House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has announced a new impeachment hearing for next week where committee lawyers will present evidence in the case, as Democrats begin to draft articles of impeachment at the direction of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Nadler, D-N.Y., scheduled the hearing for Monday at 9 a.m., where the committee will receive "presentations of evidence" from both Democratic and Republican counsels for both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.
The announcement comes shortly after Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday morning that Democrats will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Trump, claiming the president’s conduct left Democrats with “no choice but to act.”
Nadler's committee held its first hearing in the process on Wednesday featuring four law professors—most of them Democrat-invited witnesses who presented arguments in favor of impeachment. They stated that the president abused his office and committed several impeachable offenses that reached the levels of high crimes and misdemeanors, as well as obstruction of justice. The sole witness called by Republicans, though, argued the contrary — he said the legal case to impeach Trump was “woefully inadequate” and even “dangerous."
Nevertheless, Pelosi said Thursday that the facts are “uncontested” that Trump “abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security,” by allegedly using military aid to Ukraine as leverage to seek an investigation of the Bidens from Kiev.
"Today, I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment," Pelosi stated during her brief address, referring to Nadler.
"The president's actions have seriously violated the Constitution," she said. Claiming America's democracy is at stake, she said: "The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit.”
The Monday morning hearing presumably would involve presentations from Judiciary Committee Majority Counsel Norm Eisen and Minority Counsel Paul Taylor, as well as Intelligence Committee Majority Counsel Daniel Goldman and Minority Counsel Steve Castor.
Meanwhile, earlier Thursday morning, Trump challenged Democrats to impeach him, and to “do it now” and do it “fast” so that he can receive a “fair trial” in the Senate.
“[I]f you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate and so that our Country can get back to business,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning. “We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is.”
Should the House pass articles of impeachment, the inquiry would transform into a full-fledged Senate trial.
Republicans hold the majority in the Senate and Trump allies hold chairmanships on key committees, with many of them signaling their interest in exploring issues that House Democrats glossed over during their hearings — such as the Bidens’ business dealings in Ukraine and alleged Ukraine interference in the 2016 presidential election.
But despite his threats, the president does not, alone, have the power to call witnesses to testify in those proceedings. In the Senate trial, three separate parties have input to how it will play out: Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats and the White House.
At the center of the impeachment inquiry, which began in September, is Trump’s July 25 phone call with Kiev. That call prompted the whistleblower complaint to the intelligence community inspector general, and in turn, the impeachment inquiry in the House. Trump challenged the accuracy of the complaint, though the transcript released by the White House did support the core allegations that he pressed for politically related investigations.
The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats and witnesses have claimed shows a "quid pro quo" arrangement. Trump denies any wrongdoing.
Fox News' Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.