Democrats could introduce articles of impeachment next week

House Democrats could introduce articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE next week, four Democratic sources told The Hill on Thursday.

“I expect articles will be introduced next week,” one of the Democratic sources said, adding that the Judiciary Committee could also begin marking up those articles next week as well. 

The sources signaled that the accelerated timeline is part of an effort to wrap up the historic inquiry into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine before Christmas. In doing so, however, Democrats don’t want impeachment to be the last vote Congress takes before heading into the religious holidays, preferring instead to end on a more bipartisan note like funding the government. 

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Things are moving swiftly. Already on the docket for Monday: The House Judiciary Committee will hear presentations from Democratic counsels as the lawyers seek to lay out the evidence they have uncovered since launching the inquiry in September and as the committee weighs what impeachment articles to introduce.

Judiciary Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMcConnell locks in schedule for start of impeachment trial Pelosi: Trump's impeachment 'cannot be erased' House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate MORE (D-N.Y.) has informed Democrats on his committee to stay in Washington over the weekend rather than return home to their congressional districts. The committee is expected to hold mock hearings or prep sessions ahead of the Monday meeting. 

“There is a lot of work to do,” Nadler said. 

The impeachment timeline came into sharper focus Thursday after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiREAD: House impeachment managers' trial brief Desperate Democrats badmouth economy even as it booms Pelosi offers message to Trump on Bill Maher show: 'You are impeached forever' MORE (D-Calif.) formally asked six committee heads investigating Trump to begin drafting the articles of impeachment.

Later in the day, she huddled in her office with those Democratic committee heads — Nadler, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffREAD: House impeachment managers' trial brief Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP MORE (Calif.), Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyOvernight Energy: Appeals court tosses kids' climate suit | California sues Trump over fracking | Oversight finds EPA appointees slow-walked ethics obligations Oversight finds EPA political appointees slow-walked ethics obligations Pelosi taps Virginia Democrat for key post on economic panel MORE (N.Y.), Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersGearing up for a chaotic year on K Street Maxine Waters: Republicans 'shielding' Trump 'going to be responsible for dragging us to war' Green says House shouldn't hold impeachment articles indefinitely MORE (Calif.) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealTreasury watchdog to investigate Trump opportunity zone program House poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate MORE (Mass.) — to discuss what the next steps in the impeachment process would look like.

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But leaving the meeting, Pelosi declined to outline the possible scope of the impeachment articles. 

“When we’re ready to make an announcement, we will,” she told reporters.

The impeachment developments come one day after the Judiciary Committee held its first hearing that weighed whether to introduce articles of impeachment against Trump. Three Democratic-invited constitutional scholars argued Trump had committed impeachable offenses. 

A fourth scholar, invited by Republicans, disagreed, and warned such a move would set a dangerous precedent.

Democrats have been debating the scope of the articles, with some wanting to keep a narrow focus on the Ukraine matter and others pushing to broaden it to include revelations in former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE's report examining Russian interference in the 2016 election. But at the Wednesday hearing, Democrats gave clues as to which impeachment articles they intend to write.

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On a screen displayed in the hearing room, Democrats listed three possible impeachable offenses: Abuse of power and bribery, obstruction of Congress and obstruction of justice.

Norman Eisen, the Democratic counsel for Judiciary, then went through a line of questioning in which he asked the three Democrat witnesses on Wednesday whether the president’s actions constituted examples of those three possible impeachable offense. The witnesses answered in the affirmative.

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellMartha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter Enes Kanter sees political stardom — after NBA and WWE Swalwell pens op-ed comparing Trump impeachment to XYZ Affair MORE (D-Calif.), a close Pelosi ally who serves on both the Intelligence and Judiciary committees, has been pushing to keep the articles narrow and focused. 

“I think it’s important that it’s digestible for everyday Americans who are understandably busy but who understand what a shakedown is too,” Swalwell said Thursday. 

Nadler said part of the reticence on the part of Democrats drafting the articles now stems from the uncertainty surrounding Trump and the White House’s participation in the process. 

Trump has until Friday to inform Nadler whether he or his counsel will take part in future hearings. 

"Remember, we're still waiting until 5 o'clock tomorrow to hear from the president [about] whether he wants to present to the committee, and if he wants to it'll be done, I think, next week," Nadler said. "That's all I'm going to say."

Mike Lillis contributed.