Sept. 12 (UPI) -- The House judiciary committee voted along party lines Thursday to authorize a resolution that gives the panel more power to investigate President Donald Trump as part of potential impeachment proceedings.
The vote gives panel chairman Jerry Nadler the ability to hold committee hearings on the issue, after weeks of uncertainty about how or whether the committee would act. Wednesday's ruling somewhat clarifies the path Democrats would take, although there is still no consensus among party members in Congress about how to approach the issue.
Nadler said language to define the committee's preliminary investigation is not as important as Trump's conduct, which he said "poses a threat to our democracy."
"This committee is engaged in an investigation that will allow us to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with respect to President Trump," he said. "Some call this process an impeachment inquiry. Some call it an impeachment investigation. There is no legal difference between these terms, and I no longer care to argue about the nomenclature."
Georgia Rep. Doug Collins said the difference between an inquiry and an investigation is "a world apart."
"You're not in an impeachment inquiry," he said.
Collins compared the judiciary committee to an "Instagram filter" -- something that's trying to make something look better than it truly is.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries said Democrats are aligned on one main concern.
"We all agree, from Speaker Pelosi through every single member of the House Democratic Caucus, that we have a constitutional responsibility to hold an out of control executive branch accountable," Jeffries said.
Nadler said adopting the resolution will make investigations more effective as they subpoena witnesses from the Trump campaign. At issue is whether Trump accepted help from Russia before his 2016 election, and whether he obstructed justice with actions related to the two-year Justice Department investigation headed by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandoski is scheduled to testify before the judiciary committee next week.