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Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) issued the following statement after negotiators announced they reached a final deal on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):

“This is a huge win for America and for Wisconsin. It is a boon for our state’s dairy farmers who will have more access to Canadian markets. After enduring months of needless delay, I am eager to vote for the deal and am grateful to the Trump administration for their tireless work reaching an agreement.”

Washington, D.C.Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) issued the following statement after Speaker Pelosi today annouced articles of impeachment against President Trump:

“Democrats have wanted to impeach President Trump since January 20, 2017 and realized their dream would come true last November. Despite the fact that they could find no bipartisan support—a criterion once set by both Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Nadler—they are pushing forward with this exercise that will further tear the country apart. Just as the Founders feared, divided governments will now almost certainly lead to partisan impeachments. The Democrats’ obsession with ousting the President made today an inevitability, but it is nevertheless a sad day for the Republic.”

By: WSAU

WASHINGTON, DC (Wisconsin Radio Network) -- As Democrats continue to make their case for an impeachment of the President, Republicans say the process is corrupt.

Speaking at the House Judiciary Hearing on Monday, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, along with other Republicans, took exception to California Congressman Devin Nunes being named in a report as having made phone calls to suspected co-conspirators in the investigation. He said, "Folks, you have made Joe McCarthy look like a piker, with what you've done with the electronic surveillance involved."

Sensenbrenner added that releasing phone records of members of congress and their staff members was inappropriate. "It is something that has to be put a stop to now. It is something that has to be fessed up to now, whether it's you Mr. Goldman that authorized the matching and the publication, or whether it was Chairman Schiff."

Democrats laid out their claims that the President willfully broke the law, that others knew about it, and that he continues to attempt to subvert the elections.

Washington, D.C.Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) offered the following statement today after Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his report:

“The Intelligence Community is given powerful tools to protect the security of the American people, including conducting surveillance operations. These tools require vigorous oversight to make sure the rights of Americans are protected. The OIG Report released today highlights multiple missteps, errors, and omissions by the FBI in conducting FISA Surveillance of an American citizen. Congress must fully examine these findings and take corrective actions to prevent similar issues in the future.”

Sensenbrenner Statement on DOJ IG Report

Washington, D.C.Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) offered the following statement today after Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his report:

“The Intelligence Community is given powerful tools to protect the security of the American people, including conducting surveillance operations. These tools require vigorous oversight to make sure the rights of Americans are protected. The OIG Report released today highlights multiple missteps, errors, and omissions by the FBI in conducting FISA Surveillance of an American citizen. Congress must fully examine these findings and take corrective actions to prevent similar issues in the future.”

By: Emma Dumain of McClatchy

The Democrats’ campaign to regain control of the House in 2018 included a pledge to restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. But a vote on Friday signals their legislation is headed nowhere.

Their bill passed along party lines, 228-187, with only one Republican, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, voting “yes.” It was the first time that a rewrite or reauthorization of the original Voting Rights Act of 1965 has had a partisan vote.

The White House issued a veto threat of the Democrats’ Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore a provision requiring certain states to get federal government permission before changing local election laws.

House Republicans rebranded the bill as “The Federal Control of Elections Act.”

And even without strong opposition from the White House, there was little appetite to take up the bill in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Republicans said Democrats were to blame for crafting a bill that could not get GOP or White House support.

“If Democrats want an issue, they can continue down this path. If they want a law, they know my number. My record speaks for itself,” said Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.

Sensenbrenner was the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in 2006, the last time Congress passed a reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, 390-33. The Senate passed the same bill 98-0 and Republican President George W. Bush signed it into law.

Democrats resented the characterization that they had not worked with Republicans in good faith, blaming political polarization for the lack of GOP support.

“If it were just a messaging bill, I will have wasted ten months’ worth of time,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, the chairwoman of a House subcommittee on elections, who held nine hearings around the country on voter access that culminated in a 144-page report to justify an updated Voting Rights Act.

When the original Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, it required certain states with histories of voter discrimination and disenfranchisement to be “precleared” before changing voting laws. A formula was established to determine which states would be subject to this requirement.

In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court determined the formula was out of date for determining which states ought to be penalized and threw it out, challenging Congress to come up with a new one

Sensenbrenner worked with Democrats in the Republican-controlled House to come up with bipartisan compromises in the years following that court ruling, but GOP leaders never allowed a vote. Many congressional Republicans didn’t want to restore the preclearance formula, satisfied their states would no longer be punished for Jim Crow-era offenses.

On Friday, Republicans accused the Voting Rights Advancement Act of doing more than just reinstating the preclearance formula, contending the bill constituted broad federal overreach of states’ rights.

