Pelosi calls for drafting of articles of impeachment

December 5, 2019
In The News

Latest impeachment updates

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for the Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump.
  • The committee will hold its next hearing on Monday, December 9, at 9 a.m.
  • President Trump tells Democrats "if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast."
  • The House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing of the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday, featuring testimony from four constitutional law experts over the course of eight hours.

Washington -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the time has come to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump, following testimony from four constitutional scholars on Wednesday.

"Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders, and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment," Pelosi said in a statement on the Speaker's Balcony Thursday.

Her announcement comes after the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on the constitutional grounds for impeachment over the course of eight hours from four experts, three of whom testified to their belief that the president committed impeachable offenses in his dealings with Ukraine.

The committee announced its next hearing will be held Monday. It held its first hearing in the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday, featuring testimony from constitutional law scholars Noah Feldman, Pamela Karlan, Michael Gerhardt and Jonathan Turley, a CBS News legal analyst.

Feldman, Karlan and Gerhardt were called to testify by the Democratic members, and were in agreement in their belief that Mr. Trump had committed impeachable offenses under the Constitution.

"If what we're talking about is not impeachable, than nothing is impeachable," Gerhardt said.

Turley was called by the Republicans and was the sole witness to say he did not believe impeachment was warranted, based on the findings of the House investigation. Republicans relied on his testimony to bolster their arguments about the unfairness of the proceedings and lack of evidence of wrongdoing.

"If you're going to accuse a president of bribery, you need to make it stick, because you're trying to remove a duly elected president of the United States," Turley testified.

Democrats rejects criticisms of pace of impeachment inquiry

4:16 p.m.: Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill pushed back against the argument by Republicans that they are pushing forward with voting on impeachment too quickly. Jonathan Turley, the legal expert called by Republicans to testify before the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, argued that going "fast is not good for impeachment."

"Narrow, fast impeachments have failed," Turley testified.

However, Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu pointed out that the House voted to impeach President Clinton just 72 days after voting to begin an inquiry. He also said the body of evidence was enough to impeach Mr. Trump.

"You already have a huge amount of evidence, and the most damning evidence came out first. It was the White House call record," Lieu said, referring to the memo summarizing Mr. Trump's July 25 call with the Ukrainian president. "If the president had exculpatory evidence, he would present it. If Mick Mulvaney could clear this up, he would have had him testify already."

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal condemned the White House for refusing to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry.

"We have had enormous amounts of information put before us. It's just that the Republicans have refused to engage at any level. So for them to now say that, you know, the process is moving too quickly -- they should have engaged with us a long time ago," she argued.

Congressman Eric Swalwell, one of the few members who sits on both the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, also argued the perceived swiftness of the process was due to obstruction from the White House.

"In Professor Turley's perfect world, the president allows documents to be turned over, witnesses to come forward and does not invoke upcoming elections. But that's not the situation we have," Swalwell said. -- Grace Segers