UPDATE 2-Top Democrat says more testimony, hearings possible in Trump impeachment




  • In US
  • 2019-11-24 14:32:51Z
  • By Reuters

(Adds Schiff on report being drafted, background on impeachment process)

By Doina Chiacu

WASHINGTON, Nov 24 (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Democrats have begun writing their report on the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump - a key step moving the process forward - but still may obtain more witness depositions and hold further hearings, the panel's chairman said on Sunday.

Representative Adam Schiff, who is spearheading the inquiry that threatens Trump presidency, said the Democratic-led committee would continue investigations as it works on the report after two weeks of public hearings with testimony from current and former U.S. officials. The panel has held five public hearings and has no more scheduled.

The report could pave the way for House consideration of articles of impeachment - formal charges - against Trump. If these are approved, the Senate, controlled by Trump's fellow Republicans, would then hold a trial on whether to convict the president and remove him from office.

The inquiry centers on a July 25 telephone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate political rival Joe Biden as well as a discredited conspiracy theory promoted by Trump that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

"We don't foreclose the possibility of more depositions, more hearings. We are in the process of getting more documents all the time. So that investigative work is being done," Schiff said on CNN's "State of the Union" program.

"What we're not going to do is wait months and months while the administration plays a game of 'rope a dope' in an effort to try to stall. We're not willing to go down that road," Schiff said.

"Rope a dope" is a term originated by the late boxer Muhammad Ali referring to delaying tactics.

Trump's administration has refused to provide documents requested by House Democrats and blocked witnesses from testifying including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Other current and former officials have defied White House instructions not to testify.

Schiff said the committee learns more information every day and he expects that to continue but the evidence is already so "overwhelming and uncontested" that lawmakers wanted to begin drafting the report for transmission the Judiciary Committee.

"Even as we compile this report, even as we submit evidence to the Judiciary Committee, we're going to continue our investigation," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The Judiciary Committee could conduct more proceedings if needed, including hearings, that allow Trump and his counsel to participate. The panel would draft any articles of impeachment against Trump before they would go to the full House for a vote.

Democrats also are looking into whether Trump abused his power by withholding $391 million in security aid to Ukraine - a vulnerable U.S. ally facing Russian aggression - as leverage to pressure Kiev into conducting the two investigations that could be politically beneficial to Trump.

The money - approved by the U.S. Congress to help Ukraine combat Russia-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country - was later provided to Kiev in September after the controversy had spilled into public view.

Trump is running for re-election in 2020. Biden is a leading Democratic contender to face Trump in that election.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Additional reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Will Dunham)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Trump impeachment trial resumes with McConnell proposing rules for debate
Trump impeachment trial resumes with McConnell proposing rules for debate

"This is the fair road map for our trial," McConnell said. "The eyes are on the Senate. The country is waiting to see if we can rise to the occasion."

Trump Did
Trump Did 'Nothing Wrong,' Lawyer Says: Impeachment Update

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump's impeachment trial began Tuesday, making him the third president in U.S. history to face possible removal from office by the Senate. He is charged with abusing his office and obstructing the House investigation of his actions.Here are the latest developments:McConnell Tweaks Rules on Trial Length (1:31 p.m.)A Senate Republican leadership aide said McConnell made a last-minute change to his resolution and it now will allow three days for the defense and impeachment managers to make their 24 hours of arguments, not two.Trump Trial Opens in Senate With Rule Debate (1:18 p.m.)The Senate formally opened Trump's trial, the third presidential impeachment trial in...

Iran MP offers reward for killing Trump, U.S. calls it
Iran MP offers reward for killing Trump, U.S. calls it 'ridiculous'

An Iranian lawmaker offered a $3 million reward to anyone who killed U.S. President Donald Trump and said Iran could avoid threats if it had nuclear arms, ISNA news agency reported on Tuesday amid Tehran's latest standoff with Washington. U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood dismissed the reward

Kellyanne Conway says Martin Luther King Jr. would have opposed Donald Trump
Kellyanne Conway says Martin Luther King Jr. would have opposed Donald Trump's impeachment

Kellyanne Conway's comments to NBC News came the day before the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is expected to begin.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump's lawyers say impeachment case is insufficient, unconstitutional

Trump's new legal team says the two impeachment articles against him do not allege any high crime or misdemeanor as required by the Constitution.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US