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 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 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 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.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that House Democrats “have a very rock-solid case” against the president.  

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“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 LofgrenSenate Republicans face pivotal moment on impeachment witnesses Democrats, Republicans tussle over witnesses as vote approaches Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to Trump tweet, Senate trial witnesses MORE (D-Calif.), who also participated in the impeachment inquiries into Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonDershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense Some considerations for the US-Iran political interchange Starr makes Trump team debut: We are living in an 'age of impeachment' 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) 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.

“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 Nicola CicillineHouse lawmakers urge adoption of UN report's recommendations on battling anti-Semitism Hillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Smaller companies testify against Big Tech's 'monopoly power' 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 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 (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 CruzRepublicans show little enthusiasm for impeachment witness swap Texas House special election to gauge suburban mood Texas Democrats roll out plan to win state House in November 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) GaetzGaetz in Twitter battle with Florida House Republican Apple under pressure to unlock Pensacola shooter's phones Conservatives slam Warren's call to put transgender women in women's prisons 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 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.), 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 ThornberryBroad, bipartisan rebuke for proposal to pull troops from Africa Lawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown GOP senator on Trump soliciting foreign interference: 'Those are just statements' 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.”