The House Judiciary Committee is preparing to lay the groundwork for its impeachment probe and may vote on a resolution as early as next week to define the boundaries of the inquiry.
While “impeachment August” ended as a bust, House Democrats are hoping to revamp their impeachment efforts in the fall, despite hesitation from moderate Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) is calling it an “impeachment investigation” of President Trump.
The committee’s draft resolution is expected to make rounds Monday, with a vote possible by Wednesday.
A source told Politico that the resolution would add legitimacy and “increase the ‘officialness’” of the inquiry.
As Politico reported:
Though the language of the resolution is still in flux, some sources said it could incorporate elements of traditional impeachment probes, such as offering access to the president’s attorneys or providing for more time to question witnesses. There was discussion among some Democrats on Friday’s call about the strength of the language in the resolution, according to sources briefed on the call.
“Democrats are hopeful that explicitly defining their impeachment inquiry will heighten their leverage to compel testimony from witnesses,” Politico added.
As Breitbart News reported, the House Judiciary Committee is hoping to make the alleged “hush-money” payments that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen made to both Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal a “major investigative focus”:
Cohen, who is serving a three-year prison sentence, has claimed that President Trump directed him to make the payments, although federal prosecutors declined to bring any charges against the president.
Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow said in a statement to the Post, “No campaign violations were engaged in by the president.”
The Post described the plans as “a new chapter” in House Democrats’ consideration of whether to draft articles of impeachment against the president.
Moderate Democrats, however, remain skeptical:
More than 130 Democrats have come out in support of impeachment in some form, crossing the threshold of half the Democrat caucus. However, more than 100 Democrats either oppose or have not clarified where they stand on impeachment, many of them vulnerable Democrats.
Pelosi essentially deflated her party’s impeachment hopes during a caucus-wide call last month, telling them that the general public “isn’t there” on impeachment.
“The public isn’t there on impeachment. It’s your voice and constituency, but give me the leverage I need to make sure that we’re ready and it is as strong as it can be,” Pelosi said, urging Democrats to make their argument as strong as possible.
“The equities we have to weigh are our responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution and to be unifying and not dividing. But if and when we act, people will know he gave us no choice,” Pelosi said.
“If he cannot respect the Constitution, we’ll have to deal with that. It’s about patriotism, not partisanship,” she added.