Published: Tue, September 10, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

US House steps up Trump impeachment probe

US House steps up Trump impeachment probe

The panel, which hopes to determine whether to recommend Trump's impeachment to the full House by the end of the year, will meet on Thursday at 8 consider a resolution that would open the door to the more aggressive questioning of witnesses at hearings and allow the White House to respond in writing to evidence and testimony.

House Democrats laid out the parameters for the Judiciary Committee's impeachment investigation on Monday, after a surge of members came out in support over the August break.

If passed, the resolution would allow Nadler to designate full committee or subcommittee hearings as part of the investigation.

Namely, the resolution empowers Nadler to hold impeachment hearings, and to have lawyers for the committee question witnesses for an additional hour after each member of Congress's five-minute allotment.

"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", Nadler said in a statement.

"Only through impeachment", he added, "can we make it clear that Trump is not above the law". The committee also subpoenaed former Trump aides Rick Dearborn and Rob Porter. 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.

Only two American presidents have been impeached by the House: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Clinton in 1999. "We will not allow Trump's continued obstruction to stop us from delivering the truth to the American people".

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For example, there could be hearings covering "startling" new evidence regarding potential violations of the emoluments clause that prohibits self-enrichment, such as a move by Trump to host next year's G-7 summit at his Doral, Fla., resort and Vice President Pence's recent stay at a Trump resort in Ireland, committee aides said.

The Judiciary Committee took similar steps to outline the rules for its impeachment inquiries into Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

Public and political support for an impeachment inquiry into President Trump remains limited, especially in the wake of underwhelming testimony from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller III over his almost two-year investigation into Trump-Russia collusion.

Aside from reviewing his use of Trump's properties, the Judiciary panel is also expected to investigate hush money payments Trump made to kill potentially embarrassing stories, and has subpoenaed the Department of Homeland Security to explore whether the president offered pre-emptive pardons for lawbreaking.

Separately, the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees launched a joint probe into allegations the Trump administration is pressuring the Ukrainian government to help his 2020 reelection bid.

Either way, Jayapal said she's committed to seeing it through. The committees said in a joint release that the record request is a "first step in a broad investigation into this matter". Giuliani later scrapped that trip.

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