House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a resolution outlining the procedures for next steps in the fast-moving impeachment inquiry into “whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach Donald John Trump." The release of the resolution sets up a full House vote this week and future public hearings, answering Republican complaints that the impeachment investigation is being conducted in secret.
Still, House Republicans on Tuesday assailed the resolution, focusing their fury on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the impeachment process.
(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE STEVE SCALISE , SAYING: "The resolution that was filed today in and of itself, according to Speaker Pelosi, affirms the Soviet-style process that's been going on and continues to deny due process and equal access to both sides until Adam Schiff is completed with his secret meetings." In a statement, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said: "The House impeachment inquiry has collected extensive evidence and testimony, and soon the American people will hear from witnesses in an open setting." The resolution comes as Democrats and Republicans fought over some of the most damaging testimony in the impeachment probe yet from National Security Council Director of European Affairs - and decorated Iraq War combat veteran - Alexander Vindman.
(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN, SAYING: "During our hour, our counsel was asking questions and Adam Schiff tells the witness not to answer our questions.
It's completely ridiculous." Vindman became the first person to testify who listened in on the July 25 call at the heart of the Ukraine scandal, and said: "I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government's support of Ukraine." Meeting behind closed doors, the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees have been looking into whether Trump violated federal law by seeking foreign help for his November 2020 re-election efforts - when he asked Ukraine's president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump maintains he did nothing wrong.
House passage of articles of impeachment would trigger a trial in the Republican-led Senate on whether to remove Trump from office.
(SOUND BITE) (English) SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL, SAYING: "We'll see whether they can A meet due process standards, fundamental due process standards, and then see what they do." Meanwhile, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is considering his own resolution - one that condemns the House impeachment probe.
The House resolution will be marked up by the Rules Committee Wednesday, and a full House vote on the measure is expected Thursday.