The White House:
Bart Jansen, USA TODAY
Published 3: 02 p.m. ET Nov. 26, 2019 | Updated 11: 19 a.m. ET Nov. 27, 2019
WASHINGTON – The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled its first hearing in the formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump for Dec. 4, to explore how the Constitution applies to allegations of misconduct.
No witnesses were announced. But Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., explained in a letter to Trump that the hearing will discuss the historical and constitutional basis for impeachment, as well as the intent of terms such as “high crimes and misdemeanors,” for which a president can be removed.
Nadler said Trump’s lawyers will be allowed to attend and to question witnesses, so the president has a choice to make about whether to participate in the process.
“Our first task is to explore the framework put in place to respond to serious allegations of impeachable misconduct like those against President Trump,” Nadler said in a statement.
The hearing will be held where the House Intelligence Committee just concluded two weeks of hearings, in a room larger than the customary Judiciary hearing room, to accommodate a larger audience for the public and reporters.
Five panels are drafting reports to Judiciary, which will determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment to the full House. Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said his panel’s report will be completed “soon after” the Thanksgiving holiday.
The other Trump investigations: While focus is on Ukraine, here’s the evidence committees have compiled to bolster Trump impeachment case
Testimony from 12 witnesses during five days of hearings described Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. State Department and national security officials said Trump demanded investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, as a condition for meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and then before releasing nearly $400 million in military aid that Congress had approved.
But Trump has said he was justified in urging the investigation of possible corruption. Congressional Republicans said the president sets foreign policy, rather than witnesses who criticized Trump’s efforts during their testimony.
The announcement came a day after the Judiciary Committee won a U.S. District Court ruling to enforce a subpoena for testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn. But the Justice Department appealed the decision.
The panel had previously held hearings about former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election. One was with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Monday the House will continue its oversight to uphold the separation of powers.
What do American’s think?: Number of Americans supporting Trump’s impeachment and removal unchanged
“As the Court ruled, ‘It is hard to imagine a more significant wound than such alleged interference with Congress’ ability to detect and deter abuses of power within the Executive branch for the protection of the People of the United States,’” Pelosi said. “The judge concluded that, ‘Stated simply, the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that Presidents are not kings.’”
The panel earlier won a U.S. District Court order for access to grand jury evidence that supported the Mueller report. Attorney General William Barr had redacted grand jury material from the report and defied a request to testify about the report, as he had at the Senate Judiciary Committee.
But the latest hearing will be the first for the panel since Pelosi declared a formal impeachment inquiry Sept. 24 and the House adopted rules for the inquiry Oct. 31. Trump has dismissed the inquiry as a partisan “witch hunt.”
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/11/26/house-judiciary-committee-sets-first-impeachment-hearing-dec-4/4310730002/