World Pelosi Says House Will Draft Impeachment Charges Against Trump

21:11  05 december  2019
21:11  05 december  2019 Source:   msn.com

Trump, lawyers won’t participate in upcoming impeachment hearing

  Trump, lawyers won’t participate in upcoming impeachment hearing President Trump and his lawyers will not participate in Wednesday’s impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, according to a letter from the White House."As for the hearing scheduled for December 4, we cannot fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the President a fair process through additional hearings. More importantly, an invitation to an academic discussion with law professors does not begin to provide the President with any semblance of a fair process.

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WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced today that the House of Representatives would begin drafting impeachment articles against President Trump, pushing ahead with a rapid timetable that could set the stage for a vote before Christmas to charge him with high crimes and misdemeanors.

Wrapping her announcement in the words of the Constitution and the nation’s founders, Ms. Pelosi said it had become clear over the course of two months of investigation that Mr. Trump had violated his oath of office by pressing a foreign power for help in the 2020 election. Allowing Mr. Trump to continue in office without remedy, she said, would come at “the peril of our republic.”

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  Trump and his lawyers will not attend 'unfair' impeachment hearing US President Donald Trump and his lawyers will not attend an impeachment hearing this week because it lacks "fundamental fairness", the White House has said.Rejecting the call to face the Democrat-led congressional investigation on Wednesday, presidential counsel Pat Cipollone lambasted the "baseless and highly partisan inquiry".

“His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution,” Ms. Pelosi said in a formal address lasting less than six minutes, delivered against a backdrop of American flags from the hallway outside her office in the Capitol. “Our democracy is what is at stake. The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit.”

Pictures: Impeachment proceeding against Donald Trump

Ms. Pelosi’s announcement came as the House Judiciary Committee laid out next steps for its formal impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump. The committee said it would convene a hearing on Monday morning to allow its lawyers and those for the Intelligence Committee to formally present the evidence in the impeachment inquiry. That suggested the panel would consider both the president’s dealings with Ukraine and whether he obstructed justice in trying to thwart the special counsel’s investigation in whether the Trump campaign had a role in Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Democrats familiar with the matter believe the Judiciary panel is on track to begin publicly debating and voting on articles by the end of next week, despite uniform Republican opposition, laying the groundwork for a possible vote to impeach the president by Dec. 20, the final day Congress is scheduled to be in session this year.

Hours later, in a striking contrast with her somber announcement, Ms. Pelosi erupted angrily when a reporter asked at a news conference if she hated Mr. Trump, repeating what Republicans have argued was her party’s main motivation for going forward with impeachment.

Turning on her heel on her way out of a news conference to answer, Ms. Pelosi strode back to her microphones for a lecture about her motivations.

“This is about the Constitution of the United States and the facts that lead to the president’s violation of his oath of office,” she said sharply. “As a Catholic, I resent your using the word hate in a sentence that addresses me. I don’t hate anyone.”

“So don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that,” she added sharply.

Her decision to move forward follows a two-month inquiry by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee that concluded that Mr. Trump abused his power by pressuring President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to announce investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats, while withholding a White House meeting and $391 million in vital military assistance.

  Pelosi Says House Will Draft Impeachment Charges Against Trump © Erin Schaff/The New York Times Returning to the ceremonial speaker’s hallway where she first announced in late September that Democrats were launching the inquiry, Ms. Pelosi sent a clear signal that she was confident they would have the votes they needed to impeach Mr. Trump, making him only the third president in American history to face removal by Congress. The proceedings, unfolding less than a year before the 2020 election, will play out amid profound partisan divisions, with Democrats pressing forward amid intense Republican opposition.

“Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment,” she said during that announcement.

Asked by reporters whether she feared political backlash or Democratic defections, Ms. Pelosi said the process was more important that political prognosticating. Of Democrats hesitant to vote in favor of impeachment, she said her team would “catch them up.”

Before the announcement, Mr. Trump seemed to welcome the coming fight, calling Democrats “crazy” in a pair of tweets that urged them to get the process over with quickly so he could defend himself in the Republican-controlled Senate.

“If you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business,” he wrote.

Afterward, he said Democrats were trying to “Impeach me over NOTHING,” and setting a damaging precedent.

“This will mean that the beyond important and seldom used act of Impeachment will be used routinely to attack future Presidents,” he tweeted. “That is not what our Founders had in mind.”

Ms. Pelosi limited advance notice of her announcement to a tight circle of advisers, but there have been clear signs this week that Democrats were preparing to move forward with impeachment articles. On Wednesday, after the legal scholars told the Judiciary Committee the facts of the case met the standards for impeachment, the committee’s chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, said explicitly that Mr. Trump’s conduct fit his three-part test for impeachment, and indicated his panel would press ahead with that in mind.

Jerrold Nadler et al. looking at a screen: Representative Doug Collins, right, the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, speaking with Representative Jerrold Nadler, center, the chairman, after a hearing Wednesday on impeachment. © Erin Schaff/The New York Times Representative Doug Collins, right, the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, speaking with Representative Jerrold Nadler, center, the chairman, after a hearing Wednesday on impeachment. In saying that she was instructing “chairmen” to draft the charges, Ms. Pelosi left open the possibility that the other five panels that have investigated Mr. Trump and his administration — including the Intelligence Committee that drew up the Ukraine report and the Ways and Means Committee that has pressed for the release of the president’s tax returns — could also play roles, a break with past practice.

During her news conference, Ms. Pelosi framed the case against Mr. Trump as much broader than an isolated pressure campaign on Ukraine. She described an “aha moment” when she and other Democrats came to the conclusion that Mr. Trump’s treatment of Ukraine was part of a larger pattern of deference toward Russia, a leading American adversary.

“This isn’t about Ukraine; this is about Russia, who benefited by our withholding of that military assistance,” Ms. Pelosi said. “So sometimes people say, ‘Well, I don’t know about Ukraine, I don’t know that much about Ukraine.’ Well, our adversary is Russia. All roads lead to Putin. Understand that.”

On Wednesday, Mr. Nadler’s team made clear it was considering building charges going beyond the Ukraine matter, related to obstruction of the House’s inquiry. A lawyer for the chairman, Norm Eisen, also asked the witnesses to evaluate whether possible obstruction of justice by Mr. Trump laid out by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who investigated whether the Trump campaign had ties to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, was also impeachable. Democrats may ultimately decide to keep the case more narrowly focused on Ukraine.

The inclusion of Judiciary lawyers in Monday’s presentation of evidence suggested that obstruction of justice charges are still on the table. Before the Ukraine matter ever became public, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee spent months trying to build a case that Mr. Mueller’s findings included impeachable conduct.

Republican lawyers for the Judiciary and Intelligence panels will also be allowed to present dissenting views.

The Intelligence Committee report released Tuesday laid out a broad framework for what articles of impeachment might look like. It found that the president had abused his power, endangered national security for his own personal benefit by seeking foreign interference in the 2020 election and obstructed Congress by ordering critical witnesses not to testify.

Sheryl Gay Stolberg contributed reporting.

Trump, Pelosi on shortlist for Time Person of the Year .
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and President Trump have both made the shortlist to be named 2019's Time Person of the Year, the "Today Show" revealed Monday.The title is given annually to a person, group or concept that has influenced the year.

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