Tuesday, 25 February, 2020

Nadler Details Trump Impeachment Probe

House Democrats ramp up impeachment pressure on US President Donald Trump House Democrats ramp up impeachment pressure on US President Donald Trump
Deanna Wagner | 11 September, 2019, 18:45

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said in August that his committee has begun "formal impeachments proceedings" against Trump.

The procedures the committee will be considering include that evidence can be received by the committee in closed executive sessions to protect confidentiality and that the president's counsel may respond in writing to evidence and testimony presented to the Judiciary Committee.

"The adoption of these additional procedures is the next step in that process and will help ensure our impeachment hearings are informative to Congress and the public, while providing the president with the ability to respond to evidence presented against him", Nadler said this week.

Pelosi and Democrats see the case for impeachment expanding, working to pin constitutional violations on the president, according to a senior Democratic House leadership aide. Despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's public comments supporting the panel's investigation, privately she has told members that the issue is a loser without strong public sentiment.

An impeachment resolution against Trump was referred to the Judiciary Committee in February, three months after Democrats won control of the House in November 2018.

But the approach has been criticized by Republicans for avoiding a precedent from the Nixon and Clinton eras, when formal impeachment inquiries were authorized by the full House.

This time, Democrats have steered clear of a House vote that could prove risky for Democratic freshmen from swing districts where impeachment is unpopular with many voters.

Rep. Doug Collins, the top-ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, blasted the move and accused Democrats of circumventing the rules.

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More than 35 new Democrats have publicly backed an impeachment inquiry since July, meaning a majority of House Democrats now support the effort to push out Trump, according to CNN. While that is a majority of the party caucus, the number is well below the 218 votes needed for the House to approve a resolution.

"The committee has intensified its investigation", a Democratic committee aide said. "It's beyond time for the House to do more than small-bore resolutions to give them cover", CREDO Action campaign manager Thaís Marques said in a statement.

"We will not allow Trump's continued obstruction to stop us from delivering the truth to the American people", Nadler said.

The panel has also sued in federal court to gain access to Mueller's grand jury evidence and to compel former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify.

House Judiciary member David Cicilline of Rhode Island called the step significant, saying it was the first time the committee would formally consider the question of impeachment and that it was in line with Pelosi's direction.

Corey Lewandowski, former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, watches as Trump disembarks from Air Force One upon arrival at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Ky., Aug. 1, 2019, for a campaign rally.

Mueller, who had made it clear that he was reluctant to testify before Congress, was unprepared and largely unfamiliar with the content of the 448-page report that bears his name, calling into question how and why the report had been assembled.