WASHINGTON, DC — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) argued on Tuesday that a refusal by the Senate to agree to Democrats’ demand to allow new witnesses and evidence in the impeachment trial without a vote would deem President Donald Trump guilty regardless of the verdict.
In other words, if the Republican-led Senate does not carry out the impeachment trial the way the Democrats want it to, Trump will be considered guilty even if the upper chamber acquits him. A guilty verdict in the Senate would remove Trump from office.
Schiff told reporters:
If the Senate and the senate leadership … will not allow the calling of witnesses or the presentation of documents, If [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell makes this the first impeachment trial in history without witnesses or documents, it will not prove the president innocent. It will merely prove the Senate guilty of working with the president to obstruct the truth from coming out, so I do think that by structuring the trial this way, it furthers our case that what’s going on here really is a cover-up of evidence to the American people.
While McConnell says his newly unveiled resolution outlining the rules that will govern the Senate trial makes the process fair, Schiff argues otherwise, saying the guidelines “make it impossible to hear a fair trial.”
The Senate, nevertheless, is expected to approve the resolution.
Speaking from the Senate’s floor on Tuesday, McConnell noted that the resolution that lays out the rules for how Senators will carry out the impeachment trial allows for a vote on whether both parties can introduce new evidence and witnesses.
McConnell made it clear that he will not pre-commit to allowing new evidence before hearing the Democrats’ arguments for convicting Trump. Moreover, he acknowledged that no one pushed the House’s hand to rush the impeachment inquiry, noting that they could have waited for more evidence if they thought it necessary.
McConnell stressed that the GOP-led Senate would not do the Democrat-controlled House’s investigation.
Key congressmen have recently threatened to call new witnesses to testify in the House if the Senate does take their deposition. They have also said they are continuing with their impeachment inquiry. Their comments came after House Democrats transmitted the two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — to the Senate, a move that is supposed to end the House’s role in the impeachment process.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has been ramping up his attacks on Bernie Sanders as the Vermont senator has consistently stayed near the top of the Democratic pack.
Trump lobbed a fresh jab at Sanders on Sunday on Twitter, noting his rise in the polls, and brought him up throughout his rally on Thursday in Toledo. Trump’s campaign sent out back-to-back emails blasting Sanders last week.
The moves are part of a deliberate shift in focus towards Sanders, a campaign official said. As Trump’s attacks are likely to do more to help Sanders than hurt him with Democratic voters, it’s an indication the campaign is trying to put its finger on the scale in the weeks before voters begin weighing in.
“Wow! Crazy Bernie Sanders is surging in the polls, looking very good against his opponents in the Do Nothing Party,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “So what does this all mean? Stay tuned!”
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
Sanders took a narrow lead in the most recent poll of Iowa voters, but the race there remains essentially a four-way dead heat less than a month before the critical first-in-the-nation caucuses. The Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa poll, released Friday, shows Sanders with 20 percent support among likely Democratic caucus-goers.
While Trump’s campaign advisers believe the president has a good shot at defeating any of the Democratic contenders, they have said Sanders would be an easy mark because they believe his progressive policies would alienate moderate and independent voters.
But the campaign has also sought recently to go after Sanders’ character, not just his policies. In a campaign email sent Thursday, Sanders was described as a “wealthy, fossil-fuel guzzling millionaire” — a somewhat paradoxical attack from a billionaire who used to fly around in a private jet. In another on Wednesday, the campaign said Sanders “can’t be trusted to defend American lives.”
“He’s just another Hollywood-style hypocrite who demands working class Americans make sacrifices while he plays by his own rules and enjoys a lavish lifestyle,” the campaign email on Thursday said.
Although Trump often refers to Sanders as “crazy Bernie,” he has previously reserved his most stinging attacks for Democrats like Biden and Warren.
But at a campaign rally in Toledo Thursday, Trump went after Sanders several times, attacking the senator’s health care plan and his criticism of the administration’s decision to kill top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, while seeking to paint Sanders as a leader of the Democratic Party.
“Democrats are taking their cues from socialist Bernie Sanders,” along with the group of freshman women in the House known as “The Squad,” Trump said. “They’re the leaders of the party.”
