Sep 12, 2019

House Judiciary approves resolution outlining rules for Trump impeachment inquiry

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler and its ranking member Doug Collins. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee approved Thursday a resolution that outlines the rules and scope for its impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The 24-17 vote was along party lines.

Why it matters: It's the committee's first vote on an action related to its ongoing impeachment probe and grants House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) wide-ranging powers moving forward.

Details: The resolution allows Nadler the ability to brand hearings as impeachment hearings and designate hearings related to the probe to either the full committee or a subcommittee. It also gives committee staff an additional hour to question witnesses and deems all information gathered in the probe private until Nadler says otherwise.

  • It stipulates that Trump's legal counsel is able to review and respond in writing to impeachment-related evidence only on Nadler's invitation.
  • The scope of the inquiry includes Trump's potential violations of the emoluments clause, hush money payments used to cover up alleged affairs and his alleged attempts to obstruct justice in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Yes, but: While the resolution formalizes the impeachment investigation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet publicly endorsed impeachment. However, a majority of House Dems support an impeachment inquiry.

The other side: Before the vote, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the ranking member on the committee, criticized Dems for creating "a giant Instagram filter" to make the resolution appear as formal impeachment proceedings.

  • "The chairman can do this at any time, because he wants the appearance of something that it's not. You're not in an impeachment inquiry," Collins said.

Go deeper: The impeachment whip list

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How an impeachment inquiry works

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) on September 19, 2019. Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that the House will open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump, in the aftermath of reports that he pressured Ukraine's president to investigate political rival Joe Biden.

The big picture: After months of what House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler described as "formal impeachment proceedings" — or months of subpoenas and committee investigations — House Democrats are officially taking the plunge.

Go deeperArrowSep 25, 2019

Nadler slams White House for blocking testimonies and limiting Lewandowski

Jerry Nadler. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler slammed the White House Monday for blocking 2 former aides from testifying before the committee and placing "unprecedented limitations" on former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski ahead of his appearance Tuesday.

Why it matters: The House Judiciary Committee is trying to step up investigations in order to determine whether to recommend Trump’s impeachment for obstruction of justice and abuse of power.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 17, 2019

Pelosi responds to House GOP leader's call to suspend impeachment inquiry

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday responded to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) call to suspend the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, dismissing the top Republican's claim that an inquiry must be authorized by a full House vote.

"As you know, our Founders were specifically intent on ensuring that foreign entities did not undermine the integrity of our elections. I received your letter this morning shortly after the world witnessed President Trump on national television asking yet another foreign power to interfere in the upcoming 2020 elections."
Go deeperArrowOct 3, 2019