House Judiciary formally invites Trump legal team to new round of hearings


The committee will have its first impeachment hearing on Dec. 4.

The House Judiciary Committee has announced it will hold its first hearing related to the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump on Dec. 4.

The hearing will feature legal experts who will testify about the "historical and constitutional basis of impeachment, as well as the Framers' intent and understanding of terms like 'high crimes and misdemeanors,'" according to a letter sent by committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) to Trump.

In the letter, Nadler informed Trump of his rights in that hearing, including that his counsel will be allowed to participate.

Trump must notify the House Judiciary Committee whether his legal counsel plans to join the hearing by 6 p.m. on Dec. 1.

"I remain committed to ensuring a fair and informative process," Nadler wrote. "To that end, I remind you that participation by the president or his counsel has been described by the committee in past inquiries as 'not a right but a privilege or courtesy which is being extended.'"

Nadler went on to say that he is "hopeful" that Trump and his lawyer, "will opt to participate in the committee's hearing, consistent with the rules of decorum and with the solemn nature of the work before us."

Trump — along with the Republicans who are defending him — have decried the impeachment process as unfair, as Trump and his lawyers were, up until now, unable to participate.

To date, the House Intelligence Committee has held fact-finding hearings with witnesses who have offered insight into Trump's actions with regard to Ukraine, which are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry. Trump is accused of withholding critical aid to the country and dangling a White House invitation to secure investigations into his political rivals.

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) informed his House colleagues on Monday that his committee will have a report summarizing the evidence from those hearings "soon after Congress returns from the Thanksgiving recess."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.