Trump’s attacks haven’t gone unnoticed by Sanders.
“Some of you may have noticed that recently our campaign and me personally have been the target of attacks from Trump and the Republican party because they are catching on that our campaign is the campaign that can and win defeat them,” Sanders said at a town hall event in Newton, Iowa, on Saturday. “We are going to expose the fact that when Trump talks about being a friend of working people, he is a liar and a fraud.”
Shannon Pettypiece is the senior White House reporter for NBCNews.com.
Questions about the Pentagon’s credibility carry a host of real-world implications, from allies not trusting America’s word, to worries that more troops will commit war crimes, to growing skepticism over intelligence the Pentagon uses to justify military action.
“It’s terrible,” Eric Edelman, who served as undersecretary of Defense for President George W. Bush, said of the impact Trump is having on the Pentagon’s ability to make its case. “Trump is basically essentially doing things that make the Russians and Chinese happy. They can say, ‘They are just like us. They do what’s in their interest. The notion that America is different is all bullshit.’”
As the military conflict with Iran deepens, the president’s behavior is hamstringing the U.S. military, warned nearly a dozen current and former officials. In particular, Trump’s threats to commit violations of international law are fueling perceptions in the Muslim world that the U.S. military is little more than an imperial occupying force.
And the Pentagon’s credibility faces its next big test Wednesday, when senior military leaders brief skeptical lawmakers in the House and Senate on the decision to conduct a drone strike on Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, a move that sparked the missile attack that struck Iraqi bases that house U.S. troops.
Lawmakers, mostly Democrats, have made it clear they’re in no mood to accept the administration’s claims that Soleimani was prepared to attack U.S. forces, especially since there’s no guarantee that the military tit-for-tat in the Middle East will die down anytime soon.
Trump’s defenders dismiss claims the president’s shoot-from-the-hip style is harming the military’s reputation. And the Pentagon says it’s still credible because it doesn’t get political.
“There’s a reason the U.S. Department of Defense remains the most trusted institution in American government — we stay out of politics,” the Pentagon said in a written response to POLITICO. “DoD also maintains a strong relationship with our allies through our [military-to-military] relationships with countries around the globe, where we do joint training, exercises, and serve together on the battlefield.”
But current and former administration officials worry the president’s growing pattern of breaking faith with some of those allies, ignoring the chain of command, and forcing Pentagon leaders to publicly defend his actions mean that the military’s word does not carry the same weight it once did — just as it tries to head off a major war in the Middle East.
“The institution is losing its credibility because it is continually being politicized, it’s politically being antagonized and it’s seen … as a Defense Department that’s either out of touch, that’s rogue, that’s partisan, [or] that’s lawless,” said a former senior military officer who served in the Trump administration and requested anonymity to speak freely.
“You don’t know what’s solid and what’s reliable,” added a former senior Pentagon official who served in the Trump administration.
The Defense Department’s credibility gap has been on display time and again, most recently this week when a draft letter from a U.S. general to an Iraqi counterpart laying out plans for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq was leaked to the media.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley quickly declared the U.S. wasn’t leaving Iraq and said the communication should never have been sent. But it made little difference; Iraq’s prime minister brushed off Esper’s and Milley’s statements and said he was treating the draft letter as official policy.
Even some of the Pentagon’s biggest supporters said they don’t know what to believe about the episode.
“I do think Esper and Milley have to explain what the hell happened with this unsigned letter that may or may not have gotten sent,” Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Republican from Wisconsin who served as a Marine Corps officer in Iraq, said in an interview. “Was this just pure incompetence or was this part of some deliberate messaging strategy?”
“We can’t be playing games like that, especially at times like this,” Gallagher added, saying he hopes to get clarity from the closed-door briefing Wednesday. “They seemed genuinely surprised. I’m struggling to make sense of it now. I hope they will take advantage of that opportunity … to tell us what exactly happened.”
Trump seems oblivious to how his words and actions forced Pentagon leaders to constantly scramble to explain away his comments.
Most recently, it was his threat over the weekend to bomb cultural sites if Iran retaliated for the Soleimani attack. If carried out, such an attack would violate both a United Nations-backed treaty calling for the protection of cultural sites in wartime as well as the Geneva Conventions.
