‘We have a very rock-solid case’

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Hope Yen

U.S. Rep. Nadler said he ex­pects to bring ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment be­fore Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee this week.

WASHINGTON — Speed­ing to­ward im­peach­ment, the chair­man of the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee said Sun­day he ex­pects a com­mit­tee vote soon on charges against Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump that will fo­cus on abuse of power on Ukraine in a bid to get an un­fair ad­van­tage in U.S. elec­tions and ob­struc­tion in the con­gres­sional in­quiry.

“We’ll bring ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment pre­sum­ably be­fore the com­mit­tee at some point later in the week,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.

Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, DCalif., in­structed the com­mit­tee to write ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment — for­mal charges — against Trump for pres­sur­ing Ukraine to in­ves­ti­gate for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den, a lead­ing Demo­cratic ri­val.

If the com­mit­tee ap­proves ar­ti­cles by Fri­day that would set up a fi­nal im­peach­ment vote in the days be­fore Christ­mas.

“There’s a sense of ur­gency, be­cause he will do any­thing — judg­ing from his past con­duct — that he can to get in­ter­fer­ence and to rig the next elec­tion,” Nadler said.

House Repub­li­can leader Kevin McCarthy crit­i­cized Democrats for their time­line, which he said was un­fairly aimed at pre­vent­ing the na­tion’s vot­ers from mak­ing their own choices in the 2020 elec­tion.

“Two-thirds of those Democrats have al­ready voted for im­peach­ment be­fore they heard any­thing,” said McCarthy, R-Calif. “If they do not im­peach him, they can­not beat him at the polls.”

Democrats have been work­ing through the week­end as ar­ti­cles are be­ing drafted and com­mit­tee mem­bers pre­pare for a hear­ing Mon­day to hear ev­i­dence from the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee, which in­ves­ti­gated

Trump’s deal­ings with

Ukraine.

Democrats say Trump abused his power in a July 25 phone call when he asked Ukrainian Pres­i­dent Volodymyr Ze­len­skiy for a fa­vor in in­ves­ti­gat­ing Democrats and en­gaged in bribery by with­hold­ing nearly $400 mil­lion in mil­i­tary aide that Ukraine de­pends on to counter Rus­sian ag­gres­sion.

“There is over­whelm­ing ev­i­dence that the pres­i­dent sought to co­erce Ukraine into in­ter­fer­ing in our elec­tion, es­sen­tially sought to cheat in our next elec­tion,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, DCalif., and the In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee chair­man.

Trump and his aides have made clear that they now see his im­peach­ment in the House as in­evitable and have shifted their fo­cus to the Repub­li­can-con­trolled Se­nate, where Trump al­lies re­main con­fi­dent Democrats will not have the votes to con­vict and re­move Trump from of­fice. A vote to con­vict re­quires a two-thirds vote of the Se­nate, where Repub­li­cans hold 53 of 100 seats. It is un­likely that any Repub­li­can sen­a­tors would cross party lines and vote to re­move Trump from of­fice.

“Im­peach­ment Hear­ing Hoax,” Trump tweeted Sun­day.

Nadler, in two tele­vi­sion in­ter­views, de­clined to say ul­ti­mately how many ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment Democrats will present but said they will in­volve “cer­tainly abuse of power” and likely “ob­struc­tion of Congress.” He said fi­nal decisions will come af­ter Mon­day’s hear­ing fol­low­ing dis­cus­sions with House lead­er­ship and the Demo­cratic cau­cus.

Nadler pointed to a “pat­tern” of con­duct by Trump in seek­ing for­eign in­ter­fer­ence in elec­tions but would not com­mit to in­clud­ing the ev­i­dence of ob­struc­tion of jus­tice in spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion as part of the ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment.

“The cen­tral al­le­ga­tion is that the pres­i­dent put him­self above his coun­try sev­eral times, that he sought for­eign in­ter­fer­ence in our elec­tions sev­eral times, both for 2016 and 2020, that he sought to cover it up all the time,” Nadler said.

“We have a very rock­solid case. I think the case we have if pre­sented to a jury would be a guilty ver­dict in about three min­utes flat,” he said.

Trump said over the week­end that his per­sonal at­tor­ney Rudy Gi­u­liani wants to take the in­for­ma­tion gath­ered from Gi­u­liani’s in­ves­ti­ga­tions and a re­cent trip to Ukraine to the U.S. at­tor­ney gen­eral and to Congress.

DREW AN­GERER/GETTY

House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee Chair­man Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., ges­tures while speak­ing last Wed­nes­day.

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