Published: Mon, December 02, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Intelligence Committee to begin circulating draft Ukraine report Monday

Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee will be the first person he calls to testify before his panel as impeachment hearings proceed.

Hearings before the committee, which has responsibility for crafting any formal charges against Mr Trump, are a major step toward possible charges. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who will make the final decision, has not yet said whether the Republican president should be impeached. But in a letter to supporters last week, she called for him to be held accountable for his actions.

The remarks from Collins and other Republicans on Sunday reflected a conflict inside the GOP over the extent to which Trump and his congressional defenders ought to participate in a process they have spent more than two months attacking as unfair and corrupt. The White House has not yet indicated whether it will take part in the House Judiciary proceedings.

That committee's first hearing was already set for Wednesday and was expected to feature four legal experts who will examine questions of constitutional grounds as the committee decides whether to write articles of impeachment against Trump, and if so, what those articles would be.

Three investigating panels, led by the House Intelligence Committee, are due to release a formal report this week when lawmakers return on Tuesday from a Thanksgiving recess.

Republicans, meanwhile, wanted Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, to testify before the Judiciary Committee, though they have no power to compel him to do so, as they joined the White House effort to try to cast the Democratic-led inquiry as skewed against the Republican president.

"We're certainly hoping that the president, his counsel, will take advantage of that opportunity if he has not done anything wrong", Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., said on "This Week".

Blogger tests Singapore’s fake news law by rebuffing correction order
Shanmugam and gave a wrong impression of what he said about religion and politics in Parliament. It is an offence not to comply with a correction direction without a reasonable excuse.

In September, Trump fired Bolton from his job as national security adviser, citing policy disagreements.

Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said earlier that he hoped Trump and his counsel will participate in the Judiciary Committee hearing (pdf).

House rules say Trump and his lawyers are welcome to attend committee presentations of evidence, raise objections, ask questions and request their own witnesses.

"The president may well look at this, or his counsel may well look at this, and say: Why would we want to get in here and legitimize this process, when it was made illegitimate at the beginning by shutting us out?" said Republican Representative Tom Cole.

A draft report will be available for members of the House Intelligence Committee to view in a secure location before their planned vote on Tuesday, which would send their findings to the House Judiciary Committee to consider actual charges.

Mr Schiff told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" last week that he would not testify in a Senate impeachment trial if the House moves articles of impeachment against Mr Trump to the chamber.

The Democratic majority on the House Intelligence Committee says its report will speak for itself in laying out possible charges of bribery or "high crimes and misdemeanours", the constitutional standard for impeachment. "When we look at this process, we do not see a president who conditioned anything".

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