Judiciary committee releases report on historical arguments for impeachment

The House judiciary committee, led by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., released a report outlining historical arguments for impeachment. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Dec. 7 (UPI) — The House judiciary committee released a report Saturday outlining historical arguments for impeachment of the president.

The report doesn’t take a position on whether President Donald Trump should be impeached, but does come two days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the committees investigating Trump to draw up articles of impeachment against him.

“The framers’ worst nightmare is what we are facing in this very moment,” House judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said.

“President Trump abused his power, betrayed our national security and corrupted our elections, all for personal gain. The Constitution details only one remedy for this misconduct: impeachment. The safety and security of our nation, our democracy, and future generations hang in the balance if we do not address this misconduct. In America, no one is above the law, not even the president.”

House Democrats have said Trump abused his power both by appealing to a foreign power for assistance with the 2020 election and by obstructing the investigation against him.

Intended to update similar documents prepared in 1974 and 1998, the report focuses on how to define the offenses listed in the Constitution as suitable grounds for impeachment: “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The White House said Friday it would not participate in the committee’s impeachment investigation.

Also on Saturday, Rep. Doug Collins, the ranking Republican on the committee, sent Nadler a letter formally requesting eight witnesses be asked to testify, including House intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and the anonymous whistle-blower whose August letter kicked off the inquiry.

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On Wednesday, a panel of four constitutional scholars testified before the judiciary committee, offering differing opinions about whether Trump’s refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas is impeachable.

Three of the witnesses called by Democrats said Trump was “putting himself above the law” when he refused to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. The fourth witness, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, who was called by Republicans, said the impeachment inquiry itself was an abuse of power.

Pelosi officially announced the impeachment inquiry Sept. 24, enveloping existing investigations into Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky under the umbrella of the probe. The investigations were prompted by a whistle-blower report about the call, accusing Trump of pressuring a foreign government to investigate the Bidens. The former vice president, who is running for president in the 2020 election, is a political rival of Trump.

The committees are attempting to determine whether Trump withheld $250 million in military aid and a one-on-one meeting between the two leaders in exchange for a Biden investigation. The Trump administration officially released the military aid in installments in September.

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