Trump rips 'Do Nothing Democrats' on Twitter as impeachment hearings resume

Brenda Watkins
December 9, 2019

"The evidence shows that Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States, has put himself before his country", House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler of NY said in his opening statement during a congressional hearing Monday. "He has violated his most basic responsibilities to the people".

"It's up to us now in the House, and presumably will be up to the senators, to see if we will and if the senators will put the welfare of the country and patriotism above partisan considerations or not", Nadler said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

Tempers flared as Republicans tried to derail the hearing at its opening with procedural moves, and a lone protestor was ejected after shouting in the president's defense.

Ranking member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) said, "Where is the impeachable offense?" The conservative host then took aim at the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who has been at the center of the impeachment inquiry.

Only two U.S. presidents in history - Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson - have been impeached, but neither was convicted and removed from office.

In a phone call with the Ukrainian president, President Trump asked for a "favor" in the form of a foreign government investigation of a US citizen who is his political rival.

Trump said Sunday that Democrats were trying to "change the rules" of impeachment - an apparent but unexplained reference to a 52-page report on the history and legal underpinnings of the process released by Democrats.

The House Judiciary panel is expected to vote by the end of the week on whether to send formal charges to the full House. No current House Republican has come out in favor of impeaching Trump.

Pelosi, Nadler and others have said the object of the Judiciary Committee's process is to reach a proper conclusion.

Nadler's committee will likely vote to impeach Trump.

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With a vote of the full House the following week, which is expected to cleave along party lines, Trump would be only the third US president to be impeached. He was acquitted in the Senate.

After weeks of investigation into Trump's request that Ukraine investigate former vice-president Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to face the president in the 2020 election, the committee is focused on two articles charging Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

As House Democrats continue to increase the pressure in their impeachment inquiry of President Trump, his numbers are rising in battleground states where he's now ahead of the top polling Democrats in the 2020 field.

Still unsettled within Democratic ranks is whether to consider evidence from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian election interference and actions by Trump's 2016 campaign. But Mueller said he could not exonerate Trump of obstructing justice in the probe and left it for Congress to determine.

The impeachment inquiry stemmed from an anonymous whistle-blower complaint, made public in September, that alleged from secondhand information that Trump engaged in an improper phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over the summer.

The president has stated there was nothing fallacious along with his July 25 name to Zelensky, and his Republican allies declare Trump held up the help as a result of he was involved in regards to the stage of corruption within the nation and didn't need American tax wasted.

"This is just how desperately they are, desperately focused on impeaching this president", said Collins, who argued Democrats had unleashed thousands of pages of documents that Republicans had no time to review before the session.

The debate over what evidence to include coincides with the expected release on Monday of a long-awaited Justice Department Inspector General report on the genesis of the FBI's Russian Federation probe, which led to Mueller's almost two-year-long investigation.

"There is overwhelming evidence that the president sought to coerce Ukraine into interfering in our election, essentially sought to cheat in our next election", said Rep. Adam Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman.

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