Live coverage: Democrats, Republicans seek to win PR battle in final House impeachment hearing

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday will hold its first hearing since Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMnuchin emerges as key asset in Trump's war against coronavirus Graham: Pelosi comment on Trump is 'most shameful, disgusting statement by any politician in modern history' The coronavirus pandemic versus the climate change emergency MORE (D-Calif.) announced last week that the relevant committees would begin drafting impeachment articles against President TrumpDonald John TrumpHealth insurers Cigna, Humana waive out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus treatment Puerto Rico needs more federal help to combat COVID-19 Fauci says April 30 extension is 'a wise and prudent decision' MORE.

Democrats are determined to weave the narrative that Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open two investigations that would benefit him politically, including one into a top 2020 political rival.

Republicans are expected to counter by raising complaints of an unfair process and claiming a lack of direct evidence tying Trump to such allegations.

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The hearing will also be vying for the public’s attention amid the anticipated release of a Justice Department watchdog report examining the FBI's actions in the early stages of the 2016 Russia investigation.

Follow The Hill's live coverage below.

Collins says Judiciary has become ‘rubber stamp’ in ‘partisan’ impeachment inquiry

6:33 p.m.

Committee ranking member Collins said in his closing remarks that the House Judiciary Committee had become a “rubber stamp,” and harshly criticized Democrats for what he described as a “partisan” impeachment inquiry.

“These are disputed facts, it will be the first impeachment that is partisan on facts that are not agreed to, that is the state in which the Judiciary has become, we have become a rubber stamp...when we willingly accept from someone else a project or a report that we don’t investigate ourselves,” Collins said, referring to the impeachment investigation report from the House Intelligence Committee. 

Collins described the impeachment inquiry as a “scam,” and noted that some audience members in the hearing room had left before the end of the hearing in further criticizing proceedings.

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“If you look around the room, this is what is happening to the American people, by the end of the day most in the back left, most of the members of the media are begging to go somewhere else, because at the end of the day your case isn’t made,” Collins said.

In discussing potential future Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings, Collins took time to thank GOP counsel Stephen Castor and Ashley Callen for their work on the impeachment investigation, saying that he wanted to do this now since Democrats did not seem likely to schedule a minority day of hearings, something repeatedly requested by Republicans.

— Maggie Miller

Gaetz presses Democratic counsel about political donations

4:25 p.m.

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzHarris knocks Gaetz for taking issue with money for Howard in relief package Critics hit Florida governor over lack of 'sweeping' coronavirus response Gaetz accuses Burr of 'screwing all Americans' with stock sale MORE (R-Fla.) questioned Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman about his donations to political parties, and zeroed in on Goldman as being potentially “partisan.”

Gaetz used his five-minute questioning time to ask Goldman whether he was testifying “as a partisan advocate for the Democratic position, or are you here as a nonpartisan investigator of the facts.”

Goldman responded that he was appearing in order to “present the report we did on our investigation, which was totally and completely relied on the actual evidence we uncovered, the witness testimony, and the documents.”

Gaetz then drilled into Goldman about his previous donations to Democrats, and asked Goldman if he was “partisan.”

Goldman said he was not partisan, and defended his donations, saying he thought it was “very important to support candidates for office.”

When Gaetz then asked Goldman if he thought donating more money than he did would have allowed him to “ask questions and answer them” like Democratic counsel Barry Berke did, Goldman was silent.

Republican members of the committee also asked witnesses about their political ties during the House Judiciary Committee impeachment inquiry hearing last week.

— Maggie Miller

Trump says he watched "a little bit" of hearing

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3:45 p.m.

Trump gave a brief reaction to the hearing during a White House roundtable event focused on education choice.

The president told reporters he had watched "a little bit" of the proceedings and dismissed them as a "disgrace to our country" and a "hoax."

"It’s a hoax and it should never, ever be allowed to happen again," Trump told reporters.

The president has tweeted a few times about the hearing, urging his followers to read the transcripts of his calls with the Ukrainian president and ripping the process as a "witch hunt."

— Brett Samuels

Castor details six phone record subpoenas sent by Intel committee

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1:59 p.m.

Republican Counsel Stephen Castor said the committee minority had received copies of six committee subpoenas.

