House Panel To Vote On Ukraine Report As Trump Mulls Defense

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FILE - In this July 25, 2019, file phot, President Donald Trump speaks during a ceremony for new Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the Pentagon. If there was one day that crystallized all the forces that led to the impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, it was July 25. That was the day of his phone call with Ukraine’s new leader, pressing him for a political favor. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House impeachment inquiry enters a pivotal stage this week, with investigators planning a vote Tuesday to approve their report making the case for President Donald Trump’s removal from office as he decides whether to mount a defense before a likely Senate trial.

A draft report will be available for members of the House Intelligence Committee to view in a secure location before their planned vote on Tuesday, which would send their findings to the House Judiciary Committee to consider actual charges.

Majority Democrats say the report will speak for itself in laying out possible charges of bribery or “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the constitutional standard for impeachment. Republicans want Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, to testify, though they have no power to compel him to do so, as they try to cast the Democratic-led inquiry as skewed against the Republican president.

“If he chooses not to (testify), then I really question his veracity in what he’s putting in his report,” said Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

“It’s easy to hide behind a report,” Collins added. “But it’s going to be another thing to actually get up and have to answer questions.”

Schiff has said “there’s nothing for me to testify about,” that he isn’t a “fact” witness and that Republicans are only trying to “mollify the president, and that’s not a good reason to try to call a member of Congress as a witness.”

Coming after two weeks of public testimony, the findings of the House Intelligence Committee report are not yet publicly known. But the report is expected to mostly focus on whether Trump abused his office by withholding military aid approved by Congress as he pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to launch investigations into Trump’s political rivals.

Democrats also are expected to include an article on obstruction of Congress that outlines Trump’s instructions to officials in his administration to defy subpoenas for documents or testimony.

Democrats are aiming for a final House vote by Christmas, which would set the stage for a likely Senate trial in January.

“I do believe that all evidence certainly will be included in that report so the Judiciary Committee can make the necessary decisions that they need to,” said Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., a member of both the Intelligence and Judiciary committees.

She said Democrats had not yet finalized witnesses for the upcoming Judiciary hearings and were waiting to hear back from Trump on his plans to present a defense.

“If he has not done anything wrong, we’re certainly anxious to hear his explanation of that,” Demings said.

The Judiciary Committee’s first hearing is Wednesday. It’s expected to feature four legal experts who will examine questions of constitutional grounds as the committee decides whether to write articles of impeachment against Trump, and if so, what those articles will be.

After weeks of deriding the process as a sham, Trump has yet to say whether he or his attorneys will participate in the Judiciary hearings. He’s previously suggested that he might be willing to offer written testimony under certain conditions.

“The Democrats are holding the most ridiculous Impeachment hearings in history. Read the Transcripts, NOTHING was done or said wrong!” Trump tweeted Saturday, before falling silent on Twitter for much of Sunday.

It’s unlikely that the president himself would attend on Wednesday, as Trump is scheduled to be at a summit with NATO allies outside London. The Judiciary Committee gave the White House until Sunday evening to decide whether Trump or his attorneys would attend.

Trump must then decide by Friday whether he would take advantage of due process protections afforded to him under House rules adopted in October for follow-up hearings, including the right to request witness testimony and to cross-examine the witnesses called by the House.

“Why would they want to participate in just another rerun?” asked Collins, noting that the Judiciary Committee previously heard from constitutional scholars on impeachable offenses during special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

“This is a complete American waste of time of here,” Collins said, who is calling on the committee chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., to expand the witness list to include those sought by Republicans. “This is why this is a problematic exercise and simply a made-for-TV event coming on Wednesday.”

Still, Republican Rep. Tom McClintock of California, a Judiciary Committee member, said he believes Trump would benefit if he presents his own defense.

“I think it would be to the president’s advantage to have his attorneys there. That’s his right,” he said.

McClintock said he doesn’t believe Trump did anything wrong in the July 25 call with Zelenskiy that is at the heart of the investigation.

“He didn’t use the delicate language of diplomacy in that conversation, that’s true. He also doesn’t use the smarmy talk of politicians,” McClintock said.

To McClintock, Trump was using “the blunt talk of a Manhattan businessman” and “was entirely within his constitutional authority” in his dealings with Ukraine’s leader.

Collins appeared on “Fox News Sunday” and Demings and McClintock were on ABC’s “This Week.”

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27 COMMENTS

  1. If trumpf is sooooo innocent let him take the stand and express it. No one is stopping him. Why would any innocent person not defend himself? All of a sudden he’s tongue-tied and speechless? His only defense is ‘I did nothing wrong’. Great defense, for a guilty goniff… That’s why we have laws, courts and jurors. And the House.

  2. Why should he waste his precious time on a charade which eventually will collapse upon itself just like act I (the Russian hoax) did.
    And first you should learn some Hebrew, It’s not goniff it’s ganev like you.

  3. Goldn%%% So let’s start with Eric Chimmarela or whatever his creepy name is. Then the Grand Inquisitor Schiff. What did he know, to whom did he speak. Remember when vomited 2 years ago that he absolute proof of Russian collusion?

    • Yup and so would you when they are out to entrap you and you are involved in complex stuff .

      Bottom line as I mentioned before it must kill you to know you will drag down Biden and trump will win anyhow . What a waste of time .

      • Archy, are you suggesting that high crimes and misdemeanors by a President or anyone else should be ignored? If an elected official has done nothing wrong and is a stable genius with a huge brain how could he be entrapped? An honest person would have nothing to fear in testifying.
        If I were accused of any wrongdoing I would welcome the opportunity to testify to clear my name.

