House Judiciary announces impeachment witnesses

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday unveiled a witness panel of four constitutional scholars for its first impeachment hearing this week. 

Titled “The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment,” Wednesday’s hearing will feature testimony from four law professors: Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law School and director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law; Pamela Karlan, a professor of public interest law at Stanford Law School; Michael Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law; and Jonathan Turley, a professor of public interest law at George Washington University Law School.
 
Turley is also an opinion contributor for The Hill. 
 
Unlike the House Intelligence Committee hearings last month, the witnesses won’t offer firsthand accounts of what they knew about Trump’s actions with regard to Ukraine. Instead, the constitutional scholars are expected to offer legal analysis.
 
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) framed the hearing as an opportunity to “discuss the constitutional framework through which the House may analyze the evidence gathered in the present inquiry.”

Neither President Trump, who is in London this week to mark the 70th anniversary of NATO, nor his counsel is expected to attend Wednesday’s hearing. 

 
White House counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter to Nadler on Sunday stating that the White House would not participate in the hearing, criticizing it as “highly partisan” with few advance details.

Cipollone did not rule out White House participation in future hearings, however.

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Nadler called the White House response “unfortunate” in a statement on Monday.

“The American people deserve transparency. If the president thinks the call was ‘perfect’ and there is nothing to hide then he would turn over the thousands of pages of documents requested by Congress, allow witnesses to testify instead of blocking testimony with baseless privilege claims, and provide any exculpatory information that refutes the overwhelming evidence of his abuse of power,” Nadler said.

The Judiciary Committee’s first hearing in the impeachment inquiry will take place after the House Intelligence Committee is expected to approve a report on Tuesday on its findings in its investigation of Trump’s efforts to push the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and the 2016 election.


House Democratic leaders have not publicly set a timeline for completing the impeachment process, but many believe they are aiming to wrap up consideration of articles of impeachment by Christmas.

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Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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