After Trump’s comments, Esper hopped into damage control mode. “We will follow the laws of armed conflict,” he insisted to reporters on Tuesday, not directly commenting on the fact that the president had threatened to do something illegal.
Later on Tuesday Trump backed off, telling reporters, “I like to obey the law.”
But even some of the most hawkish voices winced at the episode.
“I don’t think we should be targeting cultural sites,” Gallagher said. “I do think we should avoid anything that would drive a wedge between us and our allies in the region.
“There is no decision more serious and consequential for presidents and commanders in chief than to order military action,” added Michael Rubin, a former adviser on Iraq and Iran at the Pentagon from 2002 to 2004 and resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “Trump’s off-handed remarks about targeting cultural sites — an illegal order should he try which the Pentagon could never obey — highlights what happens when Trump’s political style clashes with the legal and planning processes developed by the Pentagon over decades.”
The threat came just weeks after the president took the extraordinary step of granting clemency to a trio of accused or convicted war criminals in the Army and Navy. It set off an outcry in the ranks and on Capitol Hill that Trump was meddling in the military justice system and was encouraging lawlessness and damaging good order and discipline.
After Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was forced out over his handling of Navy Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher’s case, Esper followed Trump’s order and canceled an administrative board that could have removed Gallagher’s SEAL trident pin. In issuing the order, Trump ignored his military advisers in favor of a campaign in conservative media to restore Gallagher’s pin.
“There’s a sense of dejection by senior leaders in the Pentagon, that the president and the secretary of Defense are going to side with the loudmouths at Fox News against the reasoned opposition of senior military professionals,” a senior Pentagon official with direct knowledge of high-level discussions told POLITICO at the time. “That’s the sense in a nutshell.”
In another recent example, Trump gave voice to what many critics of U.S. military operations in the Middle East have been saying for decades: It’s all about the oil.
After abruptly ordering most U.S. troops out of Syria, the president told reporters that “We’re keeping the oil, we have the oil, the oil is secure, we left troops behind only for the oil.”
“It can help us because we should be able to take some also,” he told reporters on Oct. 27. “And what I intend to do, perhaps, is make a deal with an Exxon Mobil or one of our great companies to go in there and do it properly.”
The Pentagon quickly pushed back. “The revenue from this is not going to the U.S.,” Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said, insisting local Kurds will be “the sole beneficiary of the sale of the oil from the facilities they control.”
Esper weighed in, saying Trump meant that he wants to keep the oil from benefiting ISIS.
“It’s — it’s, you know, half dozen, six. I interpret that as deny ISIS access to the oil fields; secure them so that they are denied access to the oil fields,” he told reporters on Oct. 31.
The Pentagon and State Department have long sought to combat the public perception that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was designed to seize Mideast oil.
The former Trump Pentagon official said the president’s statements about the oil is particularly damaging to the Pentagon’s credibility at home and abroad.
“It’s is a pretty serious concern among the senior uniformed military,” said the former official, who declined to be identified discussing recent conversations with former colleagues. “The taking of the oil fields is exactly what the criticism was of almost every one of our activities in Middle East. It plays right into critics and skeptics and even conspiracy theorists and is against U.S. values.”
The oil field controversy sprang up weeks after Trump ordered troops out of parts of Syria after Turkey threatened to invade northern areas. The withdrawal left American’s Kurdish allies in the lurch, sparking outrage in the military and Congress who said the U.S. was betraying a partner that was instrumental in crushing ISIS.
“We are not abandoning the Kurds,” Esper insisted, even as Trump’s allies in Congress said the president was doing exactly that.
Edelman, the former Bush Pentagon official, said he’s worried about how the department can stop the loss of trust.
“We didn’t take anything over and establish puppet regimes in Europe after World War II,” he said. “The sense that the United States has acted more often than not in a disinterested way by creating some semblance of world order has given us enormous ability to do stuff around the world. Trump is undermining that.”
On Saturday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) stated that people who are criticizing President Trump for the Soleimani strike are “going to have to look at a mirror and say, whose side are you on if you can question something that actually makes America safer?”