        • “If I were accused of any wrongdoing I would welcome the opportunity to testify to clear my name.”

          Then you are a dumb fool Phineas. You are just plan silly and naive. You really think if you have done nothing wrong they cant get you? There are so many statutes you never even heard of. And when things are complex, are you so sure you can’t get confused for second and mistakelnly say the wrong thing at the wrong time? As R Avigdor Miller zt”l said re Nixon the USA tax law is confusing that even the IRS has no clue how to interpret it. They twsit it as they go as long as its suits them best. Don’t be such an ignormaous

        • “Archy, are you suggesting that high crimes and misdemeanors by a President or anyone else should be ignored?”

          By the way yes I am suggesting that “misdemeanors” by this President should be ignored. Not high crimes but misdemeanors yes. The reason being two fold,
          1) This president hs no choice but to play games. The cards are stacked agianst him. You guys don’t let him or his family breath The election is rigged toward the democart. We all saw how bias the media was in 2016. He needs to play shtick back.
          2) This is who the american people chose to elect anyhow. There are no skeltons in the closet.

          The best part of this is, the senate agrees. So too bad

          • Today you are wrong on all. The MEDIA elected Trump. He himself claimed he got 2 Billion worth of media for fre more than all others combined. The Senate? Lets wait and see. At this stage of the game the senate agreed with Nixon tpoo

          • Archy, a minority of the American people chose to elect Trump. He didn’t win the popular vote and a disappointing number of eligible Americans even bothered to vote.
            No thinking person can believe Trump’s constantly changing narrative.

      • I know you wish it killed me but I’m pretty clear eyed. Biden can’t beat Trump. Trump is guilty. Trump isn’t convicted by the Senate
        Trump wins White House, Democrats keep house, Republicans keep senate but I believe by a narrower margin. Don’t know which party takes governorship. Ginsberg gets replaced second term. If Democrats take Senate, then Trump isn’t getting an uber

        Also, during the second term, you will still be uneducated and mistake your lack of education for “common sense”.

        • Wrong sir. part of education is common sense. Thats what they taught us in school. And i Have a degree ina core STEM area. So its not just an “edcuated” political science nonsense degree. Its real.

          You are the one who still can’t get past law school and wishes he were a high end lawyer in west heamstead.

          • Certainly have no wish to be anything but what I am. Common sense without the ability to evaluate data and questions your previously held positions is just narrow minded nonsense. Common sense is a tool to use with information not an excuse for am haratzus.

  4. Common sense without the ability to evaluate data and questions your previously held positions is just narrow minded nonsense.

    Sir I evaluate data and question them for a living. That’s like the last thing I am weak on. Sorry you are way off your mark on that. I would say that nonetheless you need common sense to properly identify the correct data trends. How do you think I know you are a scam yoni? You’d be wiser to shut up before you make a fool of yourself.

    And yes re global warming I listened to all the data from esteemed scientists, (same value as reading it) and its bogus.

    • Again with the Yoni :). You’re like a man with one arm trying to navigate in a wheelchair. Just circles.

      And no, you didn’t evaluate the data because that would require cognitive tools.

      • Yup BH I have alot of congtive tools. As i said I do that for a living.

        Sorry you just can’t grasp beneath the surface of data and get all lost in the official dumb naive talking points.

        Yoni, Maybe one day you’ll graduate from law school really

  5. Here’s some intelligent ,educated ,cognitive date-her and POLLka ,folks. Hillary the next POTUS.. ha.
    So far nobody has written exactly what crime Trump committed. Not even one unbiased piece of evidence. You deranged Trump haters are running your snouts into oblivion. Take a hike in the woods– you might run into her
    .

  6. Yakov doe,
    “Archy, a minority of the American people chose to elect Trump. ”
    1) A very very slim Minorty. Please don’t type fake news and make it sound like it was way less
    2) Those were the rules of the game. That’s called we the people in America. You can’t change the rules once someone won and you have no way of knowing whether rule changes from the onset would have affected the results or whether perhaps Trump would have campaigned in a fashion to win based on those rule changes.
    3) In Israel its not the majorty either. If it were then Bibi would be a shoe in. Both the Liberman camp and UTJ support Bibi and he’d have 64 seats. But the kennest elects a PM not voters. The Knesset won’t sit with each other. The inverse can be true too. if Bibi stepped down and a likud guy joins with Ganz you may not have the majorty of the country as many Likud guys will be mad. But too bad bec the system is not based on majorty will in a direct fashion. Circling back to the USA, its a similar concept.

    “disappointing number of eligible Americans even bothered to vote.”
    Thats not our problem. At the end of the day the underdog won. We all knew what trump as about and want him anyhow

  7. Mr Yingel,

    Its true Trump got attention on the media. But they tried very hard to portary him as a way out meshigna, mocking him, degrading him and belittling him. They skewed all the polls to drum down momentum on him.
    Its true the more they tried the more they failed. But at the end of the day, their trying did force his hands and push him against the wall to the point where he needed the ruskies our freinds help.

    Re the senate, Not sure that Nixon at this stage was better off. And there are no signs ,zero of any one defecting. (even Collins). Not one Republican congressman voted against trump yet.

    You have wishful thinking my friend. Your best case scenario is , instead of a complete exoneration, McConnel will say no hearing or decision during an election year. That why shifty Shiff is in such a hurry. the closer it gets to elections the harder sell he has to McConnel. Schff knows his game

    • Will you testify “But at the end of the day, their trying did force his hands and push him against the wall to the point where he needed the ruskies our freinds help.” if subpoenaed?

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