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8 Dec, 2019 16:23

Nadler says vote ‘possible’ on Trump articles of impeachment this week, Republicans protest

Nadler says vote ‘possible’ on Trump articles of impeachment this week, Republicans protest

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler has said that his panel may vote on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump this week. However, Republicans say he is trying to railroad impeachment through Congress.

“It’s possible” that the committee may vote on the articles this week, Nadler (D-New York) told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. He added that there is “a lot to consider” in deciding which charges to bring against Trump.

Before determining what impeachable offenses to charge the president with, Nadler’s committee will hold a hearing on Monday. Republicans on the committee claim that Nadler is rushing the process. Ranking member Doug Collins (R-Georgia) complained on Saturday that they only received a tranche of thousands of pages of documents less than 48 hours before the hearing, despite asking for them 25 days previously.

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“Chairman Nadler has no choice but to postpone Monday’s hearing in the wake of a last-minute document transmission that shows just how far Democrats have gone to pervert basic fairness,” Collins wrote in a statement. “It is impossible for judiciary members to sift through thousands and thousands of pages in any meaningful way in a matter of hours.”

Nadler’s committee will likely vote to impeach Trump. In a report defining what it considers impeachable offenses, the committee states that even if Trump did not actually break any laws in his supposed “quid pro quo” dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he can still be impeached for his unstated motives.

“The question is not whether the president’s conduct could have resulted from permissible motives. It is whether the president’s real reasons, the ones in his mind at the time, were legitimate,” it states.

Trump attacked the Democrats on Sunday for “changing the impeachment guidelines because the facts are not on their side.” However, impeachment guidelines, or in this case the report’s definition of impeachable offenses, are not set in stone by the Constitution. They are open to interpretation, as Nadler’s committee did in its report.

Though Nadler has set the bar for impeachment low, a committee vote is just another step in a drawn-out process. Once the articles pass the committee, a simple majority in the House of Representatives is needed to start a Senate impeachment trial. Once a trial is concluded, a two-thirds majority in the Senate is then needed to remove Trump from office. Securing such a majority in the Republican-controlled upper house would be an uphill battle for the Democrats.

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