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US House Judiciary Committee Releases Report on Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment

© REUTERS / TOM BRENNERA Republican staff member adjusts a sign behind Republican seats on the dais at the first House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump
A Republican staff member adjusts a sign behind Republican seats on the dais at the first House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump - Sputnik International
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House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees are scheduled to hear presentations on the next steps of the impeachment process on Monday. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced earlier that she had ordered the House Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment against US President Donald Trump.

The House Judiciary Committee on Saturday released a report ahead of Monday's impeachment hearing, detailing "the history, purpose and meaning of the Constitution’s Impeachment Clause".

The 55-page document "addresses legal questions about the impeachment process and rebuts false claims about impeachment", the press release said.

According to the House Judiciary Committee, the report was first produced in 1974, addressing "the impeachment inquiry into President Richard M. Nixon, and that report was updated by the majority and minority staff in 1998, during the impeachment inquiry into President William Jefferson Clinton".

The report is an outline of the historical arguments for impeachment and is not, in itself, part of the accusations against Trump.

"Those reports remain useful points of reference, but no longer reflect the best available learning on questions relating to presidential impeachment and do not address several issues of constitutional law with particular relevance to the ongoing impeachment inquiry respecting President Donald J. Trump", the House Judiciary Committee said.

In September, House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry based on a whistleblower complaint, which alleged that during a 25 July telephone conversation Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate allegations of the Bidens' involvement in the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor general who had been probing a gas firm in which Hunter Biden sat on the board.

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A whistleblower complaint and multiple weeks’ of testimony from US diplomats and others linked to the affair now form the basis of the House Democrats’ argument for impeachment.

The White House declassified what it has claimed to be an unredacted transcript of the notorious July phone conversation. Trump denied any wrongdoing and dubbed the probe a "witch hunt" against him.

A vote to impeach will be followed by a trial in the Republican-led Senate, after which a two-thirds majority vote is required to remove Trump from office.

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