Thursday, 12 December, 2019

Trump calls impeachment report "a joke"

Schiff impeachment report offers nothing but predetermined conclusion LIVE: ‘President Trump has committed impeachable offenses,’ according to first witness in impeachment inquiry
Adrian Cunningham | 04 December, 2019, 22:42

House Judiciary Committee Democrats met behind closed doors for six hours on Tuesday for a private preparation session ahead of the panel's official overtaking of the impeachment inquiry Wednesday. Later when the two leaders were face to face, Macron refused to back down, saying he stood by his comments.

He said that if Trump's actions aren't impeachable, nothing is.

Meanwhile, Rep. Matt Gaetz said Democrats will be held accountable for continuing to prioritize removing the president from office rather than helping the American people with meaningful legislation.

It comes after the Democrats on the committee drafted a 300-page report on allegations against Trump. The impeachment inquiry has revolved around a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. In an opinion piece in The Hill, Turley called Trump's pressure in Ukraine "highly inappropriate", but also criticized Democrats for pursuing "an impeachment that seems created to fail with an incomplete and conflicted record".

When will lawmakers vote on impeachment?

Trump "was willing to compromise our security and his office for personal, political gain" by "directly and explicitly" inviting foreign interference in United States elections in 2016 and again in his 2020 reelection effort, the Judiciary Committee chair, New York Democrat Jerry Nadler, said in his opening statement.

"The president's defiance of Congress is all the more troubling due to the rationale he claims for his obstruction: His arguments and those of his subordinates, including his White House Counsel Pat Cipollone in his October 8th letter to the Speaker and three committee chairs, boil down to the assertion that he is above the law", Gerhardt continued.

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Politico described the meeting as a "dress rehearsal" for the upcoming hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee room, where the Intelligence Committee held all of its hearings in that space.

Collins says "this is not impeachment, this is a simple railroad job". "I would not speak about these things without reviewing the facts".

The hearing, titled, "The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment", will include testimony from Jonathan Turley, a professor of public interest law at George Washington University Law School; Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law School and director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law; Michael Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law; and Pamela Karlan, a professor of public interest law at Stanford Law School, according to the Judiciary Committee (pdf).

But a rebuttal report released by House Republicans on Monday denied the existence of any quid pro quo and said Trump's actions regarding Ukraine were "valid".

"At the end of the day, there's still no impeachable offense".

Even so, the 300-page report approved by the Democrats on the Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees on Tuesday weaves what we have learned over the last few months into a compelling narrative with an inescapable conclusion: Trump has compromised and subverted USA national security interests for his own domestic political purposes and must be held accountable.

Democrats reportedly aim to have the articles presented for a vote to the entire House of Representatives by late December.