Detailing a long list of complaints which allegedly deny the president "any semblance of a fair process", lawyers for President Donald Trump said Sunday that they would not participate in the House Judiciary Committee's first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday.
Republicans have written a 123-page report rejecting the Democratic allegations that President Donald Trump abused his office in his dealings with Ukraine, ahead of the release of a Democratic committee report expected to lay out the charges that would form the basis of potential articles of impeachment against the President.
Trump himself was scheduled to attend a summit with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies outside London on Wednesday.
The new set of hearings in the Judiciary Committee follows weeks of House Intelligence Committee hearings led by its chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), that ended before the Thanksgiving recess period.
The Judiciary Committee's first hearing on "Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment" is expected to kick off a frantic month of activity in the House.
The administration's response suggests that it will remain on the offensive against the impeachment inquiry, which the president and his Republican allies have called "deranged" and a "witch hunt".
The Republican National Committee will also not credential Bloomberg reporters to cover committee meetings, Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said.
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Road travelers were urged to be careful, as driving conditions become unsafe amid the mix of snow, rain, ice and poor visibility. A winter storm warning for hard travel conditions in the mountains expired, but officials still urged drivers to use caution.
"The reading is supported by President Trump's subsequent reference to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who had testified the day before about his findings, and to Attorney General William Barr, who had initiated an official inquiry into the origins of the US government's 2016 Russian Federation investigation".
Congressional investigators have been looking into whether Mr Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to launch investigations of former Democratic vice-president Joe Biden, who is running to unseat him in the 2020 presidential election, and a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russian Federation, interfered in the 2016 USA presidential election.
Megan Murphy, Bloomberg's former Washington bureau chief, wrote on Twitter on Monday, "To think this all could have been avoided had someone just stood up and said, you're running for President of the United States now".
Members of the commission were given the opportunity to read it before a vote on Tuesday to send it to the Judicial Commission for Wednesday's historic hearing.
"Adam Schiff is the author of this report, he's the author of many things", Mr. Collins, Georgia Republican and top Republican on the judiciary committee, told "Fox News Sunday". The rules of the House give the Speaker and his counsel the right to cross-examine witnesses and examine the evidence before the committee, but their limited ability to call their own witnesses.
"It's a disgrace what they're doing to our country", he said.
Trump is alleged to have withheld military aid for Ukraine - desperately sought by Kiev amid the ongoing border conflict against pro-Russian separatists - as well as a desired high-profile summit with President Volodymyr Zelensky.
As the impeachment trial looms, we talk with Republicans about the risk and rewards of standing with Trump. "I remind the president that Article 3 of the impeachment articles drafted aginst President Nixon was his refusal to obey the subpoenas of Congress". "They're writing the articles of impeachment, whether they have fairness or process for all", he said.