US House panel to meet on Trump impeachment charges
A Congressional panel will begin drawing up charges against President Donald Trump on Wednesday as the likelihood grows of his becoming only the third US leader ever impeached.
However, Trump’s attorney signaled on Sunday night that the White House won’t send anyone to the hearings, at least not right away.
“We cannot 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 letter to Jerry Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
But Cipollone also did not rule out White House participation in the hearings entirely, instead requesting further details from Nadler on how the inquiry will be conducted and saying he will give him an answer by next Friday.
Trump has been unable to quash allegations in the House of Representatives investigation that he illegally sought help from Ukraine to obtain dirt on his domestic political rivals, including possible 2020 challenger Joe Biden.
Nadler’s committee meets on Wednesday to begin determining whether the evidence compiled in the investigative phase of the process meets the constitutional impeachment standard of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
The committee is expected to consider at least four counts, or articles of impeachment, including abuse of power, bribery, contempt of Congress and obstruction of justice.
“The president has accepted or enlisted foreign nations to interfere in our upcoming elections,” said House impeachment leader Adam Schiff, a Democrat, in a November 25 statement.
“This is an urgent matter that cannot wait if we are to protect the nation’s security and the integrity of our elections.”
Trump and Republicans continue to brand the accusations and process as a political “witch hunt.”……..read more