Lawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing

Lawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing
© Greg Nash

Republicans and Democrats on Sunday night held prep sessions as they gear up for the House Judiciary Committee’s high-stakes impeachment hearing concerning President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense MORE's dealing with Ukraine. 

Lawmakers are looking to be as ready as possible ahead of Monday's hearing, one of the final opportunities for members to publicly make their case for or against impeachment as Democrats charge ahead with hopes to vote on articles before the Christmas holiday.

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Democrats practiced in sessions that lasted for more than six hours over the course of two days, with 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.) telling Politico on Sunday that "We're all on the same page” in terms of which articles of impeachment will be drafted.

Republicans on the panel, along with their staff and Reps. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinHouse lawmakers urge adoption of UN report's recommendations on battling anti-Semitism Schiff pushes back: Defense team knows Trump is guilty Jeffries, Nadler showcase different NY styles in Trump trial MORE (R-N.Y.) and Mark MeadowsMark Randall Meadows Meadows: Bolton manuscript leaked 'to manipulate' senators over witness vote Meadows: Republicans who break with Trump could face political repercussions Trump legal team begins second day of arguments under Bolton furor MORE (R-N.C.) — two of Trump’s strongest allies in the lower chamber — huddled in the House Judiciary room in the Rayburn House Office Building at 8 p.m. on the eve of the hearing.

Equipped with boxes of Domino's pizza, members reviewed the format and went over strategy for just over an hour, according to sources in the room.

"Basically, we just went over the format because the Democrats have been playing hide the ball so much,  we also had to tell our members what the format was so that's just getting ready for the format, but other than that it was very basic,” House Judiciary Ranking Member Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsCollins expected to announce Georgia Senate bid Meadows: Republicans who break with Trump could face political repercussions GOP senator: Romney trying to 'appease the left' with impeachment witnesses MORE (R-Ga.) told The Hill while exiting the meeting. 

Republicans are expected to continue their attacks of the process and criticisms over House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffRepublicans show little enthusiasm for impeachment witness swap Meadows: Republicans who break with Trump could face political repercussions Schiff: Senate cannot have 'meaningful trial' without Bolton MORE’s (D-Calif.) handling of the inquiry, with some going as far as alleging he has fabricated information in an attempt to control the narrative.

“When Adam Schiff in the very first open hearing, he had to make up the phone call that should tell people a lot if you have to make up the very basic facts if you're trying to impeach a president, it tells me you've got nothing and you enjoy basically lying more you enjoy tell the truth,” Collins told The Hill, adding he didn’t feel Republicans needs days of preparation ahead of the hearing.  “We don't need two days to make up our stories."

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, slammed House Judiciary Chairman Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerPelosi says House will vote on bill to repeal travel ban Nadler to miss a day of impeachment trial due to wife's cancer treatment Impeachment manager dismisses concerns Schiff alienated key Republican votes: 'This isn't about any one person' MORE (D-N.Y.) for holding Monday’s hearing without scheduling a minority hearing before moving forward with articles of impeachment. Biggs also slammed the format of the hearing, telling The Hill “it’s ridiculous the first four hours will be staff asking questions.”

Democrats have strongly defended their handling of the process, arguing they believe they have a clear case that the president abused his power for political gain and obstruction of Congress.

“I think the case we have, if presented to a jury, would be a guilty verdict in about three minutes flat,” Nadler said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

During Monday’s hearing members are expected to hear a “presentation of evidence” from both majority and minority counsels on the House Intelligence and House Judiciary Committees, one Democratic aide confirmed.