U.S. Congressional Judiciary Committee To Debate Articles of Impeachment Before Full Vote

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee on December 12 is scheduled to continue debating the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

Debates in the committee started the previous day in Washington and a vote on whether to bring them forward in the coming days is likely in the full House of Representatives for a final impeachment vote.

Trump is facing formal charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

They’re in relation to his dealings with Ukraine, in particular, whether he enlisted the help of Kyiv to investigate his political rivals, including presidential hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden, while withholding $391 million in military aid as leverage.

On obstruction, Trump is accused of not providing congressional investigators with thousands of requested documents and blocking the testimony of administration officials who had first-hand knowledge of his dealings with Ukraine.

Trump has denied wrongdoing, called the impeachment inquiry a “hoax” and a “witch hunt,” while describing the congressional hearings as a “kangaroo court.”

All 431 current legislators of the House could be involved in the coming days as they most likely will debate the articles of impeachment before voting on whether to move to a trial in the Senate, the upper legislative chamber of 100 legislators.

If approval is granted, so-called managers would be selected in the House among lawmakers to present their case in the Senate, which would be the setting for a trial.

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts would preside over the trial, while the managers would act as prosecutors, the senators as jurors, and Trump’s legal team would provide responses.

A two-thirds majority in the Senate would be needed to impeach Trump and remove him from office.

On December 10, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky) suggested the legislative chamber could expedite the impeachment trial by voting on the articles of impeachment without witnesses.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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