Congress pushes ahead on Trump impeachment with nation split

WASHINGTON — The House is plunging into a landmark impeachment week, with Democrats who once hoped to sway Republicans now facing the prospect of an ever-hardening partisan split over the question of removing President Donald Trump from office.

Lawmakers were getting their first look at the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report Monday night behind closed doors, and Chairman Adam Schiff said on MSNBC that it will be released today. The findings are expected to forcefully make the Democrats’ case that Trump engaged in what Schiff calls impeachable “wrongdoing and misconduct” in pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democrats and Joe Biden while withholding military aid to the ally.

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For Republicans offering an early rebuttal ahead of the report’s public release, the proceedings are simply a “hoax,” with Trump insisting he did nothing wrong and his GOP allies in line behind him. Trump tweeted his daily complaints about it all and then added a suggestive, if impractical, question: “Can we go to Supreme Court to stop?”

With the Judiciary Committee set to launch its first hearing Wednesday, the impeachment proceedings are presenting a historic test of political judgment in a case that is dividing Congress and the country.

Departing for a NATO meeting in London, Trump criticized the House for pushing forward Monday with proceedings while he was heading overseas, a breach of political decorum that traditionally leaves partisan differences at the water’s edge.

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He predicted Republicans would actually benefit from the entire impeachment effort against him, though “it’s a disgrace for our country.”

For the Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a critical moment of her leadership as she steers the process ahead after resisting the impeachment inquiry through the summer, warning it was too divisive for the country and required bipartisan support.

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