The U.S. House Judiciary Committee heard from four witnesses on Wednesday as the next phase of President Trump’s impeachment hearings begin.
Testimony began at 10 am on Capitol Hill.
The House released a sweeping impeachment report Tuesday outlining evidence of what it calls the president’s wrongdoing toward Ukraine, findings that will serve as the foundation for debate over whether the 45th president should be removed from office.
On Tuesday, the House Intelligence Committee presented its report to the full House, which voted, along party lines, to adopt it late Tuesday night.
»MORE: How does impeachment work?
The Judiciary Committee is the committee that would draft articles of impeachment if the Democratic leadership in the House decides to move forward with impeaching Trump.
Georgia U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (R-9) is the committee’s ranking Republican. Georgia Democrats on the committee are U.S. Reps. Hank Johnson (D-4) and Lucy McBath (D-5).
U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) is chairman of the committee.
Those who testified Wednesday were Harvard Law School professor Noah Feldman; Stanford University professor Pamela S. Karlan; and University of North Carolina law professor Michael Gerhardt. Those three witnesses were chosen by Democrats, while George Washington University Professor Jonathan Turley was chosen by Republicans.
The 300-page report from Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee makes the case that Trump misused the power of his office and, in the course of their investigation, obstructed Congress by stonewalling the proceedings. Based on two months of investigation, the report contains evidence and testimony from current and former U.S. officials.
“The impeachment inquiry has found that President Trump, personally and acting through agents within and outside of the U.S. government, solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his reelection,” the report said.
“The President engaged in this course of conduct for the benefit of his own presidential reelection, to harm the election prospects of a political rival, and to influence our nation’s upcoming presidential election to his advantage," it said. In doing so, "the President placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States, sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process, and endangered U.S. national security."
Democrats in the House launched the impeachment inquiry in September to investigate whether Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and Biden’s son, Hunter, and their connection to a Ukrainian energy company in exchange for an invitation to the White House and a military aid package.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-New York, issued an invitation to Trump and his attorneys to attend Wednesday’s hearing.On Sunday night, the White House declined the invitation.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.