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House Dems, Back from Recess, Are Expanding Their Trump-Based Investigations

House Dems, Back from Recess, Are Expanding Their Trump-Based Investigations

In a Monday news release, Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) confirmed the reports that the panel would start to lay the official groundwork for impeachment in the coming week by setting a Thursday vote on a resolution that would lay out updated committee procedures for its "investigation to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment" against the president.

Signaling a widening gap between Democratic leadership and the House Judiciary Committee, the panel will vote this week on whether to install new procedures for its impeachment inquiry and illustrate its intensifying efforts in the probe.

A senior staffer with a House Judiciary committee member said Pelosi and Nadler had always been at odds over whether to move forward with the impeachment inquiry and that some within the caucus had grown frustrated with the speaker for not moving more swiftly. If they're adopted, as expected, the changes would lengthen the time witnesses can testify, allow the committee to analyze evidence in closed session, and allow Trump to respond to allegations in writing.

In a statement, Nadler described the procedures as a step that would "help ensure our impeachment hearings are informative to Congress and the public, while providing the President with the ability to respond to evidence presented against him". Of the 235 Democrats in Congress, 137 have publicly backed pursuing the president's impeachment.

Democrats are also probing whether Trump and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani pressured Ukraine into investigating political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.

The committee's vote on this resolution, slated for later this week, marks the first formal vote for the panel on the impeachment issue.

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"We are expanding the investigation outwards from the Mueller report to what I think every American can understand intuitively-the president has treated the office as an extended get-rich-quick scheme", Raskin told The Washington Post. Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary, and Rick Dearborn, a former White House deputy chief of staff, were subpoenaed to appear before the same hearing.

While the resolution focuses mostly on the findings in the Mueller report on the Russian Federation investigation, the committee has also expanded its investigation to include a probe into potential violation of the emoluments clauses. "We will not allow Trump's continued obstruction to stop us from delivering the truth to the American people".

With the Russia-Trump-collusion narrative having gone into full retreat, Democrats have begun to focus more on the president's business dealings, including the question of whether state and foreign dignitaries staying at Trump hotels and resorts violate constitutional rules for emoluments.

With the 2020 election on the horizon, Pelosi, as well as numerous Democratic Party's moderates, fear that voters' distaste for impeachment could put the majority back in the hands of Republicans. Nadler's move is relatively out of order, as the full House has yet to take a full vote on impeaching the president. Pelosi said the Judiciary Committee's process is "keeping open the options for all of us", according to a source who was inside the room.

"It represents another significant step forward", a senior Judiciary aide said on Monday. "Our duty is to uphold the Constitution and we must do all we can to protect our democracy".


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