This continued solicitation of foreign interference in a USA election presents a clear and present danger that the President will continue to use the power of his office for his personal political gain.
Impeachment witness Pamela Karlan answers a question from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee on the differences between a president and a king. The Democratic-written impeachment report by the House Intelligence Committee lays out evidence that Trump was trying to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, effectively intervening in the upcoming 2020 US election.
The House Intelligence Committee has so far led that investigation, but now the Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over drafting articles of impeachment, will have its time in the spotlight.
The House Intelligence Committee yesterday released its "Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report" with a specific objective in mind: to summarize the panel's findings - so far - in its investigation of Donald Trump and his efforts to extort a vulnerable foreign ally for domestic political assistance.
Trump told reporters in London, where he was attending a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting, that he doubted many people would watch the live hearing "because it's going to be boring". Republicans repeatedly forced procedural votes and quizzed Nadler on committee rules as they dismissed the impeachment proceeding as a sham.
"It shows a president who delayed meeting a foreign leader and providing assistance that Congress and his own advisors agreed serves our national interest in promoting democracy and then limiting Russian aggression", Karlan said.
Pelosi's ability to move forward with any impeachment inquiry, announced in September, also hinged on her members being unified in their alarm over the Ukraine revelations. Within the first 90 minutes of the hearing, Republicans forced roll call votes of the 41 members on the committee three times - once to try to force Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, to testify, once to postpone the hearings and a third time to force the so-called "whistleblower" to testify.
Several of the experts say they think President Donald Trump's conduct with Ukraine meets the definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors" required in the Constitution for impeachable offenses.
In a letter to Nadler that was sent before the witnesses had been publicly announced, White House counsel to the President Pat Cipollone wrote, "We can not fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the President a fair process through additional hearings".
The President's attorneys were invited to participate in the hearing, but they declined, arguing that the process was unfair and they were given no details about the hearing itself.
The political risks are high for all parties as the House presses only the fourth presidential impeachment inquiry in USA history.
"It's worth pointing out that as the public watches what just happened they would say, 'Wait a minute, there was another constitutional scholar there also who disagrees, but never got a question, '" Garrett said on CBS's Special Report.