US President Donald Trump. File photo
The House Judiciary Committee is moving to the forefront of President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, starting with a hearing on Wednesday to examine the "high crimes and misdemeanors” set out in the Constitution.
It’s a moment many Democrats on the panel have been waiting for. Several had agitated for Trump’s impeachment in response to the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller in April. Then came revelations in September from an intelligence community whistleblower about Trump’s political pressure on Ukraine, a watershed event that brought most other Democrats on board.
Should Democrats draft articles of impeachment against Trump, as is expected, and approve them with a House vote, then impeachment managers would be appointed to present the case to the Senate. Traditionally, those managers have come from the House Judiciary Committee, which is stacked with lawyers and former prosecutors.
There are no set rules about who can be appointed an impeachment manager. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also could choose members of the House intelligence panel, which led the Ukraine investigation, or draw from other committees.
In 1998, 13 Republicans were picked from the Judiciary Committee to argue for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Those impeachment managers made the case at a Senate trial, but Clinton was acquitted.
A divided House Judiciary Committee voted 23-17 along party lines to approve articles of impeachment charging Trump with abusing the power of his office over the Ukraine scandal and obstructing House Democrats' attempts to investigate him for it.
Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, spent about eight hours with the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees behind closed doors at the US Capitol.
Almost simultaneously, House impeachment managers responded to an earlier Trump filing, saying the president had engaged in "corrupt conduct... to cheat in the next election" and that the Senate should remove him from office "following a fair trial."
About half the country's roughly 110 million people are currently under quarantine — including millions in deep poverty, left jobless by tough restrictions on movement.
The first phase testing would take around three months, CSIRO's director of health Rob Grenfell told Reuters, adding that any resulting vaccine would not be available to the public before late next year.
Confirmed coronavirus infections around the world approached one million on Thursday as the pandemic spread at a "near-exponential" rate, with a six-week-old baby becoming one of the youngest known victims.