Democrat defections. Zero Republicans voted with Democrats in favor of the measure, and two Democrats voted against it: Reps. Jeff Van Drew (N.J.), and Collin Peterson (Minn.).
While the vote was announced as an effort to disarm concerns about due process and fairness in the current investigation raised by the White House and congressional Republicans, the chances of that actually happening are slightly lower than getting struck by lightning while holding a winning lottery ticket.
An authorizing vote is just one part of the argument the White House and congressional Republicans have made against the current design of the probe. Others, as outlined in the White House counsel's letter and a Senate resolution announced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), last week include — among others — include the inability of the president to have his own counsel present at hearings and to call his own witnesses, as well as the investigating committees' Republican ranking members' inability to issue their own subpoenas.
"Codifying a sham process halfway through doesn't make it any less of a sham process," House Oversight Committee ranking member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said at a news conference that "due process starts at the beginning" and compared the proceedings to a mistrial.
Defenders of the process say that the current, clandestine nature of the proceedings is similar to a grand jury investigation and that the resolution says the procedural powers requested by the president's team and House Republicans will come later if the matter goes before the House Judiciary Committee.
After text of the resolution was released, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) described it as offering "No due process now, maybe some later, but only if [House Democrats] feel like it."