Impeachment TV: Judiciary Committee Opens Hearing With Sharp Divisions Over Donald Trump

Impeachment TV: Judiciary Committee Opens Hearing With Sharp Divisions Over Donald Trump

04 Dec 2019 (PT)
IMPEACHMENTTRUMP

Viewers tuning in to the first House Judiciary Committee hearing on impeachment were very quickly treated to a wide partisan gulf on the motives behind the whole process.

Republicans sought to slow down the proceedings at several points with a series of motions, some of which required roll calls.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler D-NY declared at the outset that the “facts are undisputed” that President Donald Trump sought foreign help to investigate a potential 2020 rival, Joe Biden. He framed the Ukraine scandal as just the type of presidential conduct that the framers warned about. “Those patriots still feared one threat above all: foreign interference in our elections,” he said.

At one point he quoted Alexander Hamilton, capitalizing on his new place in pop culture. “When such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity - to join the cry of danger of liberty - to take every opportunity of embarrassing the general government and bringing it under suspicion. [It] may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.”

The GOP, however, tried to capitalize on what they predicted would be a puzzling and even dense day of testimony from four constitutional law professors. Rep. Doug Collins R-GA, said in his opening statement, “We can be theoretical all we want but the American people are going to look at this and say, Huh? What are we doing?”

“The partisan coup d’etat will go down in infamy in the history of the nation,” he said.

The Republicans on the committee tried to fluster Nadler, seeking a repeat of earlier hearings featuring Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and Special Counsel Robert Mueller that failed to land a game-changing impact. Place behind GOP members were a series of quotes form Democrats, including one from Nadler during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment: “An impeachment of a president is an undoing of a national election.”

With a series of procedural motions, the GOP members also tried to slow things down.

Viewers likely were confused about what was happening, as Republicans sought to introduce motions to slow down the proceedings. At one point Nadler and Collins sparred over what was a “proper parliamentary inquiry.”

One motion, to postpone the hearing until December 11, was tabled, but it required a time-taking roll call vote. Collins charged that the “clock and the calendar is driving impeachment, not the facts.” He claimed that Democrats were concerned of the political implications of impeachment and wanted to keep from spilling too far into the election year.

Democrats want a House vote on impeachment before the Christmas holiday, after which the Senate would conduct a trial. If 2/3 vote to convict Trump, he would be removed from office, something that has never happened in U.S. history. But given the partisan divide on Capitol Hill, that scenario seems highly unlikely.

Source: deadline.com

IMPEACHMENTTRUMP
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Impeachment TV: Judiciary Committee Opens Hearing With Sharp Divisions Over Donald Trump
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