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Politics Collins requests extra witnesses at impeachment hearing

22:45  30 november  2019
22:45  30 november  2019 Source:   cbsnews.com

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The Republican ranking member of the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the Democratic committee chairman on Saturday requesting extra witnesses be added to the panel Wednesday at the committee's first impeachment hearing. Congressman Doug Collins also asked that Republicans have the opportunity to select some of the witnesses.

Jim Sensenbrenner et al. looking at a man in a suit and tie: House Judiciary Committee Votes On Subpoena For Full Mueller Report© / Getty Images House Judiciary Committee Votes On Subpoena For Full Mueller Report

"To ensure fairness and restore integrity to the ongoing impeachment process, I request an expanded panel and a balanced composition of academic witnesses to opine on the subject matter at issue during the hearing," Collins wrote in his letter to Chairman Jerry Nadler. Four academic experts are scheduled to appear on Wednesday, although the identities of those witnesses are not yet publicly known.

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Collins noted in his letter that the House Judiciary Committee called two panels, consisting of ten and nine experts each, during the 1998 impeachment inquiry against former President Bill Clinton.

"I request that you expand the number of witnesses called upon to testify on December 4 to give the American people a wider array of perspectives regarding impeachment. I further request that you equally allocate those witnesses to the majority and minority's choosing," Collins said.

Collins hinted at the identity of one of the witnesses called by the Democrats on the committee, citing an article by Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe where Tribe called for Mr. Trump's impeachment in 2017. Tribe also wrote a book on impeachment in 2018.

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  Bill Clinton weighs in on Trump impeachment: Congress 'doing their job' Former President Bill Clinton, who went through the same process, weighed in on House Democrats' bid to impeach President Trump.“They’re doing their job as they see it and we should wait to see it unfold,” Clinton told Fox News while touring a Clinton Foundation program in New York City. “And the rest of us should go about our jobs and do them as we see it.

"The Committee must ensure it maintains its credibility and its historically preeminent role in the impeachment of presidents by not rushing to articles of impeachment or hearing only from scholars with demonstrated animosity towards the president," Collins wrote, indicating that Tribe is one of the witnesses called to appear on Wednesday.

"An equal distribution of experts for the December 4 hearing would be a small concession to demonstrate to the American people this impeachment inquiry is not merely political theater," Collins concluded.

Nadler sent a letter to President Trump inviting him and his counsel to participate in the hearing on December 4. He also sent a letter to Mr. Trump on Friday giving the president a deadline of December 6 to participate in any impeachment proceedings by the Judiciary Committee.

The White House is unlikely to send legal representation to the first impeachment hearing by the Judiciary Committee. The first day of hearings in the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Trump is expected to be in London for the final day of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit.

House Judiciary Committee to hold 2nd impeachment hearing .
House Intel and House Judiciary lawyers to lay out their case against President Trump at the 2nd Judiciary Committee hearing on impeachmentAs they prepare to release articles of impeachment against Trump -- as early as this week -- lawmakers will hear attorneys from the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees lay out evidence from the Democrats' Ukraine investigation and argue their case that Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to launch investigations that could benefit him politically.

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