Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) has given Republicans and President Donald Trump a “deadline” of December 6th to participate in the House impeachment inquiry or the inquiry will move into an impeachment vote without them — even though Republicans submitted a list of witnesses and requested time for questioning but were denied.
The Daily Caller reports that Nadler has sent a letter ot House Republicans demanding they comply with the House impeachment inquiry and pressuring the White House to decide one way or the other whether President Donald Trump will testify — either in person or answering interrogatories under oath.
— ABC News (@ABC) November 26, 2019
“The Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee, which is due to begin weighing possible articles of impeachment against Trump next week, sent a two-page letter to the president setting a deadline of 5 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT) on Dec. 6 for the president’s counsel to specify intended actions under the committee’s impeachment procedures,” the Caller reported the letter as saying.
This week, the inquiry moves from the House Intelligence Committee, which concluded its “fact-finding”mission a week ago, to the House Judiciary Committee, which will handle the legalistic aspect of the impeachment, hosting a final “trial” in the House before the House votes on whether to impeach the President outright. Nadler, the chairman of that Committee claims he’s batting cleanup for the House Intelligence Committee, pushing Republicans who he says have refused to participate in the inquiry thus far, to step up in inquiry’s final week.
But like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) before him, Nadler has the advantage of the House impeachment resolution, which forbids Republicans from simply calling witnesses and cross-examining those chosen to testify. Nadler, not GOP leadership, has the final say on who can testify and who may ask questions, so Republican requests for witnesses key to exonerating the President — including the whistleblower whose letter about President Donald Trump triggered the impeachment inquiry in the first place — probably won’t be allowed to appear.
The first House Judiciary Committee hearings are set to take place December 4th, though the House Intelligence Committee has yet to officially conclude their own investigation. They claim a report will be circulated Monday, but on Friday, Rep. Schiff was telling staffers that he plans on calling more witnesses.
That extension may be a last-ditch effort to salvage the impeachment inquiry from appearing as the partisan “witch hunt” the President claims it is. Even the New York Times, hardly a fan of President Trump, admitted last week that Schiff had failed to prove his point — that the President inked a “quid-pro-quo” deal with Ukrainian officials, rubber stamping millions in foreign aid in return for a promise by Ukrainian proseuctors that they would announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden — largely because he refused to allow key characters central to the investigation to testify, including the whistleblower, and White House officials like John Bolton.
Schiff appears to have curtailed the inquiry in order to prevent the GOP from mounting a case in the President’s defense but, ultimately, that cost his own case.