Next week, Adam Schiff will give the House Judiciary committee a report summarizing weeks of public and private testimony from current and former officials who relayed to lawmakers what they know about the Trump administration’s efforts to blackmail a foreign government.
According to a letter addressed to the president, that report will describe “a months-long effort in which President Trump again sought foreign interference in our elections for his personal and political benefit at the expense of our national interest”.
The letter, the second from Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler this week, comes ahead of the first public impeachment inquiry initially scheduled for December 4.
In the new letter, Nadler asks Trump to notify the committee by December 6, whether his counsel intends to participate in the hearings.
It’s still unclear whether the White House intends to take advantage of the “due process” the president has spent weeks demanding. In October, House Republicans variously accused Schiff and Democrats of conducing a sham trial in a “dungeon”, hidden away from the public. The GOP also demanded that the transcripts of the testimony be made public and that Nancy Pelosi hold a full vote.
Ultimately, Democrats granted all of those wishes and also held a whirlwind series of public hearings featuring all of the key witnesses who spoke to lawmakers behind closed doors in October. It was a disaster for the White House.
In addition to summarizing those proceedings, Schiff’s report will document “an unprecedented campaign of obstruction in an effort to prevent the Committees from obtaining documentary evidence”.
Nadler also reminds Trump that the Judiciary committee “has been engaged in an investigation concerning allegations that you may have engaged in acts of obstruction of justice, as detailed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s [report]”.
As of Saturday, it still wasn’t clear what Trump’s strategy is, or whether he even has one. It’s at least possible he could resign himself to a fate of being impeached by the House, knowing the Senate trial will be quick and will produce an acquittal.