The House Judiciary Committee resumed its impeachment proceedings Monday, with each party laying out familiar narratives. For example, Democratic staff investigator Daniel Goldman said President Trump's "persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security," per the Hill. Countered GOP lawyer Stephen Castor, as quoted in the Washington Post: "The impeachment inquiry has returned no direct evidence that President Trump withheld a meeting or security assistance in order to pressure President Zelensky to investigate former vice president Biden for the president’s political benefit." Other highlights:
- From the GOP: "This may become known as the focus group impeachment because we don't have a crime, we don't have anything we can actually pin, and nobody understands really what the majority is trying to do except make sure the president can't win next year if he's impeached," said the panel's ranking Republican, Doug Collins of Georgia.
- About Pelosi: Collins also objected to Nancy Pelosi's directive last week to write up articles of impeachment, even before the panel's hearings were complete. "She just quit," he said. "She just stopped."
- From Democrats: "The evidence shows that Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States, has put himself before country, he has violated his most basic responsibilities to the people, he has broken his oath," said the panel's chairman, Jerry Nadler of New York. Regarding the parties' differing views: If "we could drop our blinders for just one moment, I think we could agree on a common set of facts as well."
- Rancor: The GOP's Jim Sensenbrenner said Democrats were badgering Castor during questioning, but Nadler said "sharp" questioning was par for the course. Politico notes that at one point, Nadler banged his gavel, prompting Collins to mutter, "Bang the gavel harder—still doesn’t make it right.”
- Protester: A protester shouting that Democrats were committing "treason" was escorted from the proceeding as it began, per CBS News video.
- Next: Pelosi was meeting with other House leaders Monday night, per CNN. She hasn't scheduled a meeting with the full caucus on impeachment, but she's invited all House Democrats to a meeting Wednesday morning.
(The panel could vote as early as this week
on articles of impeachment.)