US House steps up Trump impeachment probe

Clay Curtis
September 12, 2019

Chairman Nadler will be able to designate full or subcommittee hearings as part of the investigation to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment.

The House judiciary committee announced Monday it would consider new procedures for hearings regarding its ongoing impeachment investigation.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler moved to formalize an investigation that had up to now avoided officially declaring the aim to impeach Trump and put him on trial in the Senate.

Democratic aides on the House Judiciary Committee said Monday that the committee's aim is to recommend articles of impeachment by the end of the year, saying there is "no question" that the committee is now engaged in an impeachment investigation.

The House Judiciary Committee is demanding detailed documents from the White House and Trump's private companies that could bolster an already overwhelmingly strong case for impeachment.

They walked through the three previous presidential impeachments - and what precedents could be relied on for a fourth.

Public and political support for an impeachment inquiry into President Trump remains limited, especially in the wake of underwhelming testimony from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller III over his almost two-year investigation into Trump-Russia collusion. Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary, and Rick Dearborn, a former White House deputy chief of staff, were subpoenaed to appear before the same hearing.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., slammed Republicans after she revealed she owes almost $20,000 in student loans at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on college debt Tuesday, according to a report.

Evidence may be received in closed executive session. Congress is coming back this week, and the House Judiciary Committee is planning on voting on an expanded impeachment inquiry. But the resolution would not go to the full House for a vote.

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Nadler's new rules, which are expected to be passed by the committee on Thursday, will govern how witnesses will be called and questioned and how Trump's lawyers will be involved.

But outside the Judiciary Committee, confusion abides.

"We are already seeing that terms of the kinds of substance that they are focused on", Cheney said.

Of the 235 Democrats in the House, at least 134 to date have signaled their support for starting the impeachment inquiry process, according to CNN.

But Judiciary Democrats offered mixed signals about how much - if at all - the resolution will shape their investigation.

Vice President Mike Pence's recent stay at Trump's Doonbeg resort in Ireland is one example, and House Democrats are already looking into US military personnel staying at the president's Turnberry property in Scotland - arguing that the president has enriched himself through his official office. The resolution comes as part of a sweeping investigation the New York Democrat launched in March, aimed at reviewing allegations of obstruction of justice and improper contacts with Russian agents that were substantiated by the Mueller investigation. "I think it's a matter of creating a disciplined set of inquiries that deal with the most serious offenses against the Constitution, and it's a complex task".

"Only through impeachment", he added, "can we make it clear that Trump is not above the law".

"We're getting more information, and we're organizing it", she said.

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