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

Trump, lawyers won’t participate in upcoming impeachment hearing

Trump, lawyers won’t participate in upcoming impeachment hearing

Whichever course the president chooses will carry risks for both sides in historic proceedings that have so far broken down nearly exclusively along partisan lines.

Congressional investigators have been looking into whether Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to launch investigations of former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, who is running to unseat him in the 2020 presidential election, and a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russian Federation, interfered in the 2016 USA presidential election.

"Our job is to follow the facts, apply the law, be guided by the US constitution and present the truth to the American people no matter where it leads, because no one is above the law", Jeffries told Fox.

He brushed off polls suggesting recent hearings did not motivate the public to back impeachment, saying polls differ and many Americans think Mr. Trump did something wrong.

The House Intelligence Committee is expected to allow lawmakers to review its impeachment report on Monday (local time) ahead of a schedule vote to approve it Tuesday.

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., a Judiciary Committee member, said on ABC News' "This Week" that he thought it "would be to the president's advantage" to have counsel participate in the upcoming hearings. The panel's chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY, set a deadline of Friday evening for the administration to say whether it would take part in more hearings expected next week. But he signaled that Democrats would first have to make major procedural concessions.

Cipollone quoted Nadler's own words to him, from the 1998 Clinton impeachment process, declaring that the Judiciary Committee could not simply receive a report from another committee, but should conduct its own inquiry, complete with witnesses.

Media captionWhat does it take to impeach a president?

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The probe is looking into whether Mr Trump used the threat of withholding United States military aid to pressure Ukraine into investigating the Bidens. A botched bank robbery or an unsuccessful burglary are still crimes, she said.

"It's an internal kind of time frame to try and finish this out by the end of the year because they want to get at this president right now before everybody completely sees through the process sham of the elections for next year", Collins said. The White House has not yet indicated whether it will take part in the committee proceedings. The informal hearing will examine the "constitutional grounds for presidential impeachment".

Collins renewed demands for Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee and the lead Democrat overseeing last month's public testimony, to testify. The head of the Democratic caucus, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of NY, said on "Fox News Sunday" that relevant knowledge of facts surrounding Trump's conduct on Ukraine would be the determining factor in whether witnesses would be summoned.

Hunter Biden sat on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings while his father was the vice president. Trump's backers, without offering any evidence, have accused the former vice president of pushing for the firing of an ex-Ukrainian prosecutor to protect his son.

The panel can also seek further testimony.

"The first and foremost person who needs to testify is Adam Schiff", Collins said while adding that Schiff had "compared himself to a special counsel".

"We've already had constitutional scholars in the committee talking about - from the Mueller report and others, is there an impeachable offense?" he said on "Fox News Sunday". The president has denied any wrongdoing and has called the inquiry a "witch hunt".

"We will also discuss whether your alleged actions warrant the House's exercising its authority to adopt articles of impeachment", he added.

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