GOP lawmakers also complained the bill prohibited states from implementing voter ID laws and would require states to get permission before putting in place very specific election procedures that have a history of being used for discriminatory practices — even if the procedures weren’t intended to be discriminatory.

Democrats said the need for reforms on top of a new preclearance formula were critical, arguing that many of the 14 states and jurisdictions previously subject to preclearance have taken advantage of their freedom from federal oversight to pass new laws that suppress voter access at the polls.

Fudge said her review also found that voter disenfranchisement was now rampant in states that weren’t originally under the preclearance formula, for instance Ohio and North Dakota.

Though the Voting Rights Advancement Act is unlikely to move in the current Congress, Democrats will still seek to score political points off House passage.

Supporters held a press conference in the Capitol on Friday, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling it a “happy day.”

Seeking to draw on the emotions of the issue, Democrats had Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a civil rights icon, preside over the bill’s final passage.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., also left open a possibility that Democrats could use Fudge’s report as the basis of a formal legal challenge at some future date to force the Supreme Court to reinstate the formula.

But on the floor on Friday, the debate laid bare deep political differences in starkly personal terms.

“Today, a partisan bill comes to the floor to prevent states from running their own state and local elections when we are dealing with this very issue of impeachment and discussing elections at the same time,” said Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, which also held hearings on the state of voting rights in preparation for the drafting of the Voting Rights Advancement Act.

“The Republican Party used to support the unfettered right to vote,” countered House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York. “The party of Lincoln is gone. The party of Reagan is gone. The party of McCain is gone.”

This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," December 4, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Laura Ingraham: All right, I'm Laura Ingraham. This is The Ingraham Angle from Washington, tonight. The Democrats thought that this spectacle was going to help? Well, our legal eagles will be here in moments to break it all down, just how damaging it was for the Democrats today. And, Henry, he has new reporting about potential cracks forming in Pelosi's caucus. Also, tonight, he is only -- I think is one of only two sitting congressmen who was front and center in the last impeachment of a president, James Sensenbrenner, is here to sound the alarm over the current sham proceedings. Plus, Raymond Arroyo reveals how the style of today's witnesses could actually hurt their arguments. And the media attacks Melania's holiday wardrobe. All of that in scene and unseen. But, first, "you know it's over when," that's the focus of tonight's angle.

Okay, as I was just saying to Hannity, if you or anyone you love is thinking of applying to law school, you must be having major second thoughts today. Three professors prattled on about how Trump must be impeached 11 months before an election. Their delivery was alternatively angry, dismissive, and tedious. Despite the wall-to-wall coverage and relentless hype by the Democrats, today's soporific symposium cratered any hope that they're going to coax Americans into supporting impeachment. Here are the top five reasons you know it's over. First, today's legal experts tried to pass of as facts flimsy theories and unsupported inferences. And they used those theories and inferences to conclude that the President should be basically removed from office.

[begin video clip]

Male Speaker: The phone call, itself, of July 25th if extraordinarily clear to my mind, in that we hear the President asking for a favor that's clearly of personal benefit, rather than acting on behalf of the interests of the nation.

Male Speaker: And acting on his -- for his own personal benefit, and not for the benefit of the country.

Pamela Karlan: He invited the Russians who are long-time adversaries into the process the last time around, because he has invited the Ukrainians into the process, and because he suggested he would like the Chinese to come into the process. [end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: [laughs] "Into the process." Well, Stanford law grads should demand refunds for any class taught by Karlan without corroborating evidence. Well, she's presuming malign motives on the part of President Trump, when an equally plausible motive could be that President Trump, as the nation's chief executive, has every right to want to know whether Ukraine meddled in the last election, and it's for that theory that the President somehow was trying to personally benefit from his dealings with Zelensky? Joe Biden wasn't and still isn't Trump's political opponent in the next election. He's one of several. So how can they so definitively claim that this was President Trump's guiding sole motivation? Answer, "They cannot." Second, you know it's over when three out of four legal eagles were Trump-hating partisans. Pam Karlan, she was basically Elizabeth Warren's supporter, gave $1,000 to her last summer, and Trump's rapid response team dug this up when Karlan admitted she was triggered by the mere site of the Trump Hotel building in Washington.

[begin video clip]

Pamela Karlan: I got off the bus from Dallas down at Lan Fan Plaza [spelled phonetically], and I walked up to the hotel. And, as I was walking past what used to be the old post office building and is now the Trump Hotel, the -- which I had to cross the street of course. But –

The Press: Are you staying there?

Pamela Karlan: God, no.

