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United States Capitol Building. Credit: via WINK News.

Congress prepares for historic week on impeachment

With the House poised to vote to impeach the president as soon as Wednesday, lawmakers have already begun looking ahead to a potential Senate trial in January.

The House Judiciary Committee submitted a report to the House Rules Committee summarizing the articles of impeachment and the investigation into the president’s dealings with Ukraine early Sunday morning. The 685-page report is a supplement to the two articles of impeachment the Judiciary Committee approved on Friday: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The Rules Committee will meet Tuesday morning to determine the length of floor debate over the articles, setting up a vote for Wednesday. Senators have already begun looking ahead to a trial in the upper chamber, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer writing a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Sunday night demanding several witnesses be called.

House Judiciary Committee releases impeachment report ahead of House vote
The House Judiciary Committee released a report after midnight Monday laying out the case for charging President Trump with two articles of impeachment, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The 658-page report was filed to the House Rules Committee ahead of a vote by the full House expected to take place Wednesday, when lawmakers will vote on the articles.

The report from the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee arguing President Trump should be impeached and removed from office is divided into four parts: the first describing its impeachment inquiry, the second explaining the standard for impeachment, the third detailing the facts behind the abuse of power charge, and the fourth examining the obstruction of Congress charge.

In describing why Mr. Trump abused his power when he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a July 25 phone call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his political rival, the Judiciary panel argued the president’s “abuse of power encompassed both the constitutional offense of ‘bribery’ and multiple federal crimes.”

“While there is no need for a crime to be proven in order for impeachment to be warranted, here, President Trump’s scheme or course of conduct also encompassed other offenses, both constitutional and criminal in character,” the Democrats wrote.

Also included in the report is dissenting views from Republicans who argue the record presented by Democrats is “based on interferences built upon presumptions and hearsay” and claim the allegations in the two articles do not establish impeachable offenses.

“The majority has failed to prove a case for impeachment. In fact, the paltry record on which the majority relies is an affront to the constitutional process of impeachment and will have grave consequences for future presidents,” Republicans wrote.

BY MELISSA QUINN

UPDATED 1:15 AM
Schumer sends letter to McConnell to set framework for Senate impeachment trial
Schumer sent a letter to McConnell on Sunday that details the witnesses and timeline Senate Democrats would like to see in an impeachment trial in January.

“In the trial of President Clinton, the House Managers were permitted to call witnesses, and it is clear that the Senate should hear testimony of witnesses in this trial as well,” Schumer writes.

Schumer proposes that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the Senate trial, issue subpoenas to four administration officials who were asked to testify in the House impeachment inquiry but did not appear: Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton, senior adviser to the Acting White House chief of staff Robert Blair and Michael Duffey, associate director for National Security, Office of Management and Budget.

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