Judiciary hearing sets stage for Trump impeachment charges

The House Judiciary Committee convened Monday to formally receive the investigative findings against President Donald Trump as Democrats pushed toward articles of impeachment and the White House and its allies launched an aggressive attack on the proceedings.

Chairman Jerrold Nadler was interrupted immediately by a protester who shouted, “We voted for Donald Trump!” as the committee was gaveled open. The protester was escorted from the House hearing room by Capitol Police.

Nadler pressed ahead with opening remarks, saying, “President Trump put himself before country.”

The committee is to vote soon, possibly this week, on two or more charges of abuse of power, bribery and obstruction against the Republican president. Democrats say Trump’s push to have Ukraine investigate rival Joe Biden while at the same time withholding U.S. military aid ran counter to U.S. policy and benefited Russia.

“The record on this point is also clear: Multiple officials testified that the president’s demand for an investigation into his rivals was a part of his personal, political agenda, and not related to the foreign policy objectives of the United States,” Nadler said.

“The integrity of our next election is at stake.”

The hearing sets off a pivotal week as Democrats march toward a full House vote expected by Christmas. In drafting the articles of impeachment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing a legal and political challenge of balancing the views of her majority while hitting the Constitution’s bar of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Trump spent the weekend tweeting against the proceedings. He and and his allies acknowledge he likely will be impeached in the Democratic-controlled House, but they also expect acquittal next year in the Senate, where Republicans have the majority. Trump’s team is turning attention elsewhere, including Monday’s release of a long-awaited Justice Department report into the 2016 Russia investigation.

“Impeachment Hearing Hoax,” Trump tweeted Sunday.

In advance of the hearing, Nadler sent a letter to the White House late Sunday officially forwarding the House Intelligence committee’s report, along with additional evidence supporting impeachment. It also invited White House officials to review sensitive materials in a classified setting.

The White House is refusing to participate in the process, which it calls a sham, and the top Republican on the panel, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, asked to postpone the hearing, criticizing Democrats for moving too swiftly. One legal scholar testified last week it would be the quickest impeachment in modern history.

“This is just how desperate they are — desperately focused on impeaching this president,’’ said Collins who accused the Democrats of unleashing thousands of pages of documents his side had no time to review before Monday’s session. “This is a show. This is a farce. This is whatever you want to call it. The American people are having their tax dollars wasted on this impeachment of this president.”

Trump, meanwhile, is heading out for campaign rallies to shift attention away from the House. During the weekend, he was focused on a related matter, the Justice Department inspector general’s findings on the FBI’s decisions to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. The president has long called special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe a “witch hunt,” but the inspector general’s report is expected to reject the claim that it was illegitimate, according to people familiar with its findings.

Trump tweeted Sunday, “I.G. report out tomorrow. That will be the big story!”

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. That was bribery, they say, because Trump was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid that Ukraine depended on to counter Russian aggression.

Trump and his aides have made clear that they now see his impeachment in the House as inevitable and have shifted their focus. A vote to convict requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate, where Republicans hold 53 of 100 seats. It is unlikely that Republican senators would cross party lines and vote to remove Trump from office.

As Democrats draft the articles, Pelosi’s challenge will be to go broadly enough to appease her liberal flank, which prefers a more robust accounting of Trump’s actions reaching back to Mueller’s findings. At the same time, centrist lawmakers prefer charges more tailored to Ukraine. Democratic leaders were to meet Monday evening.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said Democrats should approach the question of what to include in the articles the way a prosecutor brings forward “the strongest and most overwhelming evidence and not try to charge everything, even though you could charge other things.’’

Schiff said, “I think we should focus on those issues that provide the greatest threat to the country. And the president is engaged in a course of conduct that threatens the integrity of the next election, threatens our national security.”

Monday’s hearing was to receive the Intelligence panel’s report on the inquiry, with lawyers from both parties testifying in what was expected to be a daylong session.

Nadler, in 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 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.

In his report, Mueller said he could not determine that Trump’s campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia in the 2016 election. But Mueller said he could not exonerate Trump of obstructing justice in the probe and left it for Congress to determine.

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

“If they do not impeach him, they cannot beat him at the polls,” McCarthy, R-Calif.

Trump said during 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.

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Trump Faces Impeachment Inquiry like a Wounded Tiger

A newswire from the Spanish news agency (EFE) confirmed on Thursday that US President Donald Trump attacked Democrats aiming at a replacement in office for filing charges against him.

