Donald Trump faces two terms of political trial while the investigation changes focus
WASHINGTON: Donald Trump faced two deadlines in Congress on Sunday as Democrats were preparing to shift the focus of their investigation into the investigation of possible charges of misconduct about their dealings with Ukraine.
The House of Representatives Judicial Committee, led by Democrats, charged with considering the charges known as articles of political trial, gave the president until 6 pm EST (2300 GMT) on Sunday to say if he or his legal advisor will participate at a political trial hearing on Wednesday. .
The hearing, the first of a series of procedures expected before the committee, will hear testimony about the political trial process established under the United States Constitution from a panel of legal experts that has not yet been appointed.
Hearings before the committee, which has the responsibility of drawing up any formal charges against Trump, are an important step towards possible charges. The Democratic president of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who will make the final decision, has not yet said whether the Republican president should be formally charged. But in a letter to supporters last week, she asked to be held accountable for her actions.
Trump has denied acting badly and called the political trial investigation a witch hunt aimed at dismissing a democratically elected president. The White House has not yet indicated whether it will participate in the judicial proceedings of the Chamber.
The president of the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, Jerrold Nadler, also set a deadline on Friday at 5 p.m. EST (2200 GMT) for Trump to say if he intends to mount a defense in the additional procedures expected next week to examine the evidence against him.
Three investigation panels, led by the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, will publish a formal evidence report this week after legislators return to Congress on Tuesday since their Thanksgiving recess. The report will describe the evidence gathered by legislators in the panel, along with those of the House Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees.
Congressional investigators have been investigating whether Trump abused his power by pressing Ukraine to initiate investigations into former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, who is running to unseat him in the 2020 presidential elections, and a discredited conspiracy theory in which Ukraine , not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential elections in the US. UU.
The president and his Republican allies in Congress say the investigation has been unfair, as it did not allow the White House to have a legal advisor present or call witnesses during weeks of testimony behind closed doors and open hearings before the Intelligence Committee of the camera.
However, Republican lawmakers were able to interrogate witnesses during closed-door hearings and called three witnesses during public hearings that concluded last week.
The president may well see this, or his lawyer may well look at this and say: Why would we want to enter here and legitimize this process, when it became illegitimate at first by excluding us? said Republican representative Tom Cole.
The Judicial Committee of the House of Representatives could vote if it will recommend articles of political judgment within the next two weeks, setting the stage for a possible political trial vote throughout the House before Christmas, according to Democratic advisors.
If the House dismisses Trump, the Republican-controlled Senate will hold a trial to determine whether he should be convicted and removed from office.