WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump began a new chapter Wednesday as the House Judiciary Committee heard from four legal experts to determine if the evidence presented by the House Intelligence Committee is in line with the Constitution’s interpretation of the term “impeachment” itself.
Heated exchanges began soon after the House Judiciary Committee gaveled in.
Despite several objections, Chairman of the Committee Congressman Jerry Nadler, D-New York, pressed on.
“Never before has a president engaged in a course of conduct that included all of the acts that most concerned the framers,” he said.
Congressman Doug Collins, R-Georgia, labeled the hearing as a sham.
“That the founding fathers would’ve found President Trump guilty is just simply malpractice with these facts before us,” he said.
Legal scholars testified whether or not the evidence against Trump fits the Constitution’s framework on impeachment.
“I do not think we have ever seen before a president who has doubled down on violating his oath,” Professor Pamela Karlan said.
“Evidence clearly constitutes impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors under the constitution,” Professor Noah Feldman said.
But Professor Jonathan Turley argues this will be the narrowest impeachment in history.
“I believe this impeachment not only fails to satisfy the standard of past impeachments but would create a dangerous precedent for future impeachments,” he said.
Regardless, Nadler said the facts before lawmakers are clear — and it’s up to the House Judiciary Committee to determine if there’s ground to stand on with impeachment.
“If it is true that President Trump has committed an impeachable offense or multiple impeachable offenses, then we must move swiftly to do our duty and charge him accordingly,” Nadler said.