Published: Wed, September 11, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Democrats lay out impeachment probe rules

Democrats lay out impeachment probe rules

The measure to be considered at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT) on Thursday would authorize House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler to designate committee and subcommittee hearings as impeachment-related.

The procedures the committee will be considering include that evidence can be received by the committee in closed executive sessions to protect confidentiality and that the president's counsel may respond in writing to evidence and testimony presented to the Judiciary Committee.

In a statement, Nadler described the procedures as a step that would "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".

Some Democrats have accused Nadler of contributing to confusion surrounding the inquiry, with the panel telling the courts in filings that it was in the midst of an impeachment inquiry while telling a different story publicly.

Pelosi denied House Democrats are divided over the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment drive, refusing to elaborate on the initiative but assuring that Democrats are together as one. Former President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 after the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment against him, but before the full House voted on the matter.

"Thais Marques, CREDO Action " But without Chairman Nadler setting a date for a vote on articles of impeachment", said CREDO Action campaign manager Thais Marques in a statement, "it's clear that Speaker Pelosi and Democratic leadership are still putting the brakes on impeachment. This vote is expected to establish a set of procedures by which the committee would then make a recommendation to the full House of Representatives.

For much of the year, the House Judiciary Committee has focused on former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including episodes of Trump behavior that Democrats say provide evidence that the president obstructed justice by trying to impede the special counsel's probe.

Saul Loeb  AFP  Getty Images FILE
Saul Loeb AFP Getty Images FILE

But it is not clear whether the White House could seek to stonewall the hearing by directing Porter and Dearborn not to testify.

A probe of potential violations of the Constitution's "Emoluments Clause" will pore over the Stormy Daniels pay-off. "We will not allow Trump's continued obstruction to stop us from delivering the truth to the American people".

They've also launched an investigation into Vice President Mike Pence's stay at a Trump-owned property while on an official visit to Ireland.

With the 2020 election on the horizon, Pelosi, as well as numerous Democratic Party's moderates, fear that voters' distaste for impeachment could put the majority back in the hands of Republicans.

"The committee has intensified its investigation", a Democratic committee aide said.

During the August recess, Nadler told CNN that the committee was in the midst of formal impeachment proceedings and could vote out articles of impeachment to the House floor by year's end. A failed impeachment effort would also lend credence to White House's assertion that ongoing investigations into the president and his administration are tantamount to "political harassment".

The debate about what exactly the committee is doing also highlights the growing divide among House Democrats. If he can not respect the Constitution, we'll have to deal with that.

China August Soybean Imports Jump Nearly 10%
China's global exports took a 3 percent hit to $214.8 billion, with imports climbing a modest 1.7 percent at $180 billion. China's trade surplus with the United States stood at US$26.95-billion in August, narrowing from July's US$27.97-billion.

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