Judiciary Committee holds first impeachment hearing
The House Judiciary Committee is taking the reins of the impeachment inquiry as the panel holds its first hearing of the next stage of the probe.
The committee, which will be responsible for drafting potential articles of impeachment, will hear from four constitutional law experts — Noah Feldman, Pamela Karlan, Michael Gerhardt and Jonathan Turley — beginning at 10 a.m.
Click HERE to watch if you don’t see video above.
On Tuesday, the House Intelligence Committee voted to endorse a 300-page report written by the Democratic majority on President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, accusing the president of abuse of power.
The vote fell along party lines, with 13 Democrats voting to endorse the report and nine Republicans dissenting. The report was written by Democratic staffers on the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees.
“This report chronicles a scheme by the president of the United States to coerce an ally, Ukraine, that is at war with an adversary, Russia, into doing the president’s political dirty work,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on Capitol Hill.
The report says the president “sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process” and “ordered and implemented a campaign to conceal his conduct from the public and frustrate and obstruct the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry” once his actions were uncovered.
The report was sent to the Judiciary Committee, along with a separate document prepared by Republican members defending the president.
Who is Jonathan Turley?
8:15 a.m.: Turley is the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at The George Washington University Law School, which he joined as a faculty member in 1990. He is also a CBS News legal analyst and one of the country’s most recognized legal commentators.
A witness during the Clinton impeachment proceedings, Turley has been critical of the Democrats’ handling of the current inquiry, as well as the White House’s arguments against cooperating with the probe. Turley has written and testified extensively on executive privilege.
He has testified before Congress on a number of other occasions, including the Senate confirmation hearings of Attorneys General Loretta Lynch and William Barr, as well as the Supreme Court nomination of Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch.
8:00 a.m.: Gerhardt is the Burton Craige Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he has been a faculty member since 2005.
7:18 a.m.: Karlan is the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and co-director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School, where she has been on faculty since 1998. According to her Stanford biography, she holds three degrees from Yale University and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun. Karlan was also a deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department.
Karlan has written “leading casebooks on constitutional law, constitutional litigation, and the law of democracy, as well as numerous scholarly articles,” according to Stanford.
6:30 a.m.: Feldman is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law and director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law at Harvard Law School. A Rhodes scholar, Feldman graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University and earned his law degree at Yale, according to his Harvard biography.
Feldman clerked for Supreme Court Justice David Souter in the late 1990s and served as a senior constitutional adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq after the U.S. invasion in 2003, where he then helped Iraqi officials draft an interim constitution.
How to watch Wednesday’s impeachment hearing
Date: Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Time: 10 a.m. ET
Who: Four constitutional law experts: Noah Feldman, Pamela Karlan, Michael Gerhardt and Jonathan Turley
Online stream: CBSN, in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device
On TV: WINK-TV
Key findings from the Democratic impeachment report
5:00 a.m.: The report released Tuesday laid out nine findings of the investigation, including:
The president “solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 U.S. presidential election” and “sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process.”
Mr. Trump “sought to pressure and induce Ukraine’s newly-elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to publicly announce unfounded investigations” to benefit the president politically.
“President Trump ordered the suspension of $391 million in vital military assistance” to Ukraine “without any legitimate foreign policy, national security, or anti-corruption justification.
“Faced with the revelation of his actions, President Trump publicly and repeatedly persisted in urging foreign governments, including Ukraine and China, to investigate his political opponent.”
“President Trump ordered and implemented a campaign to conceal his conduct from the public and frustrate and obstruct the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry.”
— Stefan Becket
Democrats to focus on “ABCs of high crimes and misdemeanors” at hearing
4:30 a.m.: Democratic staffers working on the impeachment inquiry held a conference call to preview the party’s strategy heading into Wednesday’s hearing before the Judiciary Committee. Four legal experts will appear for questioning before lawmakers to “explain the scope of that constitutional standard of impeachment.”
“The hearing tomorrow will explore the extent to which this powerful, powerful evidence we now have of the president’s conduct implicates all of these dangers,” one of the staffers said. “You can think of them as the ABCs of high crimes and misdemeanors: abuses of power, betrayal of national security connected to foreign interest and corruption of our elections.”
Asked whether the questions will be limited to the material in the House Intelligence Committee’s report, one staffer said, “We will certainly have a primary focus on the Intelligence Committee report but we will see what other information comes up tomorrow,” suggesting Democrats may raise questions related to actions by the president described in the Mueller report. — Rebecca Kaplan
First published on December 4, 2019 / 5:00 AM
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