“We did receive copies of the subpoenas and we tracked this. There were six as I understand it. Our members have concerns about this exercise for 3 reasons: the subpoenas yielded information about members of Congress,” Castor told Ranking Member Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsGeorgia makes it easier to get mail-in ballots after delaying primary Overnight Energy: House stimulus aims to stem airline pollution | Environmental measures become sticking point in Senate talks | Progressives propose T 'green stimulus' House bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress MORE (R-Ga.).

The first was submitted to AT&T for Trump's personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiCuomo steps into national spotlight with coronavirus fight Hannity offers to help Cuomo in coronavirus response with radio, television shows The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response MORE’s records, while the second was submitted to CSC Holdings in regard to Igor Fruman, an associate of Giuliani’s who was indicted in connection with an alleged campaign finance fraud scheme, Castor said.

The third related to Ambassador to the European Union Gordon SondlandGordon SondlandWhite House withdraws nomination for Pentagon budget chief who questioned Ukraine aid hold Juan Williams: Will the GOP ever curb Trump? House wants documents on McEntee's security clearances MORE and was submitted to Verizon, while the fourth and fifth were also to AT&T, seeking information related to a “certain number” in the fourth case, Castor said.

The sixth was seeking subscriber information which impacted columnist and former conservative contributor to The Hill John Solomon, “and also involved in these are some of the attorneys,” Castor said.

— Zack Budryk 

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Republicans criticize Democratic counsel for implying Sondland appointed EU ambassador due to Trump donation

1:53 p.m.

Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee on Monday criticized Goldman for seeming to imply that Sondland was appointed as an ambassador to the European Union for donating to Trump’s campaign, something Goldman strongly pushed back against.

Collins noted that Goldman had made a negative facial expression when discussing the $1 million that Sondland had given to the Trump Inaugural Committee, with Collins telling Goldman to be “very careful” about this.

“Be very careful about how you throw around dollars and giving,” Collins said, noting that both Goldman and Berke, both of whom testified on Monday, were donors to the Democratic Party.

Collins also criticized Goldman for appearing instead of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCoronavirus pushes GOP's Biden-Burisma probe to back burner Texas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Schiff: Remote voting would not compromise national security MORE (D-Calif.).

“We already are not answering questions, and you are here without a pen because your chairman will not testify, that says all we need to hear, he doesn’t even stand behind his own report, he sends you,” Collins said.

Goldman firmly pushed back against Collins’s comments, asking him what his “implication” was.

Gaetz then jumped in, telling Goldman that Republicans wanted Schiff to testify. 

“The implication is we want Schiff in that chair and not you, the implication is the person that wrote the report is the person who should come and present it, and you weren’t elected by anybody, and you’re the one giving this testimony in place of the chairman,” Gaetz said. “I hope that clears up the implication.”

After House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse Judiciary Committee postpones hearing with Barr amid coronavirus outbreak House Democrats plead with key committee chairman to allow remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Pelosi rejects calls to shutter Capitol: 'We are the captains of this ship' MORE (D-N.Y.) intervened and told Gaetz to not “disrupt the committee,” Goldman accused Collins of “casting aspersions.

Collins countered by saying Goldman had done the same to Sondland, before questioning moved on to a different member. 

Republicans have repeatedly asked for Schiff to testify before the Judiciary Committee, and have also asked for a “minority day of hearings.”

— Maggie Miller

Collins grills Democratic counsel: 'Where's Adam?'

1:45 p.m.

Collins, during his questioning of Goldman, demanded to know why Schiff was not testifying.

“We’re going through this charade of staff having to answer staff questions and basically when we don’t like how it’s going we start asking staff on staff and getting into a staff argument. Where’s Adam? It’s his report. Mr. Goldman, you’re a great attorney, but you’re not Adam Schiff and you don’t wear a pin.”

“That’s true,” Goldman responded.

The committee’s Republicans have repeatedly called on Schiff to testify, contrasting him with special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, who testified in the House’s impeachment of President Clinton. Schiff is one of several witnesses the minority have called on to testify, along with former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCoronavirus makes the campaign season treacherous for Joe Biden Biden tops Trump by 9 points in Fox News poll Unions urge Chamber of Commerce to stop lobbying against Defense Production Act MORE’s son Hunter and former DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa.

Republicans also displayed signs reading “Where’s Adam?” during the Monday hearing.

— Zack Budryk

Nadler, GOP members clash on appropriateness of counsel's questioning

1:00 p.m.

