Fred Henneke, Attorney & Counselor-At-Law
Yesterday the House Judiciary Committee had its second public hearing on the issue of impeachment. The Republicans had criticized the Democrats loudly for not presenting evidence of the alleged crimes committed by President Trump at the first hearing. Partly, I believe, in response to that criticism, this hearing consisted of the attorneys for the Democrat majority on the House Judiciary Committee listing the evidence against the President derived from the hearings held by the House Intelligence Committee. No outside witnesses were called; the Democrat attorneys enumerated the facts supporting their conclusions and even questioned each other as to the significance of those facts. Rather an odd scenario. The Republican attorneys were give the opportunity to question their Democrat counterparts. Every member of the Committee was given his or her chance to make a sound-bite to use in their re-election campaign. Nothing new was presented; no minds were changed.
Today the Democrat chairs of the relevant Committees revealed a Resolution that included two proposed Articles of Impeachment – one for abuse of power related to the allegation that President Trump withheld military aid and a White House meeting with the new Ukrainian president until the Ukrainians announced investigations into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, on charges of corruption and looked into the debunked rumor that Ukraine has the missing Clinton server, and, two, for obstruction of Congress for refusing to turn over documents to Congress and refusing to allow members of the Executive Branch to testify. The Articles of Impeachment will be “marked up” – i.e., debated and perhaps amended – starting tomorrow evening and continuing onto Thursday when it is expected the full Committee will vote on forwarding the approved Articles to the full House for debate and vote. Given the strong majority for the Democrats in the Committee, there is little doubt the Resolution will pass and be sent to the full House. The vote in the full House on probably two Articles of Impeachment is expected next week. Since the Democrats also have a large majority in the full House, passage of the Resolution by the full House is again almost guaranteed. The trial in the Senate will not be until January when Congress returns from its Christmas vacation.
It is both a momentous and sad time for our great Nation. President Trump will be only the third president in our country’s history to be impeached. Not a great item for his resume. Thankfully, this process is moving quite rapidly to a decision. Once the votes are in on impeachment, perhaps Congress will devote the same energy and passion to addressing the many problems facing our country. Or is re-election higher on their list of things to do than actually doing the jobs we hired them to do. Don’t bet the farm.