U.S. House panel to consider formalizing Trump impeachment probe

Thursday, 12 Sep, 2019

Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., has already said the committee is conducting an impeachment investigation, but said Monday this move would more clearly define the parameters of the probe.

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

The resolution would let Mr. Nadler to create subcommittees to review evidence, expand time committee staff can question witnesses, and give the president's legal team access to some evidence as well as an opportunity to respond in writing.

"The Congressional Progressive Caucus strongly endorses the House Judiciary Committee's current formal impeachment investigation and the adoption of the Resolution of Investigative Procedures", a statement from the lawmakers' group reads, reports The Washington Post.

"A D.C. federal judge on Wednesday shot down an attempt by House Judiciary Committee Democrats to link their subpoena for former White House counsel Don McGahn to a separate request for secret grand jury information from the Russian Federation investigation after the Justice Department accused them of trying to 'game the system, '" reports Fox News.

Democrats have been divided over whether or not to impeach President Donald Trump.

Yet the calls for impeachment among House Democrats have grown as the Trump administration has refused to cooperate with congressional investigations, disregarding subpoenas related to providing his tax returns, the unredacted report from former special counsel Robert Mueller, and testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn. Thanks to the tightrope act Nadler (with Pelosi's tacit support) has executed, Democrats won't face a floor vote until and unless the case for actual impeachment is stronger and clearer and commands better public support than it does today.

At the same time, however, if an impeachment inquiry were to proceed, but is shown to be weak or purely partisan, the Republican Senate and much of the general public will simply dismiss it.

Additionally, it would permit evidence to be received in a closed executive session. Ocasio-Cortez has said that Republicans against Trump's impeachment should have to go on the record with a vote.

If the committee approves the new resolution on Thursday, the more aggressive questioning format would be in place for a September 17 hearing at which Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, is scheduled to testify, along with former Trump White House aides Rob Porter and Rick Dearborn.

The release comes just as members return from a six-week recess.

Vice President Mike Pence's recent stay at Trump's Doonbeg resort in Ireland is one example, and House Democrats are already looking into USA military personnel staying at the president's Turnberry property in Scotland - arguing that the president has enriched himself through his official office.

The group is comprised of almost 100 members of the House and one senator, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

"It represents another significant step forward", a senior Judiciary aide said on Monday. "Now, House leadership must listen to the people and take real, concrete steps toward impeachment".

"We are already in the midst of an impeachment investigation", she said.

"The president is in violation of the emoluments clauses of the Constitution as he works to enrich himself, putting the safety and security of our nation at risk", the chairman said.

"We're getting more information, and we're organizing it", she said.