Scalise said, “Any responsible commander-in-chief would have done the same thing, but President Trump’s the one who did it, and I’m glad that the president had the fortitude to say we’re going to put America first. We’re going to protect America and our allies around the world by doing this. And you know, if somebody wants to criticize him for it, I think they’re going to have to look at a mirror and say, whose side are you on if you can question something that actually makes America safer?”
President Trump has mostly taken the day off of Twitter on Christmas, with the exception of posting holiday greetings from his family.
Wednesday morning, the president simply tweeted, “MERRY CHRISTMAS,” then followed that up by retweeting a video message from first lady Melania Trump and him.
“The president and I want to wish each and every American a very merry Christmas,” Melania Trump said at the beginning of the video, which was first posted by her account.
MIRACLE BABY GETS TO SPEND HER FIRST CHRISTMAS AT HOME
“At this sacred time of year, Christians celebrate the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ, and rejoice in his love for every person,” the president continued. “We give thanks for the millions of Americans who come together to care for others with compassion and bring the warmth and bliss of this holy season to our families, our friends, our neighbors, and to those in need.”
The message concluded with a prayerful message of thanks to U.S. military and law enforcement.
“As we gather with loved ones this holiday, Americans across this land are grateful for all the men and women in uniform who keep us safe: our military, our police and everyone in law enforcement,” Mrs. Trump said.
The president closed, stating, “We say a special prayer for those military service members stationed far from home, and we renew our hope for peace among nations and joy to the world. On behalf of the entire Trump family, we wish everyone a joyous and merry Christmas and a very happy, happy new year.”
The president also retweeted a Christmas greeting from the White House’s official Twitter account.
The first family has been spending the holiday at the president’s private club in Palm Beach, Fla. They attended a music-filled Christmas Eve service at a Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated church before celebrating with dinner in the ballroom of his private club. They were expected to remain out of sight Wednesday.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
On Tuesday evening, the first lady answered calls from children across the country as part of North American Aerospace Defense Command’s “Operation NORAD Tracks Santa” program. Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said Mrs. Trump spoke with several children and heard items on their Christmas lists.
Grisham said Mrs. Trump “reminded the kids to put milk and cookies out for Santa, and wished each child and their families a very merry Christmas.”
After weeks of momentous congressional hearings, the House Judiciary Committee voted Friday to impeach President Donald Trump, sending the two articles of impeachment to the full House, where Trump would become the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.
The House floor vote would come before lawmakers adjourn for the holidays this month, setting up a Senate trial in January.
Friday’s party-line committee vote, 23-17, had been postponed from Thursday, when committee members debated late into the night on the second day of markup hearings. Republicans dragged out the hearing with the introduction of long-shot amendments to the two articles of impeachment, unveiled by House Democrats Tuesday.
In them, lawmakers said Trump abused his power when he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and obstructed the congressional investigation into the matter by directing White House officials not to testify and withhold relevant documents.
Chiefly, they concluded that his July 25 phone call with Zelensky represented “stark evidence of misconduct; a demonstration of the President’s prioritization of his personal political benefit over the national interest.”
The House Judiciary Committee began its own set of impeachment hearings last week, with several constitutional law scholars testifying that Trump’s actions unquestionably amounted to grounds for impeachment.
In response to the committee vote Friday, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham celebrated the “shameful end” of what she called “this desperate charade of an impeachment inquiry.”
“The President looks forward to receiving in the Senate the fair treatment and due process which continues to be disgracefully denied to him by the House,” Grisham added.
Throughout the impeachment inquiry, most Republicans have continued to stand by Trump.
This article has been updated to include Grisham’s comments.
President Trump will sign an executive order on Wednesday that will broaden Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to apply to discrimination based on anti-Semitism. Trump is seen here speaking at a campaign rally in Hershey, Pa., on Tuesday.
President Trump will sign an executive order on Wednesday that will broaden Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to apply to discrimination based on anti-Semitism. Trump is seen here speaking at a campaign rally in Hershey, Pa., on Tuesday.
President Trump will sign an executive order that will make Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act apply to anti-Semitic acts, the White House said on Wednesday. The order is generating concern that it will stifle free speech by those who oppose Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians.
The executive order takes indirect aim at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that has generated intense controversy on college campuses.
