House Democrats to Set Boundaries for Impeachment Probe

WASHINGTON (CN) – The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote this week on a resolution that will clarify the boundaries of its probe into whether to begin formal impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Democratic members of that panel speak to reporters on July 26, 2019, about their plan to continue to investigate President Donald Trump and Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The five-page resolution made public Monday morning details the procedures the Judiciary Committee will follow while gathering documents and interviewing witnesses relevant to its investigation into whether to recommend articles of impeachment against Trump.

The resolution allows Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., to call hearings specifically for the purpose of receiving information about its investigation and allows committee staff to question witnesses for an extra hour at those hearings.

The resolution also authorizes Nadler to designate some of the information the committee receives, including grand jury information, secret, to be reviewed by lawmakers in classified settings.

The committee has scheduled a vote on the resolution for Thursday morning.

The resolution is a significant step in the committee’s effort to determine whether it should open formal impeachment proceedings, as a growing number of House Democrats have backed either impeaching Trump or at least launching a formal inquiry. The committee has taken up several investigations into Trump and ramped up fights over documents with the White House in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible obstruction of justice by Trump.

“The unprecedented corruption, coverup and crimes by the president are under investigation by the committee as we determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment or other Article I remedies,” Nadler said in a statement. “The adoption of these additional procedures is the next step in that process and will help ensure our impeachment hearings are informative to Congress and the public, while providing the president with the ability to respond to evidence presented against him. We will not allow Trump’s continued obstruction to stop us from delivering the truth to the American people.”

The committee and Nadler have referred to court filings in these documents scraps as “formal impeachment proceedings,” but the resolution would clarify how that process will go forward outside of court.

The Judiciary Committee took similar steps to outline the rules for its impeachment inquiries into Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

Representative Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, accused Nadler of “trying to pull a fast one” by taking a vote on the resolution before the full House has authorized an impeachment investigation.

“They know they don’t have the votes for the whole House to impeach, so they’re trying to adopt committee rules to govern an ‘impeachment investigation’ the House hasn’t even authorized,” Collins said on Twitter.

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