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Impeachment Inquiries

November 14, 2019

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House Judiciary Committee sets out rules for impeachment investigations

On Capitol Hill, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are emphasizing that impeaching President Trump is still a real possibility. In a party line vote, the committee passed a resolution setting rules for future impeachment investigation hearings, with Chair Jerry Nadler vowing to scrutinize presidential behavior that “poses a threat to our democracy.” Yamiche Alcindor reports.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have taken another tentative step towards impeaching President Trump. They set out ground rules today, amid questions about how ready they are to go further.

    White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor has our report.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Today, Democrats insisted, no matter what you call the process, the possibility of impeaching President Trump is still on their minds.

  • Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.:

    Some call this process an impeachment inquiry. Some call it an impeachment investigation. There is no legal difference between these terms, and I no longer care to argue about the nomenclature.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    In a party-line vote, the House Judiciary Committee passed a resolution setting rules for future impeachment investigation hearings. They allow committee staff to question witnesses for an hour.

    They also let the president's lawyers respond to testimony only in writing. Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler says the move was an important step to an effective impeachment investigation of President Trump.

  • Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.:

    Let me clear up any remaining doubt: The conduct under investigation poses a threat to our democracy. We have an obligation to respond to this threat. And we are doing so.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    But House Republicans called the resolution a political scheme.

  • Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa.:

    So which is it? Are you starting an impeachment proceeding or not? Is this just more smoke and mirrors so you can appease the far left?

  • Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I.:

    Will the gentleman yield, so he can answer his question?

  • Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa.:

    I yield.

  • Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I.:

    So, the answer is, yes, we're engaged in an impeachment investigation.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    California Republican Tom McClintock added this:

  • Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif.:

    I dare you to do it. In fact, I double-dog-dare you to do it. Have the House vote on those 18 words, and then go at it. Why won't you do that? It's because you want to give the illusion of impeachment without the reality of it.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Afterwards, Nadler said the panel would be calling former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to testify next week. The White House has blocked some testimony from other Trump associates.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Yamiche Alcindor.

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