WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) — The U.S. House Judiciary Committee unveiled on Monday the four legal experts for its first hearing as part of an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
The hearing, scheduled for Wednesday, will feature testimony from Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law School and director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law; Pamela Karlan, a professor of public interest law at Stanford Law School; Michael Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law; and Jonathan Turley, a professor of public interest law at George Washington University Law School, according to the House Judiciary Committee.
"We expect to discuss the constitutional framework through which the House may analyze the evidence gathered in the present inquiry," the Committee’s Chairman Jerry Nadler said in a letter to Trump last week.
The New York Democrat also said they will discuss whether Trump’s alleged actions "warrant the House’s exercising its authority to adopt articles of impeachment."
However, neither Trump, who’s in London for a NATO summit, nor his counsel Pat Cipollone is expected to attend Wednesday’s hearing.
In a letter to Nadler on Sunday, Cipollone said the White House won’t participate in the hearing, citing concern that the House panel won’t afford Trump "a fair process."
Nadler called White House’s response "unfortunate" in a statement on Monday.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House before leaving for London, Trump called the impeachment inquiry "a hoax," while accusing Democrats of doing "an absolute disgrace" to the nation.
"So the Democrats, the radical-left Democrats, the do-nothing Democrats, decided when I’m going to NATO – this was set up a year ago – that when I’m going to NATO, that was the exact time," Trump said. "This is one of the most important journeys that we make as president."
House Democrats are conducting an impeachment inquiry into whether Trump abused his office by pressuring Ukraine to launch investigations that could benefit him politically. Lawmakers are also examining whether the Republican tied a White House meeting or aid for Ukraine to those investigations.
The House Intelligence Committee concluded its public hearings prior to the Thanksgiving recess after it heard testimony from a series of current and former Trump administration officials and has spent the Thanksgiving recess drafting a report of its findings.
The panel, led by Democrat Adam Schiff, is reportedly reviewing a draft of the report before turning over the impeachment inquiry to the House Judiciary Committee. A vote on adopting the report is scheduled for Tuesday evening.
In a separate report, House Republicans defended Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and accused Democrats of trying to overturn the results of the 2016 elections.
Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing or a "quid pro quo," tweeted he has read the Republican report and called it a "great job."
The president will be impeached if the House approves any of the articles of impeachment that the House Judiciary Committee has recommended by a simple majority vote.
But conviction can only happen in the Senate and requires at least two-thirds of its members, or 67 senators, to vote in favor. Currently, the Senate has 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents. Enditem