House Democrats to lay out articles of impeachment Tuesday after judiciary hearing

Daniel Goldman, majority counsel, testifies during a House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing into President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Monday, December 9, 2019. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Dec. 10 (UPI) — Democratic chairs plan to announce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Tuesday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel said after a day of House judiciary hearings on Monday.

Speaking to reporters after meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Engel, D-N.Y., said chairs Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.; Adam Schiff, D-Calif.; Maxine Waters, D-Calif; and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., will announce specific articles of impeachment at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

“I think a lot of us believe that what happened, with Ukraine especially, is not something that we can just close our eyes to,” he said. “People feel very strongly about it, as do I … I think we’re doing what we have to do, we’re doing what the Constitution mandates that we do.”

Engel did not specify how many articles there will be or their substance.

The announcement comes after Democratic investigators began to detail their impeachment case against Trump at a hearing on Capitol Hill on Monday, presenting evidence to the House judiciary committee.

The House intelligence committee’s investigative director, Daniel Goldman, presented the panel with a 300-page report based on weeks of public and private testimony alleging Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate his political rival Joe Biden by withholding military funding and a White House meeting.

“President Trump directed a months-long scheme to solicit foreign help in his 2020 re-election campaign, withholding official acts from the government of Ukraine in order to coerce and secure political interference in our domestic affairs,” said Goldman.

Goldman also referred to Trump’s actions as dangerous, saying he “launched an unprecedented campaign of obstruction of Congress” upon being faced with impeachment and he dismissed allegations by the president and his attorney Rudy Giuliani that Biden acted corruptly in his interactions with Ukraine as “patently false.”

“That did not deter President Trump during his phone call with the Ukrainian president and it does not appear to deter him today,” Goldman said. “President Trump’s persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security.”

Lawyers representing both parties sought to make their case as Democratic lawyer Barry H. Berke said Trump checked all the boxes in the “ABCs of presidential abuses,” while Republican lawyer Steve Castor referred to the Democratic case as “baloney.”

“If, in fact, President Trump can get away with what he did again, our imagination is the only limit on what President Trump might do next, what a future president may do next to try to abuse his or her power,” said Berke.

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Castor argued that Democrats have failed to make a compelling case against Trump and have been looking for a reason to impeach him for the duration of his presidency.

“The record in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry does not show that President Trump abused the power of his office or obstructed Congress,” he said.

Lawyers representing Trump were absent on Monday, as the White House told the judiciary committee it won’t participate with its impeachment investigation, with Trump’s counsel Pat Cipollone calling the inquiry “completely baseless.”

“Adopting articles of impeachment would be a reckless abuse of power by House Democrats, and would constitute the most unjust, highly partisan and unconstitutional attempt at impeachment in our nation’s history,” Cipollone said.

Charges are expected to be filed sometime this week. They could also include information from the Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, which specified several “episodes” in which Trump may have obstructed justice by interfering in that inquiry.

“We’ll bring articles of impeachment presumably before the committee at some point later in the week,” judiciary committee Chairman Jerry Nadler told NBC News Sunday.

“He put himself above the country, he sought to get foreign interference against the integrity of our election,” Nadler said. “This is a matter of urgency to deal with because we have to make sure the next election is conducted with integrity and without foreign interference.”

Nadler also called the case against Trump “rock solid.”

On Monday, the judiciary committee’s top Republican, Rep. Douglas Collins of Georgia, dismissed the proceedings as a “focus group impeachment” and decried the absence of intelligence committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-N.Y., whom he has called on to testify publicly about the origin and execution of the investigation.

“Guess he can’t back up his own report,” Collins said. “Today, I guess is the movie version of the Schiff report, except one thing: The star witness failed to show up … Where is Mr. Schiff?”

Nadler stood by the intelligence committee’s investigation and the whistle-blower complaint at the center of the impeachment proceedings.

“Let me be clear: Every fact alleged by the whistleblower has been substantiated by multiple witnesses, again and again, each of whom has been questioned extensively by Democrats and Republicans alike,” said Nadler. “The allegations also match up with the president’s own words as released by the White House — words that he still says were perfect.”

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