House Judiciary Democrats Set Guidelines for Trump Impeachment Probe
Should the House impeach President Trump?
House Judiciary Committee Democrats on Thursday voted to set guidelines for hearings the committee will hold to determine whether it should recommend that the House of Representatives impeach President Donald Trump.
The resolution, which passed 24-17 along party-lines, gives Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) the ability to call hearings at the full committee or subcommittee level related to the possibility of filing articles of impeachment, issue subpoenas, and call witnesses who can be questioned by committee counsel for an extra hour after members are done. It also provides the president’s counsel an opportunity to respond in writing to information and testimony presented by the committee.
Nadler said the committee should decide whether to recommend articles by the end of the year and brushed aside criticism that an impeachment inquiry hasn’t been authorized:
“Some call this process an impeachment inquiry. Some call it an impeachment investigation. There is no legal difference between these terms, and I no longer care to argue about the nomenclature.”
Republicans argue that distinction matters because the full House of Representatives hasn’t voted to authorize an impeachment inquiry by the Judiciary Committee like it did in the modern era presidential impeachment inquiries against Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA) said that:
“The rules from back then were adopted to ensure fairness, out of a desire to do things right and out of an understanding of the gravity of telling the American people that Congress planned to nullify a national election. The rules we’re discussing today are a press release ― repackaged jargon to appear as if this committee is doing something weighty. My colleagues are mocking the most severe remedy envisioned in our Constitution because they will stop at nothing to ensure the American people hear only non-stop, day-after-day, baseless accusations against the president.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters she was “very pleased with the path that we’re on and the progress that our committees have made,” but once again avoided calling the committee’s probe an impeachment inquiry.
What’s next for the probe?
Nadler indicated that the Judiciary Committee will begin holding hearings under the parameters established by today’s resolution, with the first set to feature testimony from Cory Lewandowski on September 17th.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Jerry Nadler via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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