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: Triggered, and she was in the Obama DOJ as well. Michael Gerhart, formed from UNC law school, he once ran media efforts for Al Gore. He also worked for the Bill Clinton presidential transition team in the 1990s. Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law School, has been arguing for impeaching Trump for years. He even once speculated that Trump could be impeached over a Tweet that he said, "Claiming Obama, you know, had wiretapped his campaign." But, beyond their bias, there was a nasty, bitter undercurrent that bubbled to the surface, again, from Professor Karlan.

[begin video clip]

Pamela Karlan: While the President can name his son, "Barron," he can't make him a baron.

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: She later apologized, but still couldn't resist taking a jab in her apology at the president. Now, contrast those partisans with the GOP witness, Professor Jonathan Turley. He’s not a Trump supporter; he voted for Clinton and Obama. But that made his methodical takedown of the impeachment sham all the more convincing.

[begin video clip]

Jonathan Turley: The record does not establish obstruction in this case. If you accept all of their presumptions, it would be obstruction. To impeach a president on this record would expose every future president to the same type of inchoate impeachment. If you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It’s your abuse of power.

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: Third, you know it’s over when even the Democrats’ press fawners are admitting this thing is a hard sell.

[begin video clip]

Female Speaker: The notion of having four academics in the broader goal that Democrats have to pull the public along on the idea of impeachment -- I can’t see it changing.

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: Fourth, you know it’s over when the Democrats are straining to invoke the Founders.

[begin video clip]

Sheila Jackson Lee: The Founding Father George Mason asked, “Shall any man be above justice?” And Alexander Hamilton wrote that high crimes and misdemeanors mean the abuse or violation of some public trust.

Jerry Nadler: Adams wrote to Jefferson –

Hakeem Jefferies: John Adams once wrote to Thomas Jefferson –

David Cicilline: James Madison said that impeachment was needed –

Pamela Karlan: Hamilton got a whole musical, and William Davie is just going to get this committee hearing.

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: Aren’t you just devastated that Obama didn’t put her on the Supreme Court? You’ve heard of the School of Rock, right? Well, she, Feldman, and Gerhardt were starring in Law School of Crock.

[begin video clip]

Doug Collins: I think we just put in the jury pool the Founding Fathers. I don’t think we have any idea what they would think.

Jonathan Turley: If you were going to make a case to George Washington that you could impeach over a conversation he had with another head of state, I expect his hair -- his powdered hair would catch on fire. It’s a form of necromancy that academics do all the time.

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: Nice use of the word “necromancy.” Fifth, you know it’s over when Democrats, after all of their outlandish claims, still won’t say how or even if they’ll vote.

[begin video clip]

Male Speaker: I’m going to reserve any kind of a public judgment --

Male Speaker: I think that it’s important that we reserve judgment.

Male Speaker: No decision has been made as to whether or not we go forward with impeachment –

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: [laughs] Maybe they’re even -- they’re lying. I don’t know. But a better explanation is that they want to give themselves an out, or at least some wiggle room, perhaps. Got to see what those latest polls are looking like. They say, “The Founders,” but what they’re really relying on are focus groups. This thing has gone south, and they all know it. But this has been a great 24 hours for Trump. Now, yesterday he was dominating the agenda over at the NATO summit, pushing for more member nations to pay their fair share. We all love that. Last night, he was mocked by foreign elites in London. Today, he was mocked by academic elites on Capitol Hill. Chalk up another win for the White House. Is there any way, by the way, we can get that lady from Stanford to come back and lecture us some more tomorrow? And that’s the angle.

[sound effect]

All right, joining me now, our legal power panel, Sol Wisenberg, former Whitewater deputy independent counsel; Harmeet Dhillon, former student of Pam Karlan; and Trump 2020 advisory board member and attorney John Eastman, constitutional scholar and senior fellow at the Claremont Institute. Sol, they’re all very palsy walsy up there on that panel. The three Democrat lawyers are all friends -- the law professors are all friends; they were kind of citing each other. “You know, I agree with Pam.” “I agree with Noah.” Did the Democrats help themselves today?

Sol Wisenberg: No, I don’t think so. I thin it was a really bad mistake, first of all, to have three against one, because Turley is very good. He’s been doing this a long time, and he’s --

Laura Ingraham: He’s a liberal. That’s why he’s really good. A liberal is actually standing up for the Constitution.

Sol Wisenberg: An old-fashioned liberal. And he’s very --

Laura Ingraham: Yeah, a real liberal.

Sol Wisenberg: And he’s very quotable. And you know, the fact that there was only one -- they only let the Republicans have one person -- particularly at the beginning when they were being questioned, the scholars, for