According to recent polls, the public impeachment hearings, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), failed to convince the American people that President Donald Trump should be ousted.
But that doesn’t seem to be concerning to Schiff and his fellow Democrats. According to Politico, Schiff’s Intelligence Committee will press forward with Trump’s removal this week by beginning its review of a draft report on the findings of the panel’s impeachment hearings — both public and private.
Following a 24-hour review period, the report on alleged wrongdoing by Trump with regard to Ukraine will be forwarded to the House Judiciary Committee, which is expected to use it as the basis for articles of impeachment against the president.
A vote in the Intelligence panel is slated for Tuesday.
Preparing to impeach
The committee’s report will likely lay out in detail why Democrats believe President Trump abused his power by allegedly withholding military aid and a White House visit from Ukraine in exchange for an investigation by that nation into former Vice President Joe Biden — a top 2020 contender — and his son, Hunter.
The report, which is expected to be approved along party lines, comes even as the committee is still awaiting testimony from senior Trump administration officials — and as prior testimony obtained in closed-door hearings remains hidden from the public’s view.
Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), has already announced the start of its own involvement in the impeachment proceedings; a hearing is scheduled for Wednesday that will reportedly feature a panel of legal experts, according to CNBC.
Committee aides suggested there will likely be at least one additional hearing — a public review of the report submitted by Schiff — prior to articles of impeachment being drafted.
But there lies some uncertainty there, too, as some Dems reportedly want to keep the articles focused narrowly on the Ukraine allegations, while others are looking for a much broader scope that could encompass other actions by the president, such as alleged obstruction of justice in the two-year special counsel probe on alleged Trump–Russia collusion.
A Christmas deadline?
In all likelihood, the articles of impeachment will be drafted and voted on by the full House prior to Congress adjourning for Christmas, setting the stage for a trial in the Senate shortly after the New Year begins.
Democrats have undeniably been gung-ho to impeach President Trump since he first took office, and many appear to believe that they have already made their case.
Of course, polling suggests otherwise, but that doesn’t appear to have dissuaded Schiff and his comrades from continuing in their effort to oust Trump from office, even as the ultimate conclusion to their efforts — an acquittal in the Republican-controlled Senate — seems inevitable.