Trump impeachment inquiry: Democrats prepare for key hearing

Clay Curtis
December 3, 2019

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Monday that the White House's announcement about not participating in Wednesday's impeachment hearing is a telltale sign. The Wednesday hearing will include legal experts as witnesses and is titled, "The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment", as Democrats in the House decide whether to draft articles of impeachment.

Tuesday: At 6 p.m., the Intelligence Committee will debate and then vote to approve sending the report over to the Judiciary Committee.

Mike Pompeo, Trump's top diplomat, further echoed the president's criticism regarding the timing of the Judiciary Committee's hearing telling Fox News that the Democratic-run House of Representatives is seeking "to distract America's president from his important mission overseas".

The House is looking into whether Trump held up military aid and a White House meeting to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes of California, Oversight Committee ranking member Jim Jordan of OH and Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Michael McCaul of Texas wrote the minority report.

Cipollone, in continuing the White House's attack on the House process, said the proceeding "violates all past historical precedent, basic due process rights, and fundamental fairness". "The evidence does not support the accusation that President Trump obstructed the Democrats' impeachment inquiry".

The administration's response suggests that it will remain on the offensive against the impeachment inquiry, which the president and his Republican allies have called "deranged" and a "witch hunt".

"We're on an exercise with a very predictable outcome and one that's going to divide the country further".

Democratic lawmakers in Congress will take a big step this week in what appears now to be an inexorable march towards impeaching U.S. President Donald Trump, with the start of hearings seen as a precursor to formal charges being announced within weeks. "Accordingly, under the current circumstances, we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing".

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That topic will soon come up in House Judiciary Committee proceedings, beginning with a scheduled Wednesday hearing that features four constitutional law scholars-three chosen by Democrats and one by Republicans.

Jerry Nadler of New York, Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, blasted the impeachment inquiry as "baseless and highly partisan".

The call prompted a whistleblower complaint from a member of the intelligence community, which led to the impeachment inquiry. "But it's going to be another thing to actually get up and have to answer questions".

"The reading is supported by President Trump's subsequent reference to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who had testified the day before about his findings, and to Attorney General William Barr, who had initiated an official inquiry into the origins of the US government's 2016 Russian Federation investigation".

Democrats were aiming for a final House vote by Christmas, which would set the stage for a likely Senate trial in January. "He's made a judgment now and I think that's probably the right judgment".

ABC News' Katherine Faulders and John Santucci contributed reporting to this article.

Still, Rep. Tom McClintock, a Republican judiciary committee member from California, said he believes Trump would benefit if he presents his own defence.

"He didn't use the delicate language of diplomacy in that conversation, that's true".

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