US House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Evidence in Trump Impeachment Inquiry

Elias Hubbard
December 9, 2019

In an interview on NBC News' "Meet The Press", Nadler said articles of impeachment would likely be drawn up by his committee by the end of the week.

"We need to listen, we need to go through the hearing tomorrow and see what is said there", Jayapal said. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone criticized the impeachment inquiry unfolding in the Democrat-majority House of Representatives as "completely baseless" and called potential impeachment articles "a reckless abuse of power".

Democrats say the case against Trump is clear.

"The evidence shows that Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States, has put himself before his country".

"I think the case we have, if presented to a jury, would be a guilty verdict in about three minutes flat", Nadler said.

Democrats need to settle the question of whether to draft a third article alleging obstruction of justice based on former Special Counsel Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. That report cited 10 incidents in which Trump sought to hinder the investigation, but did not draw conclusions on whether Trump obstructed justice. Any article of impeachment built on Mueller's findings could risk losing the support of centrists who fear feeding Republican arguments that the impeachment process is a catchall for anti-Trump grievances.

House Judiciary Committee counsel Barry Berke is expected to detail a pattern of Trump's behavior in his opening statement, which will likely include some discussion of the details of the Mueller report, the sources said.

There is some division among Democrats about whether to limit impeachment articles to allegations Trump abused his power by asking a foreign government for help in a US election and obstruction for White House refusal to turn over key documents and allow key Trump aides to testify in the investigation, or to expand to include allegations Trump sought to obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. "It's part of a pattern of misconduct which stresses the urgency of making sure that we deal with this so that the 2020 election is carried on honestly with integrity".

The counsels will present evidence gathered from weeks of hearings by the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees.

Monday's hearing was expected to be contentious as Republicans confront lawyers describing the contents of the Mueller report, which Trump has claimed was exculpatory and which Republicans argue vindicated the president.

"It is impossible for Judiciary members to sift through thousands and thousands of pages in any meaningful way in a matter of hours", the committee's top Republican, Representative Doug Collins, told Nadler in a weekend letter.

The lawyers were to testify on the results of each investigation as the judiciary committee weighs how to draft articles of impeachment. They will not have any defectors, Republican lawmakers said on Sunday, but Democrats will be under increasing pressure to vote against impeachment.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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