After a more than eight-hour hearing Wednesday with four constitutional scholars, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said President Trump’s conduct with Ukraine rose to an impeachable offense.

“I will honor my oath, and as I sit here today, having heard consistent, clear and compelling evidence that the president has abused his power, attempted to undermine the constitutional role of Congress, and corrupted our elections, I urge my colleagues to stand behind the oath you have taken,” Nadler said at the conclusion of the hearing. “Our democracy depends on it.”

Three law professors who testified were summoned by the Democrats, while another was tapped by Republicans. The GOP-picked witness cautioned against moving too quickly with impeachment, while the other three argued that Trump’s behavior is impeachable.

The inquiry has moved into a new phase after the House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines Tuesday to approve a 300-page report that concluded Trump had “compromised national security to advance his personal political interests.”

At the heart of the Democrats’ case is the allegation that Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine in the face of Russian military aggression, to pressure President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch investigations of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as an unfounded theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

●House Democrats release a report charging that Trump abused his office as impeachment inquiry enters new phase.

●House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) makes clear to Democrats that impeachment is coming.

●GOP embraces a debunked Ukraine conspiracy theory to defend Trump from impeachment.

●Phone call records show frequent contact between Trump personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and White House.

Biden says he would not voluntarily appear as witness in Senate trial

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Biden told a reporter Wednesday that he wouldn’t voluntarily appear as a witness in a Senate impeachment trial if called to testify.

“No, I’m not going to let them take their eye off the ball,” Biden said, according to video posted by an ABCNews reporter. “The president is the one who has committed impeachable crimes. And I’m not going to let them divert from that, I’m not going to let anyone divert from that.”

Biden added that he’d released 21 years of his tax returns, so if Trump is worried about corruption, “let him release some of his.”

White House says hearing showed ‘political bias’ against Trump

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White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement after the Judiciary Committee hearing, calling it a “good day for President Trump and a bad day for the Democrats.”

“The only thing the three liberal professors established at Chairman Nadler’s hearing was their political bias against the President. It did nothing to change the fact that, despite weeks of hearings in this sham process, the President did nothing wrong. Congress should get back to working for the American people,” Grisham said.

She listed several legislative issues like trade and drug pricing that they should work on instead and accused Democrats of ignoring “their constituents by focusing on this pathetic and desperate charade.”

Democrats say there’s enough evidence to impeach, while the GOP remains unconvinced

11:45 p.m.
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Nadler concluded the hearing saying that “all three parts” of his test for whether Trump should be impeached had been met — he committed an impeachable act, that the offense represented a “direct threat” to the constitutional order, and that at least some of Trump’s supporters would be with them.

In Nadler’s estimation, “the majority of this country is clearly prepared to impeach and remove President Trump,” though no poll has shown that to be the case.

The panel seems all but guaranteed to issue articles of impeachment against Trump on the grounds of obstruction of Congress and obstruction of justice — though it is still unclear whether it will add charges of bribery to that list. Wednesday’s hearing also made clear that when the panel ultimately votes on articles, they will do so along party lines, as Republicans believe the impeachment proceedings are about “simply getting to an end that we want,” ranking Republican Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) said.

“This is about a clock and a calendar…They’re so obsessed with the election next year that they just gloss over things,” Collins said, noting that “none of the fact witnesses identified a crime” and that “this committee can’t do our jobs if none of the witnesses testify before our committee.”

Collins said that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) “must appear before this committee” to testify about the intelligence committee’s findings, as Ken Starr did during the impeachment probe. According to the rules the House passed for the impeachment proceedings, it will be Schiff’s counsel who does the presentation, expected next week.

Karlan apologizes for remark mentioning Barron Trump

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Pamela Karlan, the Stanford law professor who attracted GOP criticism for mentioning the name of Trump’s young son Barron during her testimony, made an apology late in the hearing.

Under questioning from Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.), Karlan paused to respond to the uproar led by the White House, the Trump campaign and first lady Melania Trump.

“If I can just say one thing, I want to apologize for what I said earlier about the president’s son,” she said. “It was wrong of me to do that. I wish the president would apologize, obviously, for the things that he’s done that are wrong. But I do regret having said that.”

The hearing continued without further commentary on the matter.

