Democrats express confidence in case as impeachment speeds forward

Democrats express confidence in case as impeachment speeds forward
© Aaron Schwartz

Congressional Democrats on Sunday said they are drafting articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt MORE and expressed increasing confidence in their case ahead of a possible vote this week while Republicans reiterated their critiques of the process and insisted the president had done nothing wrong.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerBiden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Britney Spears's new attorney files motion to remove her dad as conservator Here's what Congress is reading at the beach this summer MORE (D-N.Y.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that House Democrats “have a very rock-solid case” against the president.  

ADVERTISEMENT

“I think the case we have, if presented to a jury, would be a guilty verdict in about three minutes flat,” he said.

“And it ill behooves a president or his partisans to say you don’t have enough direct evidence when the reason we don’t have even more direct evidence is the president has ordered everybody in the executive branch not to cooperate with Congress in the impeachment inquiry, something that is unprecedented in American history and is a contempt of Congress by itself,” Nadler added.

Rep. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenBiden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report House GOP blames Pelosi — not Trump — for Jan. 6 House erupts in anger over Jan. 6 and Trump's role MORE (D-Calif.), who also participated in the impeachment inquiries into Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonThe Koreas are talking again — Moon is for real, but what about Kim? For families, sending money home to Cuba shouldn't be a political football Anything-but-bipartisan 1/6 commission will seal Pelosi's retirement. Here's why MORE, said on ABC’s “This Week” that the articles should focus on Ukraine rather than including conduct outlined in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s report.

“The Mueller report is a report,” Lofgren said. “We don't have a direct witness testimony for most of that, so I think we'd be on firmest ground to move forward where we have direct evidence as with the report we will receive tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. from the Intelligence Committee.”

Rep. David CicillineDavid CicillineLobbying world Progressive fighting turns personal on internal call over antitrust bills Top Democrat leads bipartisan trip to Middle East MORE (D-R.I.), who, like Lofgren, is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said the House has so far seen “a classic example of an impeachable offense.”

“[T]he focus is on the president’s misconduct, asking a foreign government to interfere in our elections …I think all of the potential articles of impeachment are on the table [but] that will be a decision the Judiciary Committee makes, but the Judiciary Committee will have all the evidence,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

House Intelligence Committee Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOfficers offer harrowing accounts at first Jan. 6 committee hearing Live coverage: House panel holds first hearing on Jan. 6 probe Five things to watch as Jan. 6 panel begins its work MORE (D-Calif.), meanwhile, defended his committee obtaining phone records as part of his investigation, saying the decision had only gotten “blowback” from “the far-right.”

“The fact that Mr. [Devin] Nunes or [Rudy] Giuliani or others show up in this scheme doesn’t make them irrelevant, doesn’t give them a pass,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

On the Republican side of the aisle, lawmakers continued their attack on the impeachment process and insisted Trump was acting on valid U.S. concerns in his dealings with Ukraine.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action Only two people cited by TSA for mask violations have agreed to pay fine MORE (R-Texas) blasted the inquiry as a “kangaroo court” on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and said House Democrats were motivated by the fact that “they hate the president.”

"It’s going to go to the Senate, it's going to go nowhere. And I think the American people know this is a waste of time and this is Democrats putting on a circus," Cruz said.

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate Tempers flare as some in GOP ignore new House mask mandate Five takeaways from a bracing day of Jan. 6 testimony MORE (R-Fla.), one of Trump’s most vocal allies in the House, defended his communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as motivated by a sincere desire to combat corruption in the country.

"I think the president was acting on a sincere, longly held view and skepticism of foreign aid," Gaetz said on ABC’s “This Week.” "I think he was acting on concern about Ukraine being the third-most corrupt country in the world."

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsWashington Post calls on Democrats to subpoena Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Meadows for testimony on Jan. 6 Trump to Pence on Jan. 6: 'You don't have the courage' Trump said whoever leaked information about stay in White House bunker should be 'executed,' author claims MORE (R-N.C.), chair of the House Freedom Caucus, also defended Trump and said he was skeptical any Republicans would vote to impeach.

Meadows also pushed back on Republican Reps. Mac ThornberryWilliam (Mac) McClellan ThornberryUnnamed law enforcement banned under the new NDAA Lobbying world Senate poised to override Trump's defense bill veto MORE (Texas) and Michael Turner’s (Ohio) characterization of Trump’s call with Zelensky as “inappropriate” and “alarming,” saying his colleagues “are wrong.”

“I was in the [closed-door] depositions,” Meadows said on “State of the Union” Sunday. “There’s a big difference between what is being alleged ... and what actually happened.”