U.S. House judiciary panel holds 2nd impeachment hearing against Trump

2019-12-10 13:07:37Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The Democrat-led U.S. House Judiciary Committee held its second hearing here on Monday after taking over a months-long impeachment proceeding against U.S. President Donald Trump.

Witnesses for the hearing included Daniel Goldman, Democratic counsel for the Intelligence Committee; Stephen Castor, Republican counsel for the Judiciary Committee; and Barry Berke, special oversight counsel for the Judiciary Committee.

The nearly 10-hour hearing saw Democratic and Republican attorneys presenting conflicting findings from the first phase of the impeachment inquiry.

In his closing statement Monday evening, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler accused Trump of having "put himself before his country."

"I am struck by the fact that my Republican colleagues have offered no serious scrutiny of the evidence at hand. They have talked about everything else, but they have offered not one substantive word in the president's defense," the New York Democrat said.

Doug Collins, a Republican member of the panel, said he thinks Monday's hearing will undoubtedly be the committee's final hearing, as Democrats have not agreed to a hearing day for the minority.

"It'll be the first impeachment that is partisan, and facts are not agreed to," Collins added.

House Democrats are looking into whether Trump abused his office by pressuring Ukraine into launching investigations that could benefit him politically.

Lawmakers are also examining whether the Republican president conditioned a White House meeting or military aid to Ukraine on those probes.

The White House has so far refused to cooperate with the impeachment proceeding, accusing Democrats of an unfair process.

Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing or a "quid pro quo," told reporters at the White House that he "watched a little" of Monday's hearing, calling it "a disgrace."

Nadler has said Democrats will bring articles of impeachment "presumably" before his panel at some point this week. A full House vote will reportedly take place next week.

According to the U.S. constitution, the House shall have the sole "Power of Impeachment" while the Senate shall have the sole "Power to try all impeachments."

Trump will be impeached if the House approves any of the articles of impeachment the House Judiciary Committee has recommended by a simple majority vote.

But conviction can only happen in the Senate and requires at least two-thirds of its members, or 67 senators, to vote in favor. Currently, the Senate has 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents.

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