House agrees to full impeachment inquiry

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 October, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 October, 1998, 12:00am

The US House of Representatives has voted to approve a full impeachment inquiry against President Bill Clinton - only the third in the nation's history.

After more than two hours of sharply partisan debate, the Republican-led House voted early this morning by a XXXX margin to begin the inquiry.

The White House was watching closely how many Democrats supported the inquiry resolution. In the event, XXXX joined with Republicans.

Before the main vote, the Republican majority easily defeated a Democratic bid to limit the inquiry's scope and require it to be finish by the end of the year.

The decision means the inquiry into the President's conduct in the Monica Lewinsky scandal could drag on for several months before the House decides whether to send the matter to the Senate for a full impeachment trial.

As Republicans lined up to condemn Mr Clinton's sexual behaviour and his alleged lies under oath, most Democrats urged the House to stop the impeachment process, saying it was harming America's ability to lead around the world.