Republican members of the committee raised repeated objections to Berke conducting questioning on behalf of the majority after he had already served as a witness.

“We’ve been told that counsel for the Democrats was a witness and that’s why he didn’t have to comport with the rules of decorum… I’ve been a judge and I know that you don’t get to be a witness and a judge in the same case,” Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertLysol, disinfecting wipes and face masks mark coronavirus vote in House The Hill's 12:30 Report: What we know about T stimulus deal Democrats eye remote voting options MORE (R-Texas) said during Berke’s questioning of Castor.

“That’s my point of order: he should not be up here,” Gohmert added, to which Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) replied, “It’s not a point of order.”

Nadler cited House Resolution 660 as the grounds for allowing Berke to conduct questioning.

After conducting his own questioning of Castor, he yielded back to Berke, prompting a parliamentary inquiry from Rep. Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonLawmakers ask Trump administration to help Gulf oil and gas producers Roberts wrestles with abortion law in high-stakes Louisiana case White House, Republicans blast Pelosi for ripping up copy of Trump speech MORE (R-La.), only for Nadler to tell him he was not recognized.

Gohmert spoke up again to ask if the committee was going to “ignore rules and allow witnesses to ask the questions, then how many other rules are you going to disregard?”

“This is not appropriate to have a witness be a questioner ... it’s just wrong,” Gohmert said, repeatedly attempting to raise a point of order and eventually asking, “How much money do you have to give to get to do that?”

“The gentleman will not cast aspersions on members or staff of the committee,” Nadler responded.

— Zack Budryk 

Nadler in letter shoots down GOP witness requests that include Schiff, Bidens and Ukraine whistleblower

12:36 p.m.

Nadler has dismissed a Republican request for eight witnesses to testify as part of the impeachment inquiry, including Schiff and the whistleblower who first brought forward the allegations about President Trump's contacts with Ukraine.

In a letter Monday to Collins, Nadler took issue with the witnesses the Republicans intended to call.

“[T]he Committee has previously tabled motions with regards to these matters…and I see no reason to reconsider these requests,” Nadler wrote, adding that there is “no need” to hear from Schiff and the whistleblower.

Nadler also shot down other witnesses Republicans requested, including Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, and witnesses related to unfounded GOP-claims of Ukrainian interference during the 2016 election.

The New York Democrat said five of Collins’s remaining requests were previously made by Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesTrump steps up intensity in battle with media Nunes urges Americans to 'stop panicking': 'It's a great time to just go out' if you're healthy Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for another week fighting the coronavirus, seek to curb fallout MORE (R-Calif.), the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, and that he concurs with Schiff’s earlier “assessment” that hearings “will not serve…as a vehicle to undertake the same sham investigations” into 2016 interference and the Bidens.

— Olivia Beavers 

GOP counsel says both Ukraine and Russia interfered in 2016 U.S. elections

12:10 p.m.

Castor testified that both Russia and Ukranian officials interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections, with Castor’s remarks coming after strong pushback over the last few weeks from Democrats and federal officials that Ukraine interfered in the elections.

Castor testified that “election interference is not binary,” and emphasized that he was not saying that “it was Ukraine and not Russia,” but instead both countries were involved in election interference efforts in the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. elections.

“I am saying that both countries can work to influence an election,” Castor said. “A systemic, coordinated Russian interference effort does not mean that some Ukranian officials did not work to oppose President Trump’s candidacy, did not make statements against President Trump during the election.”

Federal U.S. intelligence agencies, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE all concluded that Russia conducted a sweeping and systemic interference effort to interfere in U.S. elections, using both disinformation and hacking efforts to the benefit of now President Trump.

Multiple Republican members of Congress, including Sens. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have argued in recent weeks that Ukraine interfered as well in 2016, citing a theory that Ukraine is in possession of a Democratic National Committee server that the FBI did not investigate.

— Maggie Miller

Democratic investigator: Trump’s ‘effort’ to solicit foreign help ‘a clear and present danger’ to elections

10:45 a.m.

In his opening statement, Goldman accused Trump of an “unprecedented campaign of obstruction of Congress.”

Goldman’s opening statement outlined Trump’s attempts to persuade Zelensky to publicly announce investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and conspiracy theories about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.

“President Trump’s persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security,” Goldman said in his opening statement.

