Saturday, 07 December, 2019


House Republicans issue minority report rebutting impeachment

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jerrold Nadler D New York Enlarge Image Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jerrold Nadler D New York AP
Bennie Garza | 03 December, 2019, 03:00

House Democrats this week will transition to a new phase of their impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, one that is key if members hope to draft and pass articles of impeachment before lawmakers skip town for Christmas recess. That report is expected to be approved by the committee Tuesday evening, likely on a party-line vote.

Roughly a dozen witnesses have offered sworn public testimony before House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. He said the entire process has been unfair to the president.

"The Democrats' impeachment inquiry is not the organic outgrowth of serious misconduct; it is an orchestrated campaign to upend our political system", the Republicans wrote.

Trump has repeatedly lashed out at the impeachment probe as a "witch hunt" and denied wrongdoing, ordering his top officials not to participate in the proceedings.

Basically, Trump is now saying that he won't participate because he doesn't believe he'll be treated fairly, and rather than give the House Democrats the opportunity to prove him wrong (or right), he's doing the presidential equivalent of taking his ball and going home-except these committees are going to keep moving ahead, with or without his cooperation.

"We can not fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the president a fair process through additional hearings", White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in a five-page letter to Nadler, arguing that "an invitation to an academic discussion" would not "provide the president with any semblance of a fair process".

Cipollone's letter applied only to the Wednesday hearing, and he demanded more information from Democrats on how they meant to conduct further hearings before Trump would decide whether to participate in them.

"The reading is supported by President Trump's subsequent reference to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who had testified the day before about his findings, and to Attorney General William Barr, who had initiated an official inquiry into the origins of the USA government's 2016 Russian Federation investigation".

It's unclear what the White House's response will be, but in his letter over the weekend, Cipollone signaled they might also decline to participate in any further hearings.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday it was "very unfortunate" the Judiciary Committee was holding its hearing at the same time that Trump is representing the U.S. at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

The Republican-controlled Senate, where any impeachment trial would be held, is highly unlikely to vote to oust Trump. "He came and sat and testified under oath and took questions from all sides including the White House". Add Impeachment Inquiry as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Impeachment Inquiry news, video, and analysis from ABC News. He wanted the witness list expanded to include those suggested by Republicans.

On Monday, Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer who featured prominently in previous hearings for his role in pressuring Ukraine to conduct investigations desired by Trump, said that the inquiry was "attempted coup takedown".

To McClintock, Trump was using "the blunt talk of a Manhattan businessman" and "was entirely within his constitutional authority" in his dealings with Ukraine's leader. "It'll be a live issue through the election itself, and the American people will make the final determination", Republican Representative Tom Cole told Reuters.

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