Jerry Nadler says impeachment vote ‘possible’ this week

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) told CNN’s Dana Bash that the House could vote on articles of impeachment as early as this week, but didn’t commit to a timeline for the vote, the Washington Examiner reported.

“It’s possible. I don’t know,” Nadler said about voting this week.

“My goal is to do it as expeditiously but as fairly as possible, depending on how long it takes,” he added. “There are possible drafts various people are writing, but the fact is we’re not going to make the decisions as to how broad the articles should be, as to what they contain and what the wording is, until after the hearing tomorrow.”

Hearings will continue on Monday about whether President Donald Trump committed impeachable offenses, but Republicans have been denied the ability to call eight requested witnesses to testify before the Judiciary Committee because Nadler deemed them “irrelevant.”

Expanding scope?

Lawmakers planned and practiced hearings over the weekend, and sources reported that Nadler’s committee is considering including material from the Mueller report to articles of impeachment. Monday’s hearings will include a discussion of whether to do so, even though Mueller’s report itself said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge or convict Trump on collusion or obstruction.

Nadler’s committee released a report over the weekend saying that because Trump denied the House access to key witnesses, his committee was free to consider testimony from others with knowledge of statements that were made by them and others about the matters at hand.

Furthermore, Nadler said that “Where the President illegally seeks to obstruct such an inquiry, the House is free to infer that evidence blocked from its view is harmful to the President’s position,” the report said. It went on:

It ill behooves a President or his partisans to say you don’t have enough direct evidence when the reason we don’t have even more evidence is the President has ordered everybody in the executive branch not to cooperate with Congress in the impeachment inquiry.

“Guilty verdict in about three minutes”

Nadler said there was direct evidence of Trump’s misconduct. Although he did not say what the evidence was, he said that the case, “if presented to a jury would be a guilty verdict in about three minutes flat.”

The report released this weekend did not discuss specific impeachable offenses allegedly committed by Trump, however, and Nadler’s timeline of a vote on articles of impeachment possibly this week conflicts with most other assessments, which stated that articles might be published next week.

Democrats have been desperate to impeach Trump since the early days of his presidency, but still haven’t convinced the majority of Americans that he has committed any impeachable offenses, according to recent polling that shows that a greater number of likely voters oppose impeachment than support it.

The House, of course, has a Democratic majority that could potentially pass articles of impeachment without a single Republican vote, even though the Republican-controlled Senate shows no indication that it would vote to convict Trump in a trial held by that chamber.

Only time will tell, however, whether voters will punish Democrats for unilaterally impeaching Trump in spite of public opposition to the move.

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