(CBS4) – Two Colorado congressmen will play a key role in the impeachment hearings. Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse and Republican Rep. Ken Buck sit on the House Judiciary Committee which will vote on which charges, or articles of impeachment, the full House should take up.
The committee’s first hearing included four legal experts. All of them say they do not support President Donald Trump, but they disagree on whether his conduct meets the constitutional threshold for impeachment.
Three of the scholars argued the president abused his power and should be removed from office. But, Jonathan Turley, who is also a CBS News contributor, said while the president may have abused his power, Democrats had not provided any clear evidence of obstruction, quid pro quo or bribery.
Buck said if what Trump did was impeachable, then most presidents have crossed the line.
“Lyndon Johnson directed the Central Intelligence Agency to place a spy in Barry Goldwater’s campaign. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when he was president, directed the IRS to conduct audits of his political enemies.”
But Neguse said no president has gone as far as Trump to obstruct investigations.
“The president harassed and intimidated the brave public servants who came forward. He publicly called the whistleblower a ‘disgrace to our country.'”
Republicans accused Democrats of waging a purely political war … noting the three other presidential impeachments have been bipartisan.
The White House was given the opportunity to question witnesses, but declined. Democrats hope to have a floor vote on impeachment — or indictment of the president — before Christmas.
It is then up to the Senate to hold a trial.