Nov 22, 2019

What's next for impeachment

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos via Getty Pool

After seven public hearings with 12 different witnesses, the impeachment inquiry is moving on to the next stage: a public report and a handoff to the Judiciary Committee.

What's next: House Intelligence Committee staffers have been drafting a report that they plan to deliver to the Judiciary Committee in the coming weeks that lays out their case for impeachment, two sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

  • It will also lay out their recommendations on how to proceed.
  • As of Friday morning, it was still unclear when the report will be released.
  • Republican staffers are working on a report of their own, GOP aides say, and will likely release it once Democrats publish theirs.

What we're hearing: There is a desire by some Democratic members on the Intelligence committee to continue investigating the president — with regard to Ukraine and other areas of concerns — even after the inquiry is passed over to Judiciary.

  • "There was more on our plate before Ukraine," Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) told Axios. "The foreign influence into our national elections is real and it's compelling and it's frightening, so I don’t think we're going to be in a position to not oversee that kind of review moving forward."

Timing: Democratic members on the Intelligence Committee say they expect the impeachment inquiry to be handed off to Judiciary soon after Thanksgiving recess, if not immediately upon Congress' return.

  • "There haven't been any decisions made yet about next steps," a Democratic leadership aide said. "But those conversations will happen in the next few days."
  • The aide told Axios that the Judiciary Committee will at least hold a hearing addressing what they see as Trump's high crimes and misdemeanors, and that Chairman Jerry Nadler will have a significant role in the impeachment process.
  • In addition to serving on the Intelligence Committee, Democratic Reps. Eric Swalwell and Val Demings, as well as GOP Reps. Jim Jordan and John Ratcliffe, are also on the Judiciary Committee and are expected to play a lead role when the inquiry ultimately lands there.
  • There has also been discussion that some Intelligence Committee staffers — who have worked on impeachment for weeks — may be loaned to the Judiciary Committee to help expedite the proceedings.

House Democratic leadership is still hoping to wrap their role in the impeachment process by the end of 2019, but they are hesitant to lay out a distinct timeline in case key witnesses close to Trump — like his former national security advisor John Bolton — decide to comply.

  • Yes, but: Several Democratic members and their aides have made it clear they do not plan to wait for a court ruling forcing them to do so.
  • "I feel as though our work is almost done. Given the witnesses available to us," Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.) said. "After this, we're all going to regroup as a committee and figure out if there are other witnesses that we have to call. But I don't suspect that unless some of those principal people agreed to come in," he added.
  • "The utility of [more hearings] has started to diminish — unless they're extraordinary witnesses with extraordinary testimony," said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.).

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to fewer than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.