Title VI bans discrimination based on race, color or national origin in programs and activities, such as colleges and universities, that receive federal funding. The executive order will extend the ban to discrimination based on anti-Semitism.
A draft copy of the executive order was published Wednesday by Jewish Insider.
The draft order suggests that those charged with enforcing Title VI consider the definition of anti-Semitism adopted by International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which states: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
The order points in particular to the alliance’s “Contemporary Examples of Anti-Semitism.”
Among its examples is “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”
The left-leaning Jewish group J-Street said in a statement that the order “appears designed less to combat anti-Semitism than to have a chilling effect on free speech and to crack down on campus critics of Israel.”
J-Street adds that “we feel it is misguided and harmful for the White House to unilaterally declare a broad range of nonviolent campus criticism of Israel to be anti-Semitic, especially at a time when the prime driver of anti-Semitism in this country is the xenophobic, white nationalist far-right.”
The White House said it had been spurred by a rise in anti-Semitic incidents since 2013, and that it was looking for a way to ensure colleges take anti-Semitic acts seriously.
The Republican Jewish Coalition praised the move, calling Trump “the most Pro-Israel President in American history” and saying that he has “shown himself to be the most pro-Jewish president as well. Today’s order will have a real, positive impact in protecting Jewish college students from anti-Semitism.”
Trump is expected to sign the order at a Hanukkah celebration at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.
NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith and religion correspondent Tom Gjelten contributed to this report.
President Trump paid more than $2 million in a court-ordered settlement to end a lawsuit in which he was accused of misusing funds at his charitable foundation for political gain.
The payment and the remaining $1.8 million in the Trump Foundation’s bank account were distributed among eight charities, New York Attorney General (AG) Letitia James announced Tuesday.
Those charities are Army Emergency Relief, the Children’s Aid Society, Citymeals on Wheels, Give an Hour, Martha’s Table, the United Negro College Fund, the United Way of National Capital Area and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Each received $476,140, James said.
TRUMP FOUNDATION AGREES TO DISSOLVE AFTER LAWSUIT ALLEGED ‘ILLEGAL CONDUCT’
“Not only has the Trump Foundation shut down for its misconduct, but the president has been forced to pay $2 million for misusing charitable funds for his own political gain,” James said in a statement.
The lawsuit filed in June 2018 accused Trump and his three eldest children of using the Donald J. Trump Foundation to boost Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, settle legal disputes and for the purchase of sports paraphernalia, among other items.
NY AG PROMISES TO ‘USE EVERY AREA OF THE LAW’ TO PROBE TRUMP, FAMILY
Last month, a judge ordered Trump to pay $2 million in damages. James’ office had originally pushed for $2.8 million in restitution and a $5.6 million penalty. As part of the settlement, Trump admitted to misusing Trump Foundation funds and agreed to limitations and restrictions on future charitable work.
“Charities are not a means to an end, which is why these damages speak to the president’s abuse of power and represent a victory for not-for-profits that follow the law,” James said. “My office will continue to fight for accountability because no one is above the law — not a businessman, not a candidate for office, and not even the president of the United States.”
The settlement also called for mandatory training requirements for Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump, which all three have completed, James said.
Attorneys for the Trump Foundation accused James of timing her announcement to deflect attention from her office’s Tuesday loss against Exxon Mobil in a climate change lawsuit.
“The AG’s office doesn’t want the media to focus on the massive trial they lost today,” attorneys Marc Mukasey and Alan Futerfas told Fox News in an emailed statement. “Our case was amicably resolved weeks ago. The judge commended both parties for the resolution. The legacy of the Trump Foundation — which gave away many millions to those most in need at virtually no cost — is secure.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The three-decades-old foundation reached a deal with the New York Attorney General to shut down in December 2018 amid the lawsuit. Authorities claimed Trump ran the foundation as an extension of his business empire and presidential campaign.
Last month, Trump said James had deliberately mischaracterized the settlement for political purposes. The foundation’s attorney argued that the lawsuit was politically motivated, which a judge rejected.
Michael Horowitz, the DOJ inspector general, found that although there were “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the FBI’s requests for court-ordered surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser, the bureau’s decision to launch the probe was adequately predicated and not influenced by political bias.
