Democrats Signal Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress Charges Against Trump


“Bang the gavel harder — still doesn’t make it right,” said Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

“They have talked about everything else, but they have offered not one substantive word in the president’s defense,” Mr. Nadler said of the Republicans in his closing remarks. In a letter sent during the hearing, he rejected Republicans’ requests to call witnesses including Mr. Schiff, Mr. Biden’s son Hunter and the anonymous C.I.A. whistle-blower whose complaint helped start the inquiry. Republicans could demand a vote on the matter at a later date.

Republican lawmakers fumed when Mr. Berke, who appeared at a witness table at the start of the hearing to deliver his argument against Mr. Trump, later climbed onto the dais and led the cross-examination of Mr. Castor, who was also representing the Intelligence Committee lawyer. It is highly unusual for House lawyers to testify in hearings, for Mr. Castor to be testifying on behalf of two committees and for one lawyer to question another in that way, but all were allowed under the rules.

“He’s badgering the witness,” Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin, shot out as Mr. Berke pressed Mr. Castor.

“He is not,” Mr. Nadler fired back.

Republicans seized on a small subset of evidence in the report to accuse Democrats of what Mr. Collins called “a gratuitous drive-by” targeting a conservative journalist and a Republican lawmaker.

At issue were a half-dozen subpoenas issued by Democrats that turned up call records between the journalist, John Solomon of The Hill; Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee; and subjects of the investigation, including Mr. Giuliani. Mr. Collins said he had no problem with the subpoenas, but demanded to know who decided to name Mr. Nunes and Mr. Solomon in the report.

“Folks, you have made Joe McCarthy look like a piker,” Mr. Sensenbrenner said.

Mr. Goldman declined to discuss investigative decisions, but said such identifications were typical when examining phone records in an inquiry like this. The calls noted in the report all took place around key events under scrutiny.



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