The House Judiciary Committee released on Saturday a report that attempts to define what the founders of the Constitution meant in their impeachment clause, days after the Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asked the committees chair to move forward in impeaching President Donald Trump.
The 52-page report, titled “Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment” (pdf), is meant to act as a guide for impeachment as the committees Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) prepares to draft articles of impeachment against the president.
The report was drafted by majority staff and provides details about the “history, purpose, and meaning” of Article II, Section 4, of the Constitution—the impeachment clause.
House Democrats are investigating in their impeachment inquiry allegations that the president had leveraged his office during a call with Ukraine in July where he asked the Ukrainian president to look into corruption accusations on former Vice President Joe Biden—who is running for president in 2020.
The release of the report comes after the House heard from a panel of four legal scholars to provide their understanding of what they think are impeachable offenses and how to apply it to the facts. Many of the academics had previously criticized Trump or have defended the impeachment against the president. The empaneled scholars drew criticism from the presidents allies and opponents of impeachment due to their apparent anti-Trump bias.
The report, which updates a 1974 version of the document that was used during the impeachment inquiry into President Richard M. Nixon, lays out reasoning to justify the House Democrats interpretation of what the impeachable offenses include. The Constitution does not explicitly define what “high crimes and misdemeanors” are, which is then open to legal analysis. According to the document, treason and bribery, abuse of power, betrayal involving foreign powers, and corruption are considered impeachable offenses.
“Within these parameters, and guided by fidelity to the Constitution, the House must judge whether the Presidents misconduct is grave enough to require impeachment,” the report states. “That step must never be taken lightly. It is a momentous act, justified only when the Presidents full course of conduct, assessed without favor or prejudice, is seriously incompatible with either the constitutional form and principles of our government or the proper performance of constitutional duties of the presidential office.'”
The report also serves as a formal rebuttal of hotly contested issues during the impeachment process that the DemocratsRead More – Source