House pre­pares to take con­trol of Trump probe

Evening Times - - THE WORLD TODAY -

THE US House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee is set to take over the im­peach­ment probe of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, sched­ul­ing a hear­ing for next week.

The Ju­di­ciary panel sched­uled the hear­ing as the sep­a­rate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee on Tues­day re­leased two last tran­scripts from its de­po­si­tions. They in­cluded those from a White House bud­get of­fi­cial who de­tailed con­cerns among col­leagues as Trump or­dered them, through in­ter­me­di­aries, to put a hold on mil­i­tary aid to Ukraine.

Trump or­dered the hold as he was pres­sur­ing Ukraine’s pres­i­dent to in­ves­ti­gate Democrats, the is­sue at the heart of the im­peach­ment probe.

Mul­ti­ple gov­ern­ment wit­nesses tes­ti­fied in im­peach­ment hear­ings held by the In­tel­li­gence panel this month that Trump di­rected his per­sonal lawyer Rudy Gi­u­liani to take the lead on Ukraine pol­icy and that Gi­u­liani pushed an “ir­reg­u­lar” diplo­matic chan­nel.

The In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee is wrap­ping up the in­ves­tiga­tive phase of the probe and pre­par­ing its re­port for the next.

Com­mit­tee chair­man Adam Schiff has said the re­port could be re­leased soon after the House re­turns from its Thanks­giv­ing break.

The ini­tial Ju­di­ciary hear­ing on De­cem­ber 4, the day after politi­cians re­turn, will fea­ture le­gal ex­perts who will ex­am­ine ques­tions of con­sti­tu­tional grounds as the panel de­cides whether to write ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment against Trump – and if so what those ar­ti­cles will be.

Ju­di­ciary chair­man Jer­rold Nadler said on Tues­day that his panel’s hear­ing will “ex­plore the frame­work put in place to re­spond to se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions of im­peach­able mis­con­duct”.

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