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."
India has amended a law in Jammu and Kashmir allowing Indian citizens to buy land in the disputed territory, said officials, sparking opposition criticism about a steady erosion of the rights of Kashmiri people.
Two people were reported killed and 26 others missing as Typhoon Molave hit central Vietnam on Wednesday, knocking down trees and tearing roofs off homes in some of the worst destruction seen in years.
A senior Chinese official accused the United States on Wednesday of deflecting blame and breaking its word when it comes to fighting climate change, as the simmering diplomatic row between the world's two biggest economies shifts to the environment.
The UAE has strongly condemned the terrorist attack, killing at least eight students and wounding 136 others. It took place on Tuesday in a religious school in the city of Peshawar, northern Pakistan, which claimed the lives of a number of innocent civilians, including children, and wounded others.