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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
So, the answer is, yes, we're engaged in an impeachment investigation.
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.
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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Yamiche Alcindor is the White House correspondent for the PBS NewsHour; the moderator of Washington Week, the weekly public affairs show on PBS; and a political contributor for NBC News and MSNBC. She often tells stories about the intersection of race and politics as well as fatal police encounters. She is currently covering the administration of President Joe Biden and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
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