The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is prepared to vote next week on a resolution laying out the procedures for its investigation now that it is actively considering moving to impeach President Donald Trump, a major step toward formalizing its sweeping probe, according to multiple sources familiar with the effort.
The committee Democrats discussed the matter in a conference call on Friday, Politico reported. That call took place while members were in El Paso to conduct a field hearing in which they assailed Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, saying it has inflamed racist hatred that motivated the Aug. 3 Walmart mass shooting attack.
The vote, which is expected to occur on Wednesday, will lay out the ground rules for conducting hearings now that the committee has publicly announced it is considering recommending articles of impeachment against Trump. It is expected to follow the precedent set in 1974 over the committee’s procedures during then-President Richard Nixon’s impeachment proceedings.
The resolution is expected to spell out that Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, has the authority to call hearings at either the full committee or subcommittee level in connection with its impeachment deliberations.
The resolution, sources say, is expected to make clear that future House Judiciary hearings can be conducted in ways different from most congressional hearings since the panel is considering impeachment. For instance, the resolution is expected to authorize committee staff counsels to question witnesses, something that is typically not done at congressional hearings.
The resolution also will spell out how secret grand jury information can be reviewed in closed-door sessions. And it will say that the President’s counsel can respond in writing to the committee.
The exact legislative language is still being drafted and could be introduced as soon as Monday.
These new procedures could be on display in mid-September, when former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is scheduled to testify, along with two former White House aides — Rob Porter and Rick Dearborn — who have all been subpoenaed by the panel to testify over allegations of obstruction of justice.
The news comes as Democrats are broadening their impeachment probe to focus on a range of matters, including potential violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution and reports that the President dangled pardons to officials if they broke the law to carry out his immigration policies.