Trump Impeachment Inquiry Hearings: Schedule, Witnesses and Testimony

SUNRISE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 26: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a homecoming campaign rally at the BB&T Center on November 26, 2019 in Sunrise, Florida. President Trump continues to campaign for re-election in the 2020 presidential race. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump continues this week in the House of Representatives, with the proceedings moving from the House Intelligence Committee to the House Judiciary Committee.

The committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, December 4, at 10 a.m. EST. Chaired by Rep. Jerry Nadler D-N.Y., the committee will hear from several legal experts to determine if there are constitutional grounds to impeach Trump.

The House Judiciary Committee announced its list of witnesses on Monday. The Democrats on the committee have invited Noah Feldman, a Harvard Law professor, Pamela Karlan, a law professor at Stanford, and Michael Gerhardt, a law professor at the University of North Carolina, to testify. The Republicans have called Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, to testify.

The hearing comes after two weeks of testimony before the House Intelligence Committee from several witnesses including former U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, former U.S. Ambassadors to Ukraine Bill Taylor and Marie Yovanovitch and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent.

Here’s what you need to know:


The House Judiciary Committee Invited President Donald Trump To Testify

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler sent a letter to President Donald Trump inviting him to testify before the committee. He gave the president a deadline of Friday, December 6 to respond. The White House responded over the weekend and said it would not participate in the hearing.

The letter to Trump, dated November 29, reads as follows:

Dear Mr. President:

Earlier this week, Chairman Schiff announced that the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is “preparing a report summarizing the evidence we have found this far which will be transmitted to the Judiciary Committee soon after Congress returns from the Thanksgiving recess.” That report will describe, among other things, “a months-long effort in which President Trump again sought foreign interference in our elections for his personal and political benefit at the expense of our national interest” and “an unprecedented campaign of obstruction in an effort to prevent the Committees from obtaining documentary evidence and testimony.” As you are also aware, the Judiciary Committee has been engaged in an investigation concerning allegations that you may have engaged in acts of obstruction of justice, as detailed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.

This week’s hearing in the House Judiciary Committee is entitled “The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment.” The ranking member of the committee is Rep. Doug Collins, a Republican from Georgia, who warned against the hearing becoming “raw political theater.”

“The least Chairman Nadler can do to show an ounce of fairness to the American people—and indicate that Judiciary proceedings will be more than raw political theater—is allow an equal distribution of witnesses for Wednesday’s impeachment hearing,” Collins tweeted.

The House Judiciary Committee announced its list of witnesses on Monday. The Democrats on the committee have invited Noah Feldman, a Harvard Law professor, Pamela Karlan, a law professor at Stanford, and Michael Gerhardt, a law professor at the University of North Carolina, to testify. The Republicans have called Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, to testify.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler Said This Is a ‘New Phase’ of the Impeachment Process

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which is holding a hearing this week in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

Nadler issued a statement saying he hopes the president, or his lawyers, will participate in what he calls a “new phase” of the impeachment process. The White House has declined to attend the hearing.

“As Chairman Schiff indicated yesterday, the impeachment inquiry is entering into a new phase. Today, we noticed a hearing on the ‘Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment.’ That hearing will take place next Wednesday, December 4th at 10:00 am. 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.

“I have also written to President Trump to remind him that the Committee’s impeachment inquiry rules allow for the President to attend the hearing and for his counsel to question the witness panel. At base, the President has a choice to make: he can take this opportunity to be represented in the impeachment hearings, or he can stop complaining about the process. I hope that he chooses to participate in the inquiry, directly or through counsel, as other Presidents have done before him,” he said.


President Donald Trump Will Be in London for a NATO Summit During the House Judiciary Committee Hearing in Washington, D.C.

President Donald Trump has been invited to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, or send a lawyer or representative on his behalf. But the president will be in London next week for a NATO summit that will also mark the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Trump tweeted on Saturday night:

“I will be representing our Country in London at NATO, while the Democrats are holding the most ridiculous Impeachment hearings in history. Read the Transcripts, NOTHING was done or said wrong! The Radical Left is undercutting our Country. Hearings scheduled on same dates as NATO!”


The White House Said It Will Not Participate in the House Judiciary Committee Hearing and Called the Impeachment Inquiry a ‘Sham Partisan Process’

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told reporters last week that Rep. Jerry Nadler’s letter was under review.

“White House is currently reviewing Chairman Nadler’s letter – but what is obvious to every American is that this letter comes at the end of an illegitimate sham partisan process. The President has done nothing wrong and the Democrats know it,” Grisham said in a statement according to CBS News.

Over the weekend, White House counsel Pat Cipollone sent a response to Nadler saying it would not take part in the hearing. “As you know, this baseless and highly partisan inquiry violates all past historical precedent, basic due process rights, and fundamental fairness,” the letter said.

Cipollone also accused Nadler of purposely scheduling the hearing during the NATO summit in London, knowing that Trump would not be able to attend.

Nadler issued a statement on Monday in response to the White House letter declining his invitation to participate in the hearing.

“Late last night, the President and his counsel turned down our invitation to participate in Wednesday’s hearing. His response is unfortunate because allowing the President to participate has been a priority for the House from the outset. That is why the House included the opportunity to participate in H. Res 660,” Nadler said.

“The American people deserve transparency. If the President thinks the call was ‘perfect’ and there is nothing to hide then he would turn over the thousands of pages of documents requested by Congress, allow witnesses to testify instead of blocking testimony with baseless privilege claims, and provide any exculpatory information that refutes the overwhelming evidence of his abuse of power.”


The House Judiciary Committee Hearing Comes After Two Weeks of Testimony Before the House Intelligence Committee

Public impeachment inquiry hearings against President Donald Trump kicked off in the House Intelligence Committee earlier this month with several witnesses testifying, including former U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, former U.S. Ambassadors to Ukraine Bill Taylor and Marie Yovanovitch and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent.

The House Intelligence Committee also heard public testimony from two witnesses, Jennifer Williams, Vice President Mike Pence’s special adviser for Europe and Russia, and Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s director for European Affairs. David Hale, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and Laura Cooper, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia, also testified.

Fiona Hill, who was President Donald Trump’s adviser on Russia and Europe until she resigned in July, also testified.

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x