Fred Wertheimer: House Judiciary Committee Resolution Makes Clear It Is Conducting an Impeachment Inquiry

Sept. 13, 2019 – There has been some confusion raised about the investigation being conducted by the House Judiciary Committee.

Earlier this year, on March 4, the House Judiciary Committee opened an investigation “into the alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates, and members of his Administration.”

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Since then there have been various comments made about whether this is an impeachment inquiry, an impeachment investigation or just an investigation.

That discussion should now be over.

The resolution adopted by the House Judiciary Committee on September 12, 2019 eliminates any confusion as it makes clear that the Committee is conducting an impeachment inquiry.

The resolution states that the Committee is conducting an “investigation to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with respect to President Donald J. Trump…” This language is repeated in the resolution.

Thus, the resolution clearly states and without any ambiguity that this is an impeachment inquiry.

This is the same kind of procedural approach that was used regarding President Nixon and Watergate.

On October 30, 1973, the House began consideration of possible impeachment of President Nixon. The New York Times described this effort as an “inquiry that will eventually culminate in a committee decision whether to urge the House of Representatives either to impeach the President or to drop the investigation.”

On May 9, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee moved to the next stage, voting to open  impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.

Similarly, at some later stage, the House Judiciary Committee will need to determine whether to open impeachment proceedings against President Trump or conclude its impeachment inquiry.

But as to whether the House Judiciary Committee is conducting an impeachment inquiry regarding President Trump, the Committee clearly is and that discussion is over.

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