Goldman said the House’s impeachment inquiry had "moved swiftly and intensively — as all good investigations should.”

“To the extent that other witnesses would be able to provide more context and detail about this scheme, their failure to testify is due solely to the fact that President Trump obstructed the inquiry and refused to make them available,” he added.

“Admittedly, it is a lot to digest. But let me say this: The President’s scheme is actually quite simple, and it can be boiled down to four key takeaways,” Goldman added.

These, he said, were that Trump “directed a scheme to pressure Ukraine into opening two investigations that would benefit his 2020 reelection campaign, not the U.S. national interest” and “used his official office and the official tools of U.S. foreign policy — the withholding of an Oval Office meeting and $391 million in security assistance — to pressure Ukraine into meeting his demands.”

— Zack Budryk

Nadler rules against Republican motions on witness oaths, documents

10:40 a.m.

Nadler ruled against motions from three Republican members on issues including administering oaths to witnesses and impeachment inquiry documents, as fireworks continued between Nadler and committee Republicans.

Rep. Ken BuckKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckOvernight Defense: Pentagon curtails more exercises over coronavirus | House passes Iran war powers measure | Rocket attack hits Iraqi base with US troops House passes measure limiting Trump's ability to take military action against Iran GOP lawmaker shows off AR-15 in office, challenges Biden to 'come and take it' MORE (R-Colo.) interrupted Nadler as he attempted to move to introduce witnesses, asking why Nadler had not administered an oath to previous witnesses in the day, Berke and Castor.

Nadler told Buck that he would administer oaths to the upcoming witnesses and had not done so for Castor and Berke because they were “staff” who were present to give opening statements.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) made a parliamentary inquiry moments later, asking Nadler why he was classifying Berke and Castor as staff when he had previously referred to them as witnesses.

In connection to this, Biggs demanded the committee vote on a motion to strike Berke’s comments on Trump from the record, which he said “impugned” Trump.

This was the second vote the committee took during the hearing on this motion, with the committee again voting along party lines to table the motion.

During the same space of time, Rep. Guy ReschenthalerGuy ReschenthalerFreshman Republican: 'I'd prosecute the Democrats for obstruction' Live coverage: Democrats, Republicans seek to win PR battle in final House impeachment hearing Live coverage: Witnesses say Trump committed impeachable offenses MORE (R-Pa.) made a point of order to highlight the amount of documents Republicans had received on the impeachment inquiry and the short amount of time they had to analyze it.

“Despite our repeated requests for access to the evidence, we received less than 48 hours ago 8,000 pages of documentation. If this was a court of law, we would be facing sanctions right now by the Bar Association,” Reschenthaler said.

Nadler gaveled Reschenthaler down, saying that his comments were “not a point of order.”

— Maggie Miller 

Republican counsel says Democrats hope to impeach Trump to 'upend our political system'

10:30 a.m.

Republican counsel Stephen Castor used his opening argument to paint Democrats as impeachment hungry, weaving a narrative that they have been trying to remove Trump since day one because they do not like his policies.

“The impeachment inquiry is clearly an orchestrated effort to upend our political system,” Castor said.

Castor raised a series of quotes of progressive Democrats who vowed, prior to the September launch of the impeachment inquiry, to remove the president from office.

“On Jan. 3, 2019, on the very first day that Democrats obtained a majority in the House, Rep. Brad ShermanBradley (Brad) James ShermanPelosi scrambles to secure quick passage of coronavirus aid House Democrats eyeing much broader Phase 3 stimulus Overnight Defense: Lawmakers clash during Pompeo hearing on Iran | Trump touts Taliban deal ahead of signing | Trump sued over plan to use Pentagon funds for border wall MORE introduced articles of impeachment against President Trump. That same day, Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus 20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order Pressley, Tlaib introduce bill providing .5B in emergency grants for the homeless MORE said ‘We are going to go in there and we are going to impeach the mother------.’”

The GOP lawyer said that Mueller ruled out that the Trump and his associates coordinated with Russia during the 2016 election to benefit his campaign, Democrats changed course and tried to impeach him for obstruction.

Pelosi and other Democrats then, realizing that obstruction was not a winning ticket for removing the president, “settled on Ukraine and President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky."

“Speaker Pelosi said that Democrats must ‘strike while the iron is hot’ on impeaching President Trump,’” Castor noted. 