While Wray acknowledged and pledged to remedy errors in the FBI’s handling of applications for surveillance warrants, he told ABC News in an interview that he did not think law enforcement unfairly targeted the Trump campaign and said it was “important” that Horowitz found the FBI was justified in opening its investigation.
That assessment diverged markedly with Barr’s reading of the IG report. The attorney general asserted in a statement that Horowitz’s review “now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.”
John Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut tasked by Barr with overseeing a separate probe into the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign, also cast doubt on Horowitz’s central judgment.
“Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S.,” Durham said in a statement. “Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”
The president sought to promote the IG report as a win for the White House, claiming that the 400-page document was “far worse than I would’ve ever thought possible” and detailed an attempted “overthrow” of his administration.
“They got caught red-handed, and I look forward to the Durham report, which is coming out in the not-too-distant future. It’s got its own information, which is this information, plus plus plus,” Trump said.
“And it’s an incredible thing that happened, and we’re lucky we caught them,” he continued. “I think I’m going to put this down as one of our great achievements because what we found and what we saw never, ever should … happen again in our country.”
Trump’s attack on Wray was hardly the first time the president has cast aspersions on senior law enforcement officials. The president has often condemned members of the “deep state” he alleges are embedded within intelligence community, and he repeatedly berated former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from oversight of the Russia probe.
The president appointed Wray to the FBI’s top job in June 2017 after the dramatic ouster of former director James Comey, which Trump later acknowledged in an interview with NBC News was influenced by the bureau’s ongoing Russia investigation.
After the release of Horowitz’s report on the FBI’s handing of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails in June 2018, Trump tweeted: “Comey will now officially go down as the worst leader, by far, in the history of the FBI. I did a great service to the people in firing him. Good Instincts. Christopher Wray will bring it proudly back!”
The president on Tuesday also railed online against Democratic lawmakers’ fast-moving impeachment inquiry, tweeting ahead of a news conference later in the morning by House committee leaders who are expected to reveal articles of impeachment charging Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
“To Impeach a President who has proven through results, including producing perhaps the strongest economy in our country’s history, to have one of the most successful presidencies ever, and most importantly, who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness! #2020Election,” Trump wrote.
The House Judiciary Committee will meet Monday morning to receive a report detailing the findings of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump that could lead to articles of impeachment being voted on as early as this week.
Rep. Jerrod Nadler, the panel’s chairman, sent a letter to the White House late Sunday that includes the House Intelligence Committee’s report from its investigation culled from interviews with former and current diplomatic and administration officials.
Nadler said the Democrat-controlled Judiciary Committee must move forward with articles of impeachment “because of the threat that [Trump’s] pattern of conduct poses to the election itself.”
“We have a very rock-solid case. I think the case we have, if presented to a jury, would be a guilty verdict in about three minutes flat,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
If approved, the full House could vote on the articles of impeachment by Christmas, setting the stage for a trial in the GOP-controlled Senate.
It’s unlikely the Senate would vote to remove the president, which would require a two-thirds vote. Republicans hold 53 seats in the chamber.
GOP Sen. Ted Cruz called the process in the House a “kangaroo court” and asserted it would go down in flames in the Senate.
“It’s going to go to the Senate, it’s going to go nowhere. And I think the American people know this is a waste of time and this is Democrats putting on a circus,” Cruz said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Democrats allege that Trump abused the power of his office by using as leverage nearly $400 million in military assistance to coerce Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian energy company.
The president has said there was nothing wrong with his July 25 call to Zelensky, and his Republican allies claim Trump held up the aid because he was concerned about the level of corruption in the country and didn’t want American tax dollars wasted.
The House Intelligence Committee released its 300-page report last week.
“The impeachment inquiry has found that President Trump, personally and acting through agents within and outside of the U.S. government, solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his reelection,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the leader of the Intelligence Committee, wrote in the report.
Republicans on the panel also released a report defending the president’s actions.
“The evidence presented does not prove any of these Democrat allegations and none of the Democrats’ witnesses testified to having evidence of bribery, extortion, or any high crime or misdemeanor,” the 123-page report said.