Democrats unveil impeachment procedures against Trump

WASHINGTON (The Hill) — House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a resolution to outline the next phase of their impeachment inquiry that will bring their case before the public after weeks of closed-door witness testimony.

The resolution, unveiled by House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), sets up procedures for open hearings by the Intelligence Committee and releasing witness testimony.

It also allows Republicans to request witness testimony and documents, similar to previous impeachment inquiries. But Democrats on the Intelligence panel still have the ability to block the requests.

The resolution is expected to hit the House floor on Thursday.

The leaders of the committees involved in the impeachment process — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and acting Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) — said that the resolution will prepare lawmakers for the next stage of the inquiry.

“The evidence we have already collected paints the picture of a president who abused his power by using multiple levers of government to press a foreign country to interfere in the 2020 election. Following in the footsteps of previous impeachment inquiries, the next phase will move from closed depositions to open hearings where the American people will learn firsthand about the president’s misconduct,” they said in a joint statement.

The resolution further outlines the format for the upcoming public hearings, which will provide for extended time for questioning and allow committee staff to cross-examine witnesses. Only House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and the panel’s ranking Republican, Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), or committee employees are allowed to ask questions.

That would be a departure from the typical format of congressional hearings, in which members of each party alternate with five minutes of questioning.

The format is similar to how lawmakers on the three committees leading the impeachment inquiry have been conducting the depositions behind closed doors in a secure facility in the sub-basement of the Capitol for the past month.

Republicans would have to provide “detailed written justification” to suggest subpoenas or request witness testimony. But Democrats have veto power to block Republicans’ requests with a party-line committee vote.

The resolution also directs the House Intelligence Committee to issue a report on its findings and recommendations.

The resolution further outlines the process for transferring materials to the House Judiciary Committee, which would be tasked with formally drafting and approving articles of impeachment.

The Judiciary Committee would be authorized to “promulgate additional procedures as it deems necessary for the fair and efficient conduct of committee hearings.”

The resolution is not meant to formally authorize the impeachment inquiry that is already ongoing, as Republicans and the White House had been demanding for weeks. But it does state that the relevant committees involved in investigating the Trump administration “are directed to continue their ongoing investigations as part of the existing House of Representatives inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America.”

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump departs for Wisconsin from the White House in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump waves prior to departing on a trip to Wisconsin from the White House in Washington, U.S., October 24, 2018. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton/File Photo – RC1C71EBBBD0

IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY: New York Times poll shows majority opposes impeachment in 6 key swing states

NEW YORK — A majority of voters in 6 key battleground states oppose impeaching President Donald Trump and removing him from office according to a recent New York Times report.

In a poll conducted by the publication, just forty-three percent of voters in the swing states of Arizona, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Wisconsin support impeachment and removal of the president. Fifty-seven percent oppose.

According to the poll, those who oppose and support impeachment fall straight down party lines with 92% of Republicans opposing impeachment and removal and 84% of Democrats supporting it.

President Trump praised the poll Tuesday morning in a tweet in which he quoted Brian Kilmeade of “Fox & Friends” who had earlier discussed the survey’s findings on air.

“”I thought a very revealing poll was done by The New York Times. By about a 10 point margin, those in battleground states polled are against impeaching the President, and if Nancy Pelosi doesn’t take note of that, maybe she is a third rate politician.’ @kilmeade @foxandfriends” the president wrote.

The poll, conducted between Oct. 13-20 in the battleground states, surveyed 1,934 registered voters. The margin of error was stated as plus or minus 2.8%.

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A ‘LYNCHING’: Trump swings back against impeachment inquiry; Dems cry racism

WASHINGTON– President Donald Trump on Tuesday hit back at House Democrats that are leading an impeachment inquiry they hope will remove him from office.

“So someday, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” Trump tweeted. “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!”

The president’s comments were quick to draw criticism from those on the left who deemed his use of the term “lynching” as “racist.”

“I really believe this man is prone to inflammatory statements and that is one word no president ought to apply to himself,” Rep. James Clyburn, (D)-S.C., told CNN’s “New Day.”

“I’ve studied presidential history quite a bit and I don’t know if we’ve ever seen anything quite like this,” Clyburn said. “I am not just a politician up here. I’m a Southern politician, I’m a product of the South. I know the history of that word, that is a word that we ought to be very, very careful about using.”

“By comparing his current situation to lynching, Trump is engaging in both the weaponizing of race and his sense of victimhood,” Clyburn continued. “He is purposely dredging up some of the darkest images of our country to vent his anger and rally his supporters to his cause.
It is, in a word, gross.”

Calls for response from the White House were not immediately returned.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump departs for Wisconsin from the White House in Washington