Castor also listed that Democrats began “voluminous and intrusive” investigations, across multiple months and House committees, that have sought to look into a series of items like the president’s bank records, tax returns, as well as financial records related to his family.

He used the second half of his opening arguments rebutting Ukraine allegations, in which Democrats argue Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate a rival by withholding the possibility of a White House visit and nearly $400 million in U.S. aid as leverage.

— Olivia Beavers 

Republicans accuse Democratic witness of ‘impugning’ Trump

10:08 a.m.

Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) and other Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee accused Democratic council Barry Berke of “impugning” Trump during his testimony, marking the latest heated exchange in the hearing. 

Following Berke’s opening statement, Johnson interrupted Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) as he attempted to recognize Castor, with Johnson accusing Berke of violating House rules.

“The witness has used language which impugns the motives of the president and suggests that he’s disloyal to his country, and those words should be stricken from the record and taken down,” Johnson said.

Nadler refused to hear Johnson’s point of order on Berke and told Johnson that “the topic of the hearing is the president’s misconduct, so none of us should find it surprising that we are hearing testimony that is critical of the president.”

When Johnson objected to Nadler not recognizing his motion, Nadler noted that “the rules of decorum apply to members of the House, not to witnesses.”

Following this, multiple committee members asked for a recorded vote on a motion to table the request, which was agreed to by a party-line vote of 24-15. 

— Maggie Miller

Trump lashes out, calls hearing a 'witch hunt'

10 a.m.

Trump lashed out at the impeachment inquiry early on during the hearing, calling it a "witch hunt" on Twitter and sharing a Daily Mail article detailing how he has seized on comments made by Ukraine's president as proof there was no quid pro quo in his dealings with Ukraine. He later called Democrats a "disgrace."

White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamUK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus White House press secretary to return to work after negative virus test Trump signs executive order to prevent price gouging, hoarding of medical supplies MORE also tweeted what she described as "five indisputable facts," including that there is "no evidence of wrongdoing" by Trump, that he didn't obstruct the inquiry and that the impeachment inquiry is a "unfair & unprecedented impeachment process.  

 

— Morgan Chalfant 

Judiciary Democrats' counsel begins opening arguments

9:47 a.m.  

Democratic council Barry Berke began his 30 minutes of opening arguments by claiming the evidence is "overwhelming" that Trump committed impeachable offenses.

Berke said the U.S. Constitution included the process of impeachment if a leader in the Oval Office abuses his power, arguing that such is the case with Trump because he used his office to "in order to further his own reelection prospects."

"First, the evidence is overwhelming that the president abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political opponent," Berke said, adding that Trump abused his power by using a desired White House meeting and "needed" military aid as leverage. 

Berke also argued that it is "clear and overwhelming" that in abusing his power, Trump also compromised the national security of the country and a U.S. election.

— Olivia Beavers 

Nadler gavels down multiple Republican motions

9:45 a.m.

Nadler gaveled down and refused to hear multiple requests from Republican committee members including Collins and Gaetz for various motions or parliamentary inquiries at the end of congressional opening statements.

After a few minutes of back-and-forth between Nadler and Republican members, with Nadler repeatedly refusing to recognize members, Gaetz asked Nadler whether congressional members would be “dealt out” of the hearing.

“Is this when we just hear staff ask questions of other staff and the members get dealt out of this whole hearing for the next four hours,” Gaetz asked Nadler. “You are going to try to overturn the results of an election with unelected people giving testimony?”

Nadler, who had attempted to gavel down Gaetz multiple times, then told Gaetz to “suspend,” and noted that “this hearing will be considered in an orderly fashion, the gentleman will not yell out, and you will not attempt to disrupt the proceedings.”

— Olivia Beavers

Collins blasts ‘focus group impeachment’ in opening statement

9:38 a.m.

Collins blasted the process as a “focus group impeachment” in his opening statement.

“This may become known as the focus group impeachment because we don’t have a crime, we don’t have anything we can actually pin, and nobody understands really what the majority is trying to do except make sure the president can’t win next year if he’s impeached,” Collins said.

“The focus group impeachment takes words and takes them to people and says ‘how can we explain them better’ because we don’t have the facts to match it,” Collins added. “A focus group impeachment says ‘we really aren’t working with good facts but we need a good PR movie.’”

