'Schiff Show' Roundup: Passing the Baton to Nadler

The House Judiciary Committee begins hearings this week on inevitable impeachment.

Nate Jackson · Dec. 2, 2019

We’d venture to guess most Americans didn’t give impeachment much thought over Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a few developments. Now that Adam Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee has completed its roster of public hearings, the “Schiff Show” moves to the House Judiciary Committee. New York Democrat Jerry Nadler’s committee will decide whether President Donald Trump’s conduct vis-à-vis Ukraine is impeachable, and, if so, Democrats there will draft articles of impeachment. Hearings begin Wednesday, Dec. 4.

For his part, Trump dangled the possibility of testifying before Congress himself, but the White House announced Sunday that he has decided against participating in Wednesday’s hearings. “This baseless and highly partisan inquiry violates all past historical precedent, basic due process rights, and fundamental fairness,” White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote to Nadler.

Partisan and unfair? You bet. The Judiciary Committee, like the Intelligence Committee, denied Republican attempts to call for testimony from the so-called “whistleblower.” Yes, that would be the whistleblower who Schiff said would testify … until he changed his mind after it was revealed that Schiff’s staff colluded with the whistleblower.

What next? USA Today reports, “House Democrats have been clear that if they decide to take up articles of impeachment, they want to vote on it before Christmas — leaving about three weeks for hearings, drafting of one or more articles of impeachment, a vote in the House Judiciary Committee on articles and a full House vote.”

The Hill adds the obvious: “Articles of impeachment against President Trump over his dealings with Ukraine are widely considered near-inevitable — and imminent.” But also, “Virtually no one expects the Senate to vote in favor of removing Trump from office.”

(Edited for clarity on Trump’s refusal.)

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