The Democratic-led US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee came back after a six-week long recess on Monday, appearing prepared as they announced to take the investigation further, which could lead to President Donald Trump’s impeachment. They said to consider the process of formalizing the inquiry this week.
The panel, which is supposed to decide if Trump’s impeachment is to be recommended to the full House by year-end, will come together on Thursday. The meeting at 12 p.m. GMT would be about a resolution that Democratic panel aides claim would align the probe better with the previous formal inquiries.
After returning from the summer break, the House Democrats on Monday expedited the investigation into Trump and disclosed an inquiry into reports that claimed the President urged Ukraine’s government into backing his re-election campaign.
The measure to be considered by the panel would authorize the Chairman Jerrold Nadler to indicate committee and subcommittee hearings as impeachment proceedings. Besides, it would allow aggressive questioning of hearing witnesses by committee attorneys, permit the White House to respond to evidence and testimony in writing, and set procedures for reviewing grand jury material.
“Hopefully, it enables us to move more quickly and more effectively,” Nadler told reporters. “We are examining the various malfeasances of the president with a view toward the possibility of recommending articles of impeachment.”
Democrats had referred to an impeachment resolution against President Trump in February, three months after winning control of the House in November 2018. In March, the judiciary committee launched an oversight probe of Trump’s presidency, and has been rebranding it as an impeachment investigation since then.
This time, the Democrats plan to inspect beyond the President’s efforts to impede in the former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in 2016 presidential elections. They would be scrutinizing his role in hush payments to two women, who reported alleged affair with Trump, and the reports that he held out pardons to officials willing to break the law to implement his immigration policies. Last week, the left-wing party also called for documents related to whether Trump’s resort properties illegally profited from government business.
“The unprecedented corruption, coverup, and crimes by the president are under investigation by the committee as we determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment or other Article 1 remedies,” stated Nadler. “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.”
House Judiciary Committee also unveiled that President Trump’s attorneys under a set of procedures would be allowed to review some of Congress’s impeachment-related evidence. They would be able to get access to evidence and witnesses, where they can review sensitive grand-jury materials as well in classified settings too.
However, the Republicans accused the opposition of trying to circumvent House rules by refusing to hold a full House vote on opening an impeachment inquiry.
“Judiciary Democrats are trying to pull a fast one on Americans,” said Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary panel. “They know they don’t have the votes for the whole House to impeach, so they’re trying to adopt committee rules to govern an ‘impeachment investigation the House hasn’t even authorized.”
President Donald Trump will not be the first president to have been impeached by the House— Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999. However, it is still to be decided whether he will be the part of the list.
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