Democrats are continuing their impeachment efforts without President Trump even in the country and without any more fact witnesses.
Hearings will resume on Wednesday when the House Judiciary Committee—which has taken over the investigation from the House Intelligence Committee—will hear from law professors and constitutional lawyers on the role of the president and the impeachment process.
Politico reports one of the constitutional lawyers has said in a previously submitted opening statement that the president was guilty of “serious misconduct, including bribery, soliciting a personal favor from a foreign leader in exchange for his exercise of power, and obstructing justice and Congress.”
The lawyer, Michael Gerhardt, a University of North Carolina law professor, continued to describe Trump’s actions as “worse than the misconduct of any prior president.”
Politico adds: “Gerhardt, along with Harvard University law professor Noah Feldman and Stanford University law professor Pamela Karlan, will argue that Trump’s conduct far exceeds the bar set in the Constitution — high crimes and misdemeanors — to warrant impeachment and removal from office.”
One of the law professors who will testify on Wednesday will argue that Congress should not impeach Trump.
“If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president,” George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley will say, via his written statement.
Wednesday’s hearing marks the formal hand-off from the Intelligence Committee, which led the Ukraine probe, to the Judiciary Committee, which is tasked with shepherding the impeachment process to the House floor. The panel of constitutional law scholars, Democrats say, will apply the facts of the Ukraine investigation to the standards for impeachment set out in the Constitution.
The hearing is the first in a series that is likely to result in the Judiciary Committee drafting articles of impeachment, which Democrats are aiming to vote on before Christmas — though a formal timetable is still being hashed out among senior Democratic leaders.
Democrats plan to present a united front on Wednesday against Republican attacks on the case they have built against the president, which Trump’s allies say has been an unfair and illegitimate impeachment process.
Democrats plan to use the hearing to “examine the constitutional framework that is put in place to address presidential misconduct” and “apply the constitutional law to the facts” uncovered by the Intelligence Committee, according to a staffer working on the impeachment inquiry.