What happens next in the impeachment inquiry

What happens next in the impeachment inquiry


JUDY WOODRUFF: It has been a week unlike any
other in recent years, multiple days of marathon impeachment hearings with administration officials
past and present, all in public. But where does the impeachment inquiry in
the U.S. House of Representatives go from here? Correspondent Lisa Desjardins sat through
every hour of those hearings. And she’s here now to walk us through what
the next few weeks might bring. So, Lisa, it has been a long week, a lot of
hearings. The hearings ended yesterday afternoon, but,
today, President Trump weighed in. LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right. Let’s start there. The president clearly was paying very close
attention to these hearings. He had a lot to say this morning on “FOX & Friends.” You reported his message about Vice President
Mike Pence. Well, he also spoke about impeachment. Let’s listen to some of what he said. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
Don’t forget, there was no due process. You can’t have lawyers. We couldn’t have any witnesses. We want to call the whistle-blower. But you know who I want as the first witness? Because, frankly, I want a trial. LISA DESJARDINS: What he’s saying there is,
he doesn’t think the House Intelligence hearings were fair, he didn’t have representation there,
his lawyers couldn’t ask questions. He says he wants a trial. Well, Judy, if the House does vote to impeach,
the president, he will have no choice. We know from Senate Leader Mitch McConnell’s
office that he does plan to go forward with a trial. And there are not enough votes to prevent
that in the Senate. Even though Republicans have a majority, they
do not have enough who feel that a trial should be blocked. JUDY WOODRUFF: So procedure would require
it if the House votes on impeachment. LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right. JUDY WOODRUFF: So now — Lisa, now that these
public hearings seem to be behind us, what are the next steps? LISA DESJARDINS: Well, Congress is gone for
Thanksgiving. So we do not expect any public hearings, as
you’re saying, for next week. It is possible there could be some closed-door
depositions. There are a few characters involved here that
Congress has not been able to speak to, including Rudy Giuliani’s associate Lev Parnas. But it may be that Congress has no activity,
really, in front of the scenes. But there is something that is going to happen
next week on Monday. A federal judge has said that they plan to
rule on a case involving president — the White House former counsel Don McGahn. Now, he was a critical witness in the Mueller
report case, testifying to what the president — he said, the president asked essentially,
in his view, for Robert Mueller to be fired. So this is important in impeachment, because
Don McGahn would testify to a different impeachment allegation, obstruction of justice, if Democrats
want to pursue that. If a court rules that he must testify, that
could change timelines. That could change calculations. Of course, that could also continue to be
appealed. But it’s something we’re going to watch closely
next week. JUDY WOODRUFF: If there were a broadened impeachment
inquiry focus. LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right. JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Lisa, what about the committee
that’s been in the forefront for these last few weeks, the Intelligence Committee? They still have work to do, don’t they? LISA DESJARDINS: Right. Congress is out of town, but staff is working
day and night. They are getting ready. They’re producing a report. That report essentially will be the evidence,
as they see it, against this president. And it will be a critical piece of information. At the same time, we should expect House Republicans
on the Intelligence Committee, led by Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes, to put together their
own report, their own kind of facts and their own findings. What’s going to happen after that? Those reports will be presented to the public. Then the House Judiciary Committee will take
up the issues. And, Judy, when the House Judiciary Committee
meets, they have the right to call public hearings. I’m told that we should expect some, but none
of the same witnesses as we saw this week from the House Intelligence Committee. They say, we feel that those witnesses’ testimony
stands on its own. Instead, there is some questioning of whether
we could see Mueller-related witnesses… JUDY WOODRUFF: Ah. LISA DESJARDINS: … if the Judiciary Committee
determines that that is also a case they want to make for articles of impeachment. JUDY WOODRUFF: Back to the point that you
were making a moment ago. LISA DESJARDINS: Yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: So, everybody is curious to
know, because we are coming up on the holidays, November, December. What does the calendar look like, as far as
we know? LISA DESJARDINS: Ah. You know I love a good calendar graphic. Our producer Jesse (ph) helped put this together
too. Let’s take a look. Well, first of all, they’re putting the report
together now. We expect the report to go to Judiciary — the
Judiciary Committee that first week of December. Then we expect those hearings, very likely
those first two weeks of December. And, listen, Judy, that’s not just public
hearings. That’s also an important event, which will
be the marking up of the articles of impeachment themselves. That will be line-for-line edits, potential
amending of those articles. After that happens in House Judiciary, if
it votes to forward the articles of impeachment to the floor, this is the timeline likely,
that week of December 20 right there. So it could happen very quickly. Democrats are on track right now to have that
full House floor vote by the end of December. Judy, also, in that same week, though, that’s
when the government funding bill runs out. There’s a Democratic debate that we are hosting
that week. JUDY WOODRUFF: That’s right. LISA DESJARDINS: It is a very high-profile
week. A lot is being crammed in there. But this is the likely schedule right now. Our viewers should be ready for a very busy
and intense December. JUDY WOODRUFF: Not your usual period running
up into Christmas and New Year’s and so forth. LISA DESJARDINS: Not at all. JUDY WOODRUFF: Lisa Desjardins, an incredible
week. Thank you so much for all your work. LISA DESJARDINS: You’re welcome. My honor.

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