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House to take next step in impeachment process on Wednesday

Posted at 8:16 PM, Dec 03, 2019

The House of Representatives is set to begin drafting articles of impeachment on Wednesday following two weeks full of testimony from an array of government officials, including those who conduct foreign affairs with Ukraine.

On Wednesday, the House's Judiciary Committee will call upon four witnesses. These four witnesses are being brought in to provide an academic perspective on impeachment. Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler, will call upon Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor; Noah Feldman a Harvard law professor; and Michael Gerhardt, a University of North Carolina law professor. Republicans have chosen Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, to provide expert testimony.


No other meetings are currently officially on the schedule, but House Democrats say they want to complete the process by Christmas.

The hearing will follow the release of a report released by the Intelligence Committee outlining allegations of misconduct by the Trump administration.

When to watch

The first hearing to be held by the Judiciary Committee will be Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET.

The witnesses

Noah Feldman

According to Harvard, Feldman specializes in constitutional studies, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between law and religion, free speech, constitutional design, and the history of legal theory. In 2003 he served as senior constitutional advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. Feldman also served as a clerk to Justice David H. Souter, who was appointed to the Supreme Court by President George H.W. Bush.

Pamela Karlan

Karlan has been a professor at Stanford since 1998. Before that, she was a clerk for Justice Harry Blackmun, who was appointed by President Richard Nixon to the Supreme Court.

According to her biography, Karlan is one of the nation’s leading experts on voting and the political process, she has served as a commissioner on the California Fair Political Practices Commission, an assistant counsel and cooperating attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Michael Gerhardt

Gerhardt has been a professor at UNC since 2005, and his teaching and research focuses on constitutional conflicts between presidents and Congress. Gerhardt is experienced going before Congress, having testified to Congressional committees more than a dozen of times. Gerhardt was a witness during the President Bill Clinton impeachment inquiry. He spoke behind closed doors to the entire House of Representatives about the history of impeachment in 1998.

Jonathan Turley

Turley will be the lone witness called by the GOP for Wednesday's hearing. He has been a law professor at George Washington University since 1990. According to his bio, he has served as a consultant on homeland security and constitutional issues, and is a frequent witness before the House and Senate on constitutional and statutory issues.

Just last week, Turley wrote that he believes the Democrats have a weak case for impeachment in an op-ed for The Hill.

Different tone

The witnesses for Wednesday's hearings aren't being asked to provide evidence of potential wrongdoing, but rather to give guidance on the evidence gathered by the Intelligence Committee. These witnesses come from academic fields.

There will also be a different cast of Congress members, as the hearings now move from the Intel Committee to the Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee is made up of 24 Democrats and 17 Republicans. The committee will be tasked to draft articles of impeachment. Twenty-one votes will be need to forward articles of impeachment to the full House.