Geoff Bennett joins Hallie Jackson to give the run-down on the language and parameters of the resolution being put forth by the Democratically-run committee.
September 10, 2019

Reporter Geoff Bennett gave an explainer on what's happening in the House Judiciary Committee, as they get set to vote on a resolution to tighten up and define the parameters of the impeachment inquiry that is underway. They had just released the language of the resolution, and Bennett gave a summary, and also some historical perspective along with a timeline.

Right, so this is not Hallie, the House moving forward, the full House moving forward with a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump. What this is, we need to be very specific about this. This is the House Judiciary Committee basically broadening and formalizing and putting some structures around its own investigations as they determine and hoping to do this by the end of the year whether or not to recommend articles of impeachment to the full House. This language that the Judiciary Committee set to vote on on Wednesday basically outlines the rules of the road. Some of it I'll read to you. It says,

- allowing the chairman to designate full committee or subcommittee hearings as part of their impeachment investigation.
- allowing staff to question witnesses for an additional hour equally divided between the majority and the minority.
- allowing for information, obtain secret grand jury material to be reviewed in closed executive session.

So, basically what they're doing is, they are using and running parallel to the same procedures that the same committee used back in 1974 when it impeached then-President Richard Nixon. The hope is that this will do a couple of things. One, it will clear up the confusion that has existed, I think, in the public and even here on Capitol Hill about just what this committee was up to and its timeline. They're also hoping to really ramp up their leverage. When they go to the courts, and they want to force subpoenas, they want to get some grand jury information, they can now say, "Well, there is some urgency here because we have a formalized impeachment inquiry on behalf of this committee." That's what this committee is set to vote on Wednesday, and we expected to pass, because Democrats, as you well know, are in the majority on that committee.

Note that while the clip above and transcript say the vote will be held on Wednesday, later Monday news broke on MSNBC that the vote will now be on Thursday as the committee will be taking up and debating gun control measures on Wednesday. The Associated Press is also reporting the vote will be on Thursday. In any case, it looks extremely likely to take place this week, and on a timeline that matches that of Nixon's impeachment.

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