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The United States house of representatives has approved the rules governing the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

The resolution, which was reached during a plenary session on Thursday, passed by a vote of 232 to 196.

All but two democrats and the chamber’s sole independent voted for the measure, while all republican members voted against it. Three republicans and one democrat did not cast a vote.

The resolution authorises the house intelligence committee to hold public hearings and craft a report to be delivered to the judiciary committee, where Trump and his counsel will have the right to cross examine witnesses and review evidence.

It also allows republicans to request testimony from witnesses in either committee, subject to approval of the democratic chairman or a full committee vote.

Speaking before the votes were cast, Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the house, said the resolution is not a witch-hunt but a solemn action towards the good of Americans.

“Sadly, this is not any cause for any glee or comfort. This is something that is very solemn, that is prayerful,” she said.

“I doubt anybody in this place, or anybody that you know, comes to Congress to take the oath of office, comes to Congress to impeach the president of the United States, unless his actions are jeopardizing our honoring our oath of office.”

Trump expressed his displeasure, saying the decision of the house is a witch-hunt.

“The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!” he said.

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