Donald Trump’s impeachment probe moves to next phase, first public hearing on Dec 4

Published on Nov 27, 2019 11:11 PM IST
The judiciary committee will determine the articles of impeachment that the full House will vote to either impeach the president to dismisses the charges.
US President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Sunrise, Florida, US on November 26.(Photo: Reuters)
US President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Sunrise, Florida, US on November 26.(Photo: Reuters)
Hindustan Times, Washington | ByYashwant Raj

US House Democrats have moved the impeachment inquiry to the next phase. The judiciary committee announced Tuesday its first public hearing to take place on December 4 and invited President Donald Trump and his counsel to attend and question witnesses.

“I am hopeful that you and your counsel will opt to participate in the Committee’s hearing, consistent with the rules of decorum and with the solemn nature before us,” judiciary committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said in a letter announcing the hearing, which is titled, “The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment.”

The White House has until December 1 to announce who will attend, but it’s unlikely to be the president himself.

The judiciary committee will determine the articles of impeachment that the full House will vote to either impeach the president to dismisses the charges. If impeached, which is more likely as Democrats control the House, the senate will hold a trial, with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in the chair. All 100 senators will vote, as jurors, to either convict Trump and remove him from office, or acquit him and let him continue, as it did with President Bill Clinton in 1999.

The judiciary committee hearing announcement came amidst fresh revelations regarding the president’s alleged attempt to use a White House meeting and nearly $400 million in security aid to force Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former Vice-President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden.

Two officials of the White House’s office of management and budget had resigned partly due to concerns about the block put on the security aid by the president, a senior official of the department had told impeachment investigators in a closed-door hearing of the House intelligence committee, according to transcripts released Tuesday.

It was also reported the same day that President Trump knew of the whistleblower’s complaint at the time he unblocked the security and let it go through, suggesting, as some have alleged, the White House yielded only because it got caught. The New York Times, which first reported this development, said it was known how much of the complaint was known to Trump.

The whistleblower complaint was filed in August and the security aid block was lifted in September. Trump was briefed about the complaint by his lawyers in late August, NYT reported.

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