Washington: The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee will formally hear evidence of wrongdoing against President Donald Trump on Monday, as it moves toward a likely vote on whether to approve formal impeachment charges.
Here are some facts about the hearing:
WHO WILL TESTIFY?
The House Judiciary Committee is charged with deciding whether to recommend articles of impeachment against Trump to the full House, an action that the panel’s Democratic Chairman Jerrold Nadler said could come this week.
Nadler will preside on Monday over a hearing to examine evidence against Trump, including a 300-page report on a two-month impeachment investigation led by the House Intelligence Committee. The proceedings are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. EST (1400 GMT).
The panel will hear from Democratic and Republican lawyers from the Intelligence Committee and the Judiciary Committee, which conducted its own probe of Trump’s presidency that included former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Democrats contend there is overwhelming evidence that Trump committed impeachable offenses in his dealings with Ukraine.
Republicans concluded in their own report that the impeachment inquiry has unearthed no evidence of an impeachable offense.
Intelligence Committee lawyer Daniel Goldman and Judiciary Committee lawyer Barry Berke will testify for Democrats.
Attorney Stephen Castor will provide Republican testimony on behalf of both panels.
QUESTIONING OF WITNESSES
When the hearing begins, Nadler and the committee’s top Republican, Doug Collins, are expected to make opening statements and allow each witness to do the same.
Then the questioning begins. Under the committee’s impeachment inquiry procedures, Nadler and Collins can conduct 90-minute rounds of questioning, alternating sides every 45 minutes. Nadler and Collins will likely give part of their time to other Judiciary committee lawyers.
Once these rounds of questions end, each lawmaker will get to ask questions for five minutes.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The committee is expected to unveil articles, backed by its own impeachment report, and vote on whether to recommend the charges to the full House for a final vote impeaching the president. The articles, report and committee vote could all surface in rapid succession this week.
Democrats are focused on two articles of impeachment, which would charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. There is also the possibility of a third article charging him with obstruction of justice based on the Mueller probe, but lawmakers seemed to back away from that option over the weekend.
If the committee votes to recommend articles of impeachment, the full Democratic-led House could vote to impeach Trump by Christmas. Once impeached, Trump would face a trial in the Senate, which is controlled by his own party.