Hands up if you voted for Trump

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Several GOP members have accused the constitutional law experts picked by Democrats of being too biased to be credible impeachment witnesses. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) took that criticism even further when he requested that the witnesses raise their hands if they voted against Trump in 2016.

“I don’t think we’re obligated to say anything,” Karlan interjected heatedly.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) interjected to say that while McClintock had a right to ask the question, the witnesses did not need to answer it. So McClintock rephrased: “How many of you supported Donald Trump in 2016?”

Harvard Law School professor Noah Feldman responded: “Not raising our hands is not an answer, sir.”

Of the four witnesses, only one — George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, the legal witness called by the GOP — volunteered how he voted in the last presidential election. He said at the outset that he had not voted for Trump – and yet Republicans deferred to his testimony opposing impeachment repeatedly.

Turley insisted that he was not testifying that the evidence against Trump would not ultimately be a convincing case for impeachment, just that Democrats had “burned two months…two months that you could have been in court” to determine whether the president’s actions were simply “obnoxious” or “impeachable.”

First lady says Karlan should be ‘ashamed’ after joke about her son

9:50 p.m.
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First lady Melania Trump scolded Pamela Karlan, of Stanford University law school, for making a joke that invoked her son, Barron.

“A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it,” Trump tweeted.

Earlier in the hearing, Karlan, making a point about President Trump not being king, said, “While the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron.”

Hearing resumes

9:30 p.m.
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Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) gaveled the hearing back into session.

Hearing in recess

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Nadler announced a brief recess, with dozens of lawmakers still expected to question the witnesses once the proceedings resume.

Gaetz attacks impeachment witnesses for donating to Democrats

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), one of Trump’s most aggressive attack dogs on Capitol Hill, used his time to go after the three constitutional experts who testified that Trump had committed “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the threshold for impeachment.

He asked professor Michael Gerhardt, of the University of Northy Carolina, to confirm that he donated to President Barack Obama and Karlan to confirm that she gave to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Hillary Clinton. Then he turned his fire on Harvard Law School professor Noah Feldman for writing that Trump could be impeached for a series of tweets.

But Gaetz reserved most of his scorn for Karlan, pulling up an old quote in which she suggested “liberals tend to cluster more; conservatives, especially very conservative people, tend to spread out more, perhaps because they don’t even want to be around themselves.”

“Do you understand how that reflects contempt on people who are conservative?” Gaetz asked, seeking to discredit Karlan as partisan.

When Karlan tried to respond, Gaetz stopped her and continued to chide her for her earlier joke about how Trump named his son “Barron” but couldn’t bestow the title “baron” because he is not a king.

“When you invoke the president’s son’s name here, when you try to make a little joke out of referencing Barron Trump … it makes you look mean,” Gaetz said. “It makes you look like you’re attacking someone’s family — the minor child of the president.”

GOP congressman suggests subpoena of Schiff, Biden phone records

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Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) wrote a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) Wednesday urging him to subpoena the phone records of several individuals related to the impeachment inquiry.

Banks wants Graham to seek the call records of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and lawyer Mark Zaid, who is representing the intelligence agency whistleblower.

Banks, who is in his second term in Congress, noted that Schiff had obtained call records of conversations between Giuliani and the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), among others.

“The public has a right to know with whom Rep. Adam Schiff has coordinated his impeachment effort and if America’s national security is at risk in any way as a result of Rep. Schiff’s actions,” Banks wrote.

Banks went on to argue that the impeachment process is a risk to national security because it has diverted lawmakers’ attention away from funding the government, putting federal programs at risk of another shutdown.

In response to Banks’s letter to Graham, Zaid tweeted that many of his phone records “would be protected by attorney-client privilege,” but that he could disclose his “direct contact with a specific Member of Congress, as well as his senior staff — Devin Nunes.”

GOP Rep. Buck suggests Democrats’ impeachment standard would have put FDR, Kennedy, Obama at risk

8:45 p.m.
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Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) accused the legal experts called by Democrats of setting a standard for impeachment that is so low — abuse of power for personal or political gain, as he defined it — that virtually no recent Democratic president could avoid it.

“When Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when he was president, directed the IRS to conduct audits of his political enemies ... would that be impeachable conduct?” Buck asked Turley, citing claims by conservative scholars.

“I think it all would be subsumed into it,” Turley replied.

“How about when President Kennedy directed his brother, Robert Kennedy, to deport one of his mistresses as an East German spy?” Buck asked, in an apparent reference to Ellen Rometsch, a woman linked to JFK.

Turley said he couldn’t rule it out, nor could he do so when Buck asked about allegations that President Lyndon Johnson used the CIA to plant a spy in the campaign of his 1964 Republican opponent, Barry Goldwater.

Buck ultimately landed on Obama, pointing to his interpretation of the recess appointments power that was later rejected by a unanimous Supreme Court, as well as his response to the 2012 Benghazi attack.

“Can you name a single president in the history of the United States — save President [William Henry] Harrison, who died 32 days after his inauguration — that would not have met the standard of impeachment for our friends here?” Buck asked.

“I would hope to God James Madison would escape,” said Turley, a Madisonian scholar. “Otherwise, a lifetime of academic work would be shredded. But once again, I can’t exclude many of these acts.”

White House official suggests Trump preparing to wage aggressive effort in Senate trial

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A top White House official said Wednesday that Trump would like to see a full trial and witnesses in the Senate chamber, should the impeachment fight shift to the other side of the Capitol in the coming weeks.

The comments from Eric Ueland, the White House director of legislative affairs, signal that the White House is preparing for an aggressive trial with live witnesses on the Senate floor, rather than the videotaped depositions of witnesses that were ultimately entered into evidence during former president Bill Clinton’s Senate impeachment trial in 1999.

“The president wants his case made fully in the Senate,” Ueland said after meeting with GOP senators on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

“In this instance, we believe very strongly — given the fatally flawed process in the House — that if they were to elect against our better advice [and] send over impeachment to the Senate, that we need witnesses as part of our trial and a full defense of the president on the facts,” added Ueland, pointing to the Senate chamber as he spoke to reporters.

When asked whether his hand gesture meant witnesses should testify in the actual Senate chamber, Ueland responded: “Thank you counsel. I have no objection.”

White House officials present at the Republican lunch on Capitol Hill – Ueland, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and impeachment strategy advisers Pam Bondi and Tony Sayegh – did not delve into details of whom they would like called in the chamber as witnesses nor other details of the impending Senate trial, according to senators.

“All the issues remain the same: Sham process, the fight doesn’t deserve to even come over here but if it does, we’ll have to deal with it,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said, summing up the White House’s message to GOP senators.

‘While the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron,’ Karlan says

7:50 p.m.
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Karlan sought to distinguish a president from a king after Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) prompted her to articulate how Trump’s power is different from a monarch’s, if at all.

The president has said Article II of the Constitution allows him to do, essentially, whatever he wants.

Karlan said that was not so and gave one example that won her applause: The Constitution says there can’t be any noble titles in the United States.

“While the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron,” she said.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham responded in a tweet.

“Classless move by a Democratic ‘witness,’ ” Grisham wrote. “Prof Karlan uses a teenage boy who has nothing to do with this joke of a hearing (and deserves privacy) as a punchline. And what’s worse, it’s met by laughter in the hearing room. What is being done to this country is no laughing matter.”

Trump’s presidential campaign also issued a statement criticizing the comment and calling on Karlan to apologize.

“Only in the minds of crazed liberals is it funny to drag a 13-year-old child into the impeachment nonsense. Pamela Karlan thought she was being clever and going for laughs, but she instead reinforced for all Americans that Democrats have no boundaries when it comes to their hatred of everything related to President Trump,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said.

Senate 2020 calendar leaves out January due to uncertainty over impeachment trial

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The 2020 floor schedule for the Senate, released Wednesday with dates of when senators are expected to be in Washington vs. at home, begins in February.

That’s because, according to the Senate whip’s office, no one knows what the Senate will be doing the first month of the year.

“Unfortunately due to uncertainty on the floor schedule for start of the year, the Senate is unable to establish a schedule for January at this time. When we have clarity on a date to convene and what January will look like we will get that information out as soon as possible,” the whip’s office said in a statement.

The House is expected to vote on articles of impeachment by the end of 2019. If Trump is impeached, the Senate would likely begin its trial in January.