Judiciary panel to take reins on Trump impeachment inquiry
02 Dec 2019
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.