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Democrats set the stage for Trump's impeachment with key hearing

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Democrats set the stage for Trump's impeachment with key hearing

By David Morgan

 

2019-12-02T174409Z_2_LYNXMPEFB10U0_RTROPTP_4_USA-TRUMP-IMPEACHMENT-POLL.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Fiona Hill, former National Security Council Russia expert, center right, and David Holmes, counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, center left, testify during a House Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019. Andrew Harrer/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic lawmakers in Congress will take a big step this week in what appears now to be an inexorable march towards impeaching U.S. President Donald Trump, with the start of hearings seen as a precursor to formal charges being announced within weeks.

 

As opinion polls show Americans bitterly divided over whether to impeach Trump, the Judiciary Committee in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives will hold a hearing on Wednesday to explain to the public what constitutes an impeachable offence.

 

It will also receive a report from the House Intelligence Committee laying out the evidence Democrats say shows Trump abused his office for personal political gain.

 

Democrats have been looking into the Republican president's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden, a former Democratic vice president who is seeking his party's nomination to face Trump in the 2020 presidential election, and his son Hunter Biden, who was a board member of a Ukrainian energy company.

 

The impeachment inquiry has heard testimony from current and former officials that military aid was withheld from Ukraine and that a White House meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was conditioned on investigations into the Bidens and a debunked conspiracy theory about interference in the 2016 U.S. election being carried out.

 

 

The report likely to lay out the evidence Democrats say shows Trump abused his office for personal political gain, and hands the baton over to the Judiciary Committee which will hold its first hearings on Wednesday. Jonah Green reports.

 

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and says a July 25 phone call with Zelenskiy, in which he pressed for the probes, was "perfect." He and fellow Republicans say Democrats are seeking to overturn the will of the people in the 2016 presidential election.

 

The judiciary panel will hear public testimony from four legal scholars on what constitutional basis a U.S. president can be removed from office.

 

In a defiant response on Sunday night, the White House informed Democrats that Trump and his lawyers would not participate in Wednesday's hearing, citing a lack of "fundamental fairness."

 

Speaking to reporters as he departed the White House on Monday en route to London for a NATO summit, Trump said he had declined to participate in the hearing because it was a hoax.

 

The proceedings would have been the first direct involvement by the Trump camp in the process.

 

Representative Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, called the White House's decision "unfortunate" and said that allowing Trump to participate had been a priority from the outset of the impeachment probe.

 

White House counsel Pat Cipollone has not ruled out taking part in future proceedings if Democrats address a list of procedural complaints.

 

The committee, which is not expected to consider evidence against Trump until next week, has given the president until 5 p.m. (2200 GMT) on Friday to say whether he plans to mount a defence by calling witnesses and introducing evidence.

 

DEEPENING DIVIDE

The Republican-controlled Senate, where any impeachment trial would be held, is highly unlikely to vote to oust Trump. Few Senate Republicans have shown an appetite for removing the president.

 

But the impeachment inquiry has cast a shadow over Trump's already tumultuous presidency and sharpened a divide among Americans that is likely to intensify as election campaigning heats up in the coming weeks.

 

"We're on an exercise with a very predictable outcome and one that's going to divide the country further. 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.

 

Wednesday's hearing, while academic in nature, will set the stage for the Judiciary Committee to begin determining whether Trump should face formal articles of impeachment. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to supporters last week that Trump had committed "bribery" and needed to be held accountable.

 

"Impeachment is the people's last line of self-defense against a president who insists upon acting like a king and trampling the rule of law," said Representative Jamie Raskin, a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

 

"We've had an intensive focus over the last several weeks on the facts," Raskin said in an interview. "We are now about to revisit the basic values and structures of the American Constitution."

 

Democratic aides said a vote on possible articles of impeachment would follow quickly on the heels of an evidentiary hearing.

 

(Reporting by David Morgan; Additional reporting by Matt Spetalnick, Diane Bartz, Humeyra Pamuk, Alexandra Alper and Lisa Lambert; Writing by Matt Spetalnick and Paul Simao; Editing by Ross Colvin and Peter Cooney)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-12-03
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Interesting use of words here in comments. " I think" in the dictionary means I don't know!

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12 minutes ago, legend49 said:

Interesting use of words here in comments. " I think" in the dictionary means I don't know!

I don't know so I'll change it to "In My Honest Opinion".   But it is a strategy tio get rid of Trump and possibly retain the White House for 8 more years.

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20 minutes ago, legend49 said:

Interesting use of words here in comments. " I think" in the dictionary means I don't know!

 

hmm???

surprised? who can KNOW about the future?

prediction is a challenging task, especially if it is about the future

 

 

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32 minutes ago, wayned said:

I think that the Republicans should change their strategy and join together with the Dems and impeach Trump and remove him from office as he deserves!  They should then nominate someone else other than Pence to run against the Dems in the 2020 election.  I truly think that if they nominated someone like Mickey Haley who put forward the pluses of the Trump Presidency,  like the economy, and promised to turn around some of the negatives like immigration and tariffs she would be hard to beat and the Dems would have the White house for another 8 years rather than maybe , and I say maybe, just 4.  Trump would s**t his pants and call for a civil war, but they would still be in power because they "did the right thing"!

Probably the same reaction with Mickey Mouse. 

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39 minutes ago, wayned said:

and the Dems would have the White house for another 8 years rather than maybe

Is it possible you got the players and the teams mixed up here?

The Dems don't have the Whitehouse "now".

 

Just asking.

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15 minutes ago, JDGRUEN said:

President Trump has 65 million loyal, active, highly supportive voting fans who will go vote - who will help Trump reach his projected one billion dollar campaign war chest.  Most importantly - Trump will also have the benefit of a highly visible solid U. S. Economy underpinned by very low unemployment - lowest in decades. Plus the highest level of Black Citizen Employment - Ever!  In addition to a GDP out distancing any Democrat led national GDP in modern times. And "to top it off" Trump has noticeably rising Black and Hispanic voter support. 

 

Not understood by the typical "old school JFK type Liberal Democrat - today's Democrat Party Liberals are totally dominated by Leftists espousing radical socialist programs that middle age and older Americans don't want. 

 

Then add in Trump's monthly (sometimes twice a month) campaign rallies that draw in tens of thousands of rousingly cheering supporters. This does not count the additional tens of thousands of Trump fans who stay in the arena car parks watching the rallies on big screen TV. 

On the other hand we have odd duck - off the charts collection of "over the Leftist Cliff" Democrat Socialist Presidential Primary Challengers who combined could not draw a crowd big enough to fill a high school basketball stadium.

 

And the leader of the Dem pack is laughable "Quid Pro Joe" Biden - a doddering often confused Pedo Candidate.  

 

Oh Yes - The Dem sponsored  witnesses in the sham Impeachment hearings gave no incriminating testimony beyond ridiculous "hearsay" ("I was told", "I presumed", "I never talked to the President", "President Trump told me on the phone" in reference to Ukrainian Leaders" - "What do to want Mr. President" ? Trump Answered: "I want nothing - I want No Quid Pro Quo". "I just want the Ukrainian President to do the Right Thing" 

 

The above is the case despite the vicious anti-Trump 24/7/365 diatribe of the 95% Leftist Dominated U.S. News Media who are "joined at the hip" with the Democrat Party making for a cabal seeking - not impeachment - but rather an out and out Coup. 

 

The Dems may force a Trump impeachment through their demonstrated chicanery.  But the Senate will NEVER remove President Trump. And it is possible "when push comes to shove" that the Senate would not even hold a Trial based on the House Dems' outrageous manipulation of the sham Impeachment and one sided hearing process.  The Salem Witch Trials come to mind. 

 

We will have to endure Five more years of Democrat "Trump Derangement Syndrome"... OH WELL! 

 

 

 

largely agree,

would have used different words though,

but DEMs need better sales ware in order to win

 

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23 minutes ago, neeray said:

Is it possible you got the players and the teams mixed up here?

The Dems don't have the Whitehouse "now".

 

Just asking.

Yep!   Spell check checks the spelling but not the content, it also can't find my glasses which I misplace more often as each day passes.

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