• Monday, Feb 06, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Divided Congress to weigh Trump impeachment evidence as formal charges loom

  • Published at 10:25 am December 9th, 2019
US-POLITICS-CONGRESS-TRUMP-IMPEACHMENT
A slide is projected as Fiona Hill, the former top Russia expert on the National Security Council, and David Holmes, a State Department official stationed at the US Embassy in Ukraine arrive to testify during the House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC on November 21, 2019 AFP

Trump has denied wrongdoing and said the inquiry is a hoax

A US congressional panel leading the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump will debate the evidence against him on Monday, with Democratic lawmakers poised to move forward with formal charges of wrongdoing within days.

The Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee will formally review evidence from impeachment investigators at an all-day hearing scheduled to begin at 1400 GMT, a key step before determining charges, known as articles of impeachment, that the full House of Representatives is likely to vote on before Christmas.

The committee could vote to send them to the House floor later this week, Democratic Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said on Sunday, as lawmakers sharpened their focus on charges of wrongdoing in Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

That will set up an inevitable clash with Trump and his Republican allies, who maintain that Democrats are on a partisan mission to unseat a president who did nothing to merit impeachment. No current House Republican has come out in favour of impeaching Trump.

A vote in the Democratic-led House in favour of impeachment would trigger a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate where a two-thirds vote would be needed to remove the president from office. A conviction is considered unlikely.

It has been 20 years since Americans last witnessed impeachment proceedings, when Republicans brought charges against Democratic President Bill Clinton arising from a sexual relationship he had with a White House intern. He was acquitted in the Senate.

“It's up to us now in the House, and presumably will be up to the senators, to see if we will and if the senators will put the welfare of the country and patriotism above partisan considerations or not," Nadler said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

But on ABC's "This Week," House Judiciary Republican Matt Gaetz said the impeachment drive was "exclusively supported by Democrats."

'Pattern of behaviour'

After weeks of investigation into Trump's request that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to face the president in the 2020 election, the committee is focused on two articles charging Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Democrats have also accused Trump of abusing his power by withholding $391 million in security aid to Ukraine - a vulnerable US ally facing Russian aggression - and holding back a coveted White House meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as leverage to pressure Kiev into investigating Biden and his businessman son, Hunter Biden.

But they appeared to back away from basing one of the articles of impeachment on former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian election interference in 2016.

Instead, Democrats suggested they could use Mueller's findings to demonstrate what they describe as a pattern of behavior by which Trump has sought repeatedly to encourage foreign involvement in US elections and then move to stymie investigators.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and said the inquiry is a hoax.

Democrats intend to decide which articles to bring forward after Monday's hearing, which will feature testimony from Democratic and Republican lawyers from the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees.

The proceedings will showcase a 300-page report by Intelligence Committee Democrats that levels allegations of sweeping abuse of power against Trump.

Republicans have their own, 110-page report, which argues that the inquiry has relied on "unelected bureaucrats" who "fundamentally disagreed with President Trump's style, world view and decisions" but presented no evidence amounting to an impeachable offense.

 

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail