Both the House Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Judiciary Committee have met and debated the merits of impeachment with regard to actions taken by President Trump. On Thursday, December 5, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recalled the spirit of our founding fathers in calling for committee chairs to draft official articles of impeachment.
“In the course of today’s events, it becomes necessary for us to address, among other grievances, the President’s failure to faithfully execute the law,” Pelosi said.
On December 4, the House Judiciary Committee, led by Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY), heard testimony from four constitutional scholars on what constitutes a “high crime or misdemeanor” and whether or not President Trump’s conduct fits that definition, in accordance with the Constitution.
Three witnesses, Noah Feldman, Harvard Law Professor; Pamela Karlan, Stanford Law School Professor; and Michael Gerhardt, University of North Carolina Law Professor, were called by the Democrats. Each testified, in their own words, that Trump’s conduct clearly constitutes a string of impeachable offenses.
Only Jonathan Turley, a Law Professor at George Washington University who was called by the Republicans, testified that impeachment was wrong because it was rushed. In his testimony, he was careful to avoid characterizing the President’s actions in any way, focusing his opening statements on the impeachment process itself rather than on the President and his conduct while in office.
The impeachment effort caps off a months long effort across multiple committees including the House Select Committee on Intelligence, which issued its own report based on the facts of not only President Trump’s conduct concerning Ukraine and the withholding of both bipartisan security assistance and a White House meeting, but also actions undertaken by his agents, including his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, and others.
The report issued by the House Intelligence Committee found “a months-long effort by President Trump to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election.”
Colorado Representative Diana DeGette, who represents Colorado’s 1st congressional district, said in a statement that, “In forming our great nation, the framers of our Constitution instilled in us, as members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the sole power to impeach a president if the need were ever to arise.”
DeGette went on, “As some of our nation’s top constitutional law experts said yesterday, President Trump has abused the power of his office and, for the sake of our republic, must be held accountable.”