Politics Your impeachment questions, answered
Impeachment hearings live updates: Spotlight shifts to the House Judiciary Committee
A 41-member panel with a history of partisan brawls is preparing to hear from four constitutional experts on the historical underpinnings of impeachment in what could be a chaotic hearing.A new phase of the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry begins Wednesday, as the House Judiciary Committee — a panel prone to theatrics and partisan brawls — plans to hear from four constitutional scholars about the historical underpinnings of the process.
We’ve beenthroughout this impeachment inquiry. As it wraps up its second month and enters a new phase — writing of the actual articles of impeachment against President Trump — here are some of your most common questions, answered.
Got more questions? Ask them here, and I’ll try to answer them in an upcoming.
Can Trump be subpoenaed in the investigation? Not without a court case going all the way to the Supreme Court. The court has never ruled if a president can be subpoenaed in a grand jury, andas a “thorny legal thicket.” We could presume the same holds for a subpoena from Congress. Even if they could subpoena Trump, Democrats have no illusions that he would talk, considering how many White House officials have ignored subpoenas.
Explainer: How impeachment works and why Trump is unlikely to be removed
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday instructed the House Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump for pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political rival. What happens next and why Trump is unlikely to be removed from office are both explained here. WHY IMPEACHMENT?The founders of the United States feared presidents abusing their powers, so they included in the Constitution a process for removing one from office. The president, under the Constitution, can be removed from office for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
As the House Judiciary Committee begins hearings next week on writing articles of impeachment, they’ve invited Trump and his lawyers to join and even question witnesses. He’s expressed no interest.
Why hasn’t Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani been subpoenaed? Possibly because he’s Trump’s private attorney and could try to avoid talking by saying everything he knows would be protected by attorney-client privilege (that it would be, though). Democrats have also been more focused on talking to past and present government officials. Trump’s personal lawyer can take the lead on defending the president in a Senate trial, though the president has several lawyers, and it would seem risky, to say the least, to task Giuliani with his defense there.
Pelosi goes it alone on impeachment
She's maintained tight control over the Democrats' push to remove Trump from office.Pelosi has tightly scripted every step of the House’s march toward impeachment. All the key decisions — whether to move forward with an inquiry, who will be in charge of the probe, and whether to begin drafting impeachment articles — have been made solely by Pelosi, then conveyed afterwards to her 12-member leadership team, according to multiple lawmakers and aides who are regularly in contact with her.
When Trump decided to release the Ukraine military aid after a months-long freeze, what justification was given? Well, Trump has said he was worried about corruption in Ukraine and concern that European countries weren’t doing their part to protect Ukraine from Russian-backed separatists.
But the White House didn’t give a specific reason when it released the aid in September after freezing it in early July. Officials were under growing pressure from Republicans and Democrats in Congress to give it to Ukraine. And we now know Trump had been briefed on the existence of the whistleblower complaint, according to a.
It’s easy to understand Russian interest in influencing our election but what motivation does Ukraine possibly have? Things seem pretty unsettled there. Ukraine didn’t interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Not according to the U.S. intelligence agencies who have said it was Russia.
Vulnerable Democrats in U.S. Congress eager to move beyond impeachment
Vulnerable Democrats in U.S. Congress eager to move beyond impeachmentWASHINGTON (Reuters) - Politically vulnerable Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are eager to move quickly on the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump, and focus on other topics such as healthare costs and repairing infrastructure.
Fiona Hill is Trump’s former top Russia adviser in the White House, and when she testified in the impeachment inquiry she did a good job explaining that some Ukrainians bet on the wrong horse in 2016 (Hillary Clinton). But that’s not the same as a widespread, systematic effort, directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, to help Trump win. Hill testified that to equate what Ukraine did to what Russia did “is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”
When the Senate trial begins, will Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. be in the position to enforce subpoenas? No. Subpoenas are entirely Congress’s purview. And it will be senators who will decide which witnesses to call. Roberts’s job is to interpret the rules, not set them. As we get closer to a Senate trial (ETA: January), I’ll start exploring how this works.at how Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), could shape the trial to benefit Trump.
If Trump is impeached and convicted in the Senate, could he run again as president in 2020? Probably not, but it depends on how the Senate convicts him. Constitutional scholar Josh Chafetz told me that the Senate normally takes two votes when it decides whether to convict someone who has been impeached by the House: 1. To convict and kick that official out of office; 2. To bar that official from holding office ever again. Theoretically, I guess the Senate could take the first vote and not the other. But if Senate Republicans defected and decided to convict Trump, they’d probably have no problem taking the next step barring him from running for office again.
Will impeachment be forgotten by November 2020? Don’t be so sure.
Democrats ought not underestimate President Trump’s capacity to use it to attack them and fire up his base.Democrats are employing one of the most serious of their constitutional powers. The seeming desire on the part of many people for it to end quickly is not only a reflection that the outcome is a foregone conclusion, but also that the politics of it are fraught.
and a Senate trial.
Not a word about Attorney General William P. Barr in weeks. He was named alongside Giuliani in Trump’s call to Ukraine’s president, as someone who could do Trump’s bidding. What is he doing, and where is he? Barr and the Justice Department have distanced themselves from Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine. But Barr still seems very much Trump’s defender as he does his job. HeCongress’s impeachment inquiry as a “war” against a “duly elected government.” The impeachment inquiry did not try to talk to Barr, but a separate committee Tuesday for not turning over documents in an investigation into the 2020 Census.
Why doesn’t Congress hold administration officials who have defied subpoenas in inherent contempt, by jailing or fining them? Jailing them would be a heavy lift, arguably more invasive than impeaching the president. Congress doesn’t have any jail, and it could backfire in public sentiment. Fining people is a possibility, but impeachment investigators have seemed more focused on talking to the people who will comply with a subpoena than figuring out how Congress can fine an executive branch official.
Trump’s Ukraine effort encompasses far, far more than ‘eight lines’ .
Even the Republicans' narrow assertion of what Trump did fails to exonerate him.“The record in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry does not show that President Trump abused the power of his office or obstructed Congress,” Castor said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Monday.
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