Congressional Committee to review Trump impeachment report on Monday

Lalit K Jha

Washington, Dec 1 (PTI) The US' House Congressional committee will be reviewing the investigation report of President Donald Trump's impeachment inquiry on Monday setting the stage for charges to be filed.

The House Select Committee on intelligence, who held a series of hearings in both public and closed door settings over the past few weeks, would begin deliberations on its report on Monday.

The committee is expected to consider and vote the report on Tuesday evening, which would then head to the House Intelligence Committee for it to frame impeachment charges.

'This is a major event, moving impeachment proceedings one step closer to a possible impeachment trial in the Senate,' The Hill reported Sunday.

If Trump is impeached, he will be only the third such president in American history.

'Today is the first day of a month that could define the Trump presidency. And we're heading into a critical week, as the impeachment inquiry moves into a new phase,' CNN reported.

President Trump has described the impeachment proceedings as a hoax and has asserted that he has done no wrong.

In a dear colleague letter, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff had earlier said they are preparing an impeachment inquiry report for the Judiciary Committee and hoped to send it shortly after they return to Washington from the Thanksgiving recess.

Democratic presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar told a Sunday talk show that impeachment is imperative no matter what.

'It's a public trial, and the public will be able to see more and will be able to reach their own decisions, but in the end, it's our constitutional obligation,' she told MSNBC news in an interview.

She called the alleged Ukrainian scandal a global Watergate.

'This is something where Founding Father, James Madison himself, said the reasons we needed impeachment provisions was that he feared that a president would betray the trust of the American people to a foreign power. That is why this is proceeding. I see it simply as a global Watergate,' she said.

Congressman Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, he will see testimony of Schiff, the author of the Intelligence Committee report.

The impeachment proceedings, he said, is a complete American waste of time.

'The problem is (Representative) Jerry Nadler and the rest of them have already gotten their mind. They're writing the articles of impeachment, whether they have fairness or process for all,' he said.

Collins alleged that the opposition democrats are trying to finish this out by the end of the year because they want to get at this president right now.

'I don't think the American people, even if they support an impeachment inquiry or even trying to remove and overturn the votes of the 63 million people for this president, they don't think this is fair and I talked to Democrats who do not believe this is fair,' he said.

'If the Judiciary Committee simply has a constitutional scholar hearing and then they have a presentation of a report by Adam Schiff and we go straight to a markup, that is a failure on Chairman Nadler of the ultimate proportion because this is a failure of the Judiciary Committee to be able to talk to fact witnesses, to be able to talk to the people that had actually been a part of this and actually have the president viably participate in his own defense, which is not at the opportunity to do now,' Collins said.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, a Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, told the CNN that in the Constitution, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours are causes for impeachment.

Incidentally she worked for impeachment proceedings against presidents Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton.

'Unlike some of the other proceedings, we got the best evidence at the very beginning. The 'do me a favor, though,' phone call laid out really a this-for-that, improper scenario, where the foreign aid that had -- was the law to be released was being held for a personal political reason. And all of the testimony subsequent to that really just buttressed what appeared at the beginning,' she asserted.

'The shocking thing to me is that the people who could have come forward and perhaps given a more benign explanation were prevented from doing so by the president, which does make you infer that they really could not exonerate the president. The question now is what to do about it,' Lofgren said. PTI LKJ IND