House Democrats plan to define the parameters of their investigation into whether to impeach President Donald Trump in a Thursday vote, according to House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY).
In a resolution that stopped short of terming the probe an “impeachment inquiry,” Nadler described the ongoing probe as an effort to “determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment” against the President.
The Monday release laid out the procedures that Nadler’s committee will employ over the coming months as it conducts more hearings as part of the inquiry.
Namely, the resolution empowers Nadler to hold impeachment hearings, and to have lawyers for the committee question witnesses for an additional hour after each member of Congress’s five-minute allotment.
The procedures also allow Trump to submit written responses to whatever allegations are made against him, and for House Judiciary to receive sensitive information in closed session.
The resolution follows on numerous statements that Nadler has made in legal filings, saying that House Judiciary is looking at whether Trump should be impeached. During the 1970s Watergate scandal and the Lewinsky saga of the 1990s, the House Judiciary Committee took similar steps towards defining the procedures it would use in examining whether to impeach the president.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has not publicly endorsed impeaching the President, while more than half the House Democratic caucus has come out in favor of the move.
Nadler himself is reportedly chomping at the bit to begin proceedings to impeach Trump. The resolution comes as part of a sweeping investigation the New York Democrat launched in March, aimed at reviewing allegations of obstruction of justice and improper contacts with Russian agents that were substantiated by the Mueller investigation.
Nadler has since expanded the probe to cover other, different mind-boggling allegations, including Trump’s company allegedly profiting from business with foreign governments and his alleged promise of pardons to top officials who agreed to break the law in building his border wall.
In a statement, Nadler described the procedures as a step that would “help ensure our impeachment hearings are informative to Congress and the public, while providing the President with the ability to respond to evidence presented against him.”
Trump has launched an all-out campaign to block congressional oversight, hiring personal attorneys to block subpoenas for his financial records and attempting to block third-party testimony from his associates to Congress.
Nadler’s committee has managed to secure interviews with some Trump associates, including former White House communications director Hope Hicks and former White House counsel Don McGahn’s chief of staff Annie Donaldson.
Those interviews, however, were marked by repeated objections from White House attorneys that limited the scope of what the witnesses were able to tell the committee. A separate lawsuit seeking to compel McGahn’s testimony will hear arguments on Oct. 31.
Nadler said in the statement that the inquiry would press forward.
“We will not allow Trump’s continued obstruction to stop us from delivering the truth to the American people,” he said.
Read the resolution here: