Three constitutional scholars invited by Democrats to testify at House impeachment hearings said that President Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine for political gain was an impeachable offense.
One expert invited by Republicans said that the process of impeachment is proceeding too quickly.
Chairman Jerry Nadler opened with a statement that included the following remarks:
“Never before in the history of the republic have we been forced to consider the conduct of a president who appears to have solicited personal political favors from a foreign government,” he said. “Never before has a president engaged in a course of conduct that included all of the acts that most concerned the framers.”
President Trump is accused of pressuring the president of Ukraine to investigate former Vice-President Joe Biden, who seemed likely to be Trump’s political opponent in the 2020 election. He is also accused of obstructing justice by blocking the testimony of witnesses, intimidating witnesses and refusing to comply with subpoenas.
At the start of the hearing, Republicans made it clear that their strategy would be to interrupt the proceedings (within minutes, they called for a roll call vote three times) and to dismiss testimony from the law professors.
When Republican Doug Collins said, in his opening statement, that the hearings weren’t about facts but rather about a political agenda Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan came up for air.
Pamela Karlan hits back
“Mr. Collins,” she said, “I would like to say to you, sir, that I read transcripts of every one of the witnesses who appeared in the live hearing because I would not speak about these things without reviewing the facts.”
- Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry.
- The House issued subpoenas and investigated allegations of misconduct behind closed doors.
- Note: In the Nixon and Clinton impeachment process, a separate investigation was conducted. Information discovered through these separate investigations was given to the House.
- While the House requested this type of investigation of President Trump, the justice department did not comply, and therefore the House conducted its own inquiry.
- Televised hearings were conducted by the House Intelligence Committee.
- Note: The minority leader and vocal Trump defender Devon Nunes apparently was having conversations with Rudy Giuliani and Giuliani associates, which puts him in the middle of the impeachment mess. More on this will likely come out.
- The Intelligence Committee releases its report.
- Now, the Judiciary Committee is holding hearings.
- Note: The president and his attorney can attend the hearings, present their cases, cross-examine witnesses, etc. President Trump has declined this option, calling the process a “witch hunt” and “unfair.”
- Four legal scholars explain the constitutional relevance of the charges against President Trump.
Check out statements from each of the four legal scholars as well as the one question we believe should be answered… here.
Check out the House’s report on impeachment here.