Democrats ask White House if it will send Trump lawyers to impeachment hearings

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Friday asked President Donald Trump if he plans on sending personal attorneys to participate in impeachment proceedings scheduled to begin next week.

The chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), also asked Republicans on his panel what witnesses they plan to seek permission to subpoena.

The letters form Nadler came as the House impeachment effort moves into a new phase beginning Dec. 6 over whether the president’s actions regarding Ukraine amount to impeachable offenses.

The next proceedings also come after two weeks of hearings chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff, head of the House Intelligence Committee.

Those hearings produced a lot of testimony but, according to polling data, did not appear to move the needle towards impeachment among voters. Also. many lawmakers on Capitol Hill are not convinced the president has done anything worthy of impeachment.

Nadler gave instructions to President Trump and the panel’s top Republican, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, to respond by the end of next week.

The Judiciary Committee will meet Wednesday informally to examine “constitutional grounds for presidential impeachment.” Sometime after that, the panel could move to hearings involving alleged witnesses to Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

The president and Republicans have labeled the impeachment effort a sham thus far, mostly because the president could not have his lawyers cross-examine Intelligence Committee witnesses during depositions earlier this month.

The Intelligence panel is slated to issue a report of its findings next week that are intended to form the basis of hearings at Judiciary, which is the panel responsible for drafting any articles of impeachment for a vote by the full House, the AP reported.

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