Evan Bayh suggests compromise between Trump, Dems to avoid impeachment
Dec 02 2019
A United States congressional panel gave President Donald Trump one week to say whether his legal counsel intends to introduce evidence and call witnesses in upcoming impeachment proceedings that could lead to formal charges of misconduct within a few weeks.
"To ensure fairness and restore integrity to the ongoing impeachment process, I request an expanded panel and a balanced composition of academic witnesses to opine on the subject matter at issue during the hearing", Collins wrote in a letter to committee chairman Jerrold Nadler on Saturday.
Bayh claimed that the American people may best be served by the House continuing its investigation with Trump's participation, and then leaving the ultimate decision to voters instead of the Senate.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing, calling the impeachment inquiry a "witch hunt". The White House has not yet indicated whether it will take part in the House Judiciary proceedings.
Collins said Sunday that he was not sure whether Trump would avail himself of the due-process protections that Nadler has offered, including the right to present evidence, suggest witnesses, and cross-examine those whom Democrats call to testify.
Chairman Adam Schiff had said the report will be released "soon" after the Thanksgiving holiday and now sources have told Politico the Committee will have 24 hours to view the documents from Monday then will vote to approve it Tuesday.
Appearing on ABC's "This Week", Rep. Val Demings, a Florida Democrat who sits on both the Intelligence and Judiciary committees, urged the president to put forth any exculpatory evidence.
The report will outline evidence gathered by lawmakers on the panel, along with those on the Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees.
Congressional investigators have been looking into whether Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to launch investigations of former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, who is running to unseat him in the 2020 presidential election, and a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russian Federation, interfered in the 2016 US presidential election.
House Republican Doug Collins has called for an equal representation of two parties on the Democrat majority House panel ahead of votes.
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace grilled a member of Democratic House leadership on the impeachment inquiry, pointing out the polls do not show bipartisan support. "If he hasn't done anything wrong, we are certainly anxious to hear his explanation of that".
In September, Trump fired Bolton as national security adviser, citing policy disagreements.
Bayh predicted that the House will likely impeach Trump, then the Senate "will nearly surely acquit him", leaving the decision to the voters anyway.
However, Republican lawmakers were able to question witnesses during the closed door hearings and called three witnesses during the public hearings that wrapped up last week.
"The president may well look at this, or his counsel may well look at this, and say: Why would we want to get in here and legitimize this process, when it was made illegitimate at the beginning by shutting us out?" said Republican Representative Tom Cole.
House Democrats aim to resolve the question of Trump's impeachment by Christmas.