Collins also accused Pelosi of having demonstrated Democrats were determined to impeach regardless of the investigation’s findings.

“Last Wednesday after we had a long day of hearing here, the next morning before anything could get started, the Speaker of the House walked up to the podium and said go write articles of impeachment,” Collins said. “She just quit, she just stopped.”

Collins went on to blast Schiff for misquoting the call between Trump and Zelensky, which Schiff has defended as “parody.”

“Maybe I might need to just stop commenting on Chairman Schiff ... because I may end up on the next phone records subpoena,” Collins said, referencing Schiff obtaining Nunes’s phone records. Schiff has denied the records were subpoenaed.

— Zack Budryk

Nadler says Trump ‘put himself before country’ in opening remarks

9:34 a.m.

Nadler opened the impeachment inquiry on Monday by saying that Trump had “broken his oath” as president and accused Trump of “putting himself before country.”

“The evidence shows that Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States, has put himself before country, he has violated his most basic responsibilities to the people, he has broken his oath,” Nadler said during his opening statement. “I will honor mine. If you would honor yours, then I would urge you to do your duty.”

Nadler accused Trump of endangering U.S. elections, pointing to the recent trip by Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, to Ukraine last week as an example of this.

“The president welcomed foreign interference in 2016, he demanded it in 2020, and then he got caught,” Nadler added.

Nadler also argued that Democrats and Republicans had some “common ground” in the impeachment debate and said that if “we could drop our blinders for just one moment, I think we could agree on a common set of facts as well.”

— Maggie Miller

Protester interrupts hearing

9:29 a.m.

A pro-Trump protester on Monday launched into a demonstration minutes into the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearing, accusing the panel's chairman of committing treason by trying to remove Trump from office.

The man, who was in the public seating area, stood up and began yelling that committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and other Democrats were trying to change the outcome of the 2016 presidential election by carrying through with impeaching Trump over his contacts with Ukraine.

The demonstrator, who filmed his protest, appeared to be a host on Infowars, a conservative and at times conspiracy-peddling site.

Shortly after he began, multiple police escorts showed up and shuttled him out of the hearing room as he continued yelling.

— Olivia Beavers

Nadler gavels in impeachment hearing 

9:28 a.m.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) gaveled in the hearing to hear House investigators present their evidence on impeachment, in what might be Democrats' last public opportunity to lay out their case before introducing articles of impeachment against Trump.

The hearing features Barry Berke, a counsel for the Judiciary Democrats who will present their opening arguments after Nadler and committee ranking member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) gave their opening statements.

Counsel Steve Castor is representing the Republicans in both the opening arguments and then when the House Intelligence Committee counsels present their findings.

A row of House Intelligence Republicans sat behind Castor, including the panel's ranking member, Nunes as well as Reps. Brad WenstrupBrad Robert WenstrupOvernight Defense: Bolton, GOP senators see close ties challenged | Republicans fume over Dem maneuver on Iran bills |Trump criticizes Democrats over war powers vote GOP fumes over Democrats' maneuver for bringing up Iran bills Trump and Pelosi clash over Iran, impeachment MORE (Ohio) and Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayLive coverage: Democrats, Republicans seek to win PR battle in final House impeachment hearing Laughter erupts at hearing after Democrat fires back: Trump 'has 5 Pinocchios on a daily basis' Live coverage: Schiff closes with speech highlighting claims of Trump's corruption MORE (Texas). 

 

— Olivia Beavers

Judiciary Democrat: Trump himself is 'smoking gun' in impeachment case

8:12 a.m.

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalPelosi says House will review Senate coronavirus stimulus package Critical supplies shortage hampers hospitals, health providers Washington state lawmakers warn health workers running low on protective gear MORE (D-Wash.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said early Monday that the impeachment case against Trump is unique in that the president is the strongest witness to prove the allegations he’s denying.

“This is a fairly clear-cut case where the president himself is the smoking gun,” Jayapal said on CNN’s “New Day.”

“I just want to say that this is an odd situation, where we have the first and best witness very early on, on national television, saying exactly what he wanted from that call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. And that was Donald Trump, when he came out and he said he wanted an investigation into the Bidens,” she added.

Lawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing

Republicans and Democrats on Sunday night held prep sessions as they gear up for the House Judiciary Committee’s high-stakes impeachment hearing concerning Trump's dealings 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.