He called them "Radical Left Democrats," who try to bring him to trial ... for nothing.

He also asked for a quick vote on the subject to have a fair political trial in the Republican-led Senate.

He added that he is being brought to justice due to the pressure he exerted on the current President of Ukraine, aimed to do some inquiries on his political rival and former Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden.

According to Trump, it was only about “appropriate contacts” and impeachment would certainly set a bad precedent.

But his excuse was not believed.

“This means,” he added, “that the act of impeachment will be used routinely in the future to attack presidents.

That is not what our Founders had in mind. The good thing is that the Republicans have NEVER been more united. We will win!” He sentenced.

He then addressed Democrats:

"If you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business."

The latter showed the degree of attention being paid in the US to the impeachment inquiry against the Head of the White House.

So far, no clear resolution looms on the horizon.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

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Donald Trump Impeachment To Go Ahead, Says US House Speaker

WASHINGTON: US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said she has instructed the House Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump over his effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival.

"The facts are uncontested. The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security by withholding military aid and (a) crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival," Pelosi said in a televised statement.

"Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our Founders and our hearts full of love for America, today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment," she added, referring to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler

Pelosi made the remarks a day after the Judiciary Committee held a hearing in which three constitutional law experts called by Democratic lawmakers said Trump had engaged in conduct that represents impeachable offenses under the Constitution. A fourth expert called by Republican lawmakers called the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry rushed and flawed.

The House Intelligence Committee this week submitted findings from its inquiry into Trump's push for Kiev to launch an investigation related to former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Trump also wanted Ukraine to look into the discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 U.S. election.

Democrats have accused Trump of abusing his power by withholding $391 million in security aid to Ukraine - a U.S. ally facing Russian aggression - to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to announce the investigation.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and called the impeachment investigation a hoax.

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Trump’s Impeachment Inquiry Remains Tricky

Like drops of water falling onto the stone for a long time, strong eye-opening facts are cornering Trump at the U.S. House of Representatives.

Or so it believes AP journalist Jill Colvin.

The new fact is that Trump may now provide a written answer about the serious accusations included in the already popular impeachment.

He is being accused of pressing the Ukraine government to investigate his political rivals.

Via Twitter, the President said: “I will strongly consider” Nancy Pelosi’s offer to testify.

“She also said I can do it in writing. Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax.”

I like the idea and in order to get the Congress focused again “I will strongly consider it,” he added.

During the CBS TV show Face the Nation, Pelosi invited Trump to speak all the truth that he wants before the House Intelligence Committee and tell all of his version.

Thus, Pelosi rejected Republicans’ allegations that the impeachment inquiry is devious.

Simultaneously, Chuck Schumer, Democrat leader in the U.S. Senate, confirmed Trump should allow all those around him to go the Committee and testify under oath.

“What is he hiding?” Asked Schumer, but no one answers just yet.

And everything is happening when the House of Intelligence Committee is getting ready for week 2 of public hearings.

Observers recall that the most important witness —Gordon Sondland, ambassador of the U.S. before the European Union and one of the few people who talked to Trump about the issue and testified before Congress — must attend.

As others cannot cooperate in the inquiry, some believe that Sondland “is pretty much involved in the heart of the process,” especially if Trump withheld military assistance to Ukraine to impose an investigation on Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Several witnesses heard the telephone call where Trump and Sondland, apparently, talked about the need to put pressure on Kiev.

In closed-door depositions last Saturday, Tim Morrison, former employee at the National Security Council, revealed that Sondland told him he was speaking directly with Trump.

According to Morrison, Sondland and Trump had spoken five times when the military assistance to Ukraine was withheld.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

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Pelosi Says Trump Is 'In Her Wheelhouse' If He Tries to 'Intimidate' Whistleblower

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview on CBS' "Face The Nation" on Sunday that US President Donald Trump is "in her wheelhouse'' if he tries to ''intimidate'' the whistleblower, the major ''witness'' in the ongoing impeachment probe against the president.

"I will make sure he does not intimidate the whistleblower. I told the president, "you're in my wheelhouse when you come after the whistleblower", Pelosi said.

Trump has numerous times requested the House Committee, publicly and on his Twitter, to disclose the identity of the so-called whistleblower, who alleged that during his 25 July conversation with Wolodymir Zelensky the president ''put pressure'' on his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate into potential corruption crimes involving former Vice President Joe Biden and his son in Ukraine.

The whistleblower has preferred to act on the condition of anonymity, but it turned out later that the information he provided about the phone call was, in fact, "something he heard from somebody else".

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US: New bitter questions on Trump

The most recent events involving Donald Trump are addressed by this EFE newswire.

It starts: the drumbeats of the impeachment process resounded on Monday, but the White House did not want to know.

Likewise, it points out that Trump’s answers to Democrats —characterized by no strategy at all, chaos, improvisation, and mistakes— may wind up hurting himself.

It adds that before the actual crisis, the government’s response has been inaccurate and “Trump growingly looks like himself.”

Michael Cornfield —Political Science professor at the George Washington University— stated to the press that “the President is drunk on power and he is now looking for a new fight.”

EFE warns it is necessary to know Trump’s basic behavior to understand this White House reaction.

Chris Edelson, Politics professor at the American University, highlights he has no strategy to face the upcoming impeachment.

And adds, “he is a gangster. He thinks he is the Big Boss in the mafia world. He is an abuser and authoritarian. And he believes Republicans will always support him no matter what.”

He takes last Tuesday’s phone conversation as an example. This chat was leaked to the press between the President and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, before announcing a potential impeachment inquiry.

“Hey, can we do something about this whistleblower complaint? Can we work something out?’ The head of the White House asked.

Pelosi´s answer was sharp: “Yes, you could tell your people to abide the law.”

Afterwards, Trump showed once again this behavior in a private meeting with diplomats in New York where he suggested they should “get rid of” the whistleblower.

As previously reported, the whistleblower is a CIA agent who worked at the White House.

In the meeting Trump said:

“Who’s the person who provided such information to the whistleblower? Because that’s close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? With spies and treason, right?” Everything he said was leaked to the press.

The aforementioned professor Edelson said that Trump’s statements reminded him of the George Orwell’s novel “1984.”

And he added, “Trump said he did not do it, but he later asserted that there were no wrongdoings if he did.” The analysts said that is the “doublethinking” language.

In recent days, the New York Times released that Trump pressed in a phone conversation his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelenski, so he could open an inquiry on former Vice President and current Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, to undermine his presidential run for 2020.

EFE argues that such presidential formula and his attacks against the media have brought back hefty return for him. This week only, he has raised 13 million USD for his campaign.

Contrary to the common sense, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has attended every debate in major television networks on daily basis.

The goal was to defend his role, but he ended up incriminating himself even more, paired with other scandals.

Giuliani, via Fox News, read the messages exchanged with diplomats to prove that Trump’s contacts with Ukraine were already known by the U.S. State Department.

According to Karen Hult, expert in the dynamics of the West Wing, Giuliani has emerged as Trump's main speaker in this crisis because the White House communications office has failed to structure a strategy and currently has an "inconsistent" relationship with the leader.

The apotheosis of this entire riot occurred on Wednesday. That day the White House mistakenly sent an email to Democratic lawmakers outlining their strategy on how Republicans should answer questions about the controversial call between Trump and Zelenski.

In the brief, entitled "What you need to know," the White House advised lawmakers to use the word "myth" to describe the conversation between the two leaders and asked the Democrats to "blame a media frenzy of false accusations."

As if that were not enough, then the White House sent another message to the Democrats asking them to please return their strategy.

Here you have the small world of that powerful nation, which proclaims itself the utmost example of democratic values of the world.

And it is now sunk in a profound crisis that rushes from chaos to an unstoppable rupture that goes deeper as days pass by.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

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US House Speaker Pelosi formally announces impeachment inquiry against Trump

In the United States, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on Tuesday, yielding to mounting pressure from fellow Democrats.

One hundred and seventy-three House Democrats are now calling for an impeachment inquiry following whistleblower allegations President Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate political rival Joe Biden's family.

Pelosi said such actions would imply a “betrayal of his oath of office” and declared, “No one is above the law.”

With the announcement, Trump could probably become the fourth US president to face impeachment proceedings.

In New York, Trump did not deny withholding Congressionally approved aid to Ukraine, arguing that Europe and other nations are not helping that Eastern European country either.

Congress members consider the president should not withhold aid from a country to get dirt on his opponents, because that is unconstitutional.

Meanwhile the president previewed his defense in an all-caps tweet: “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” and he said he will release an un-redacted and unclassified transcript of a July phone call between him and Ukraine's president.

The White House is also planning to release to Congress a whistleblower's complaint that triggered the week-long crisis that has rocked the Trump presidency.

In tne complain, Trump reportedly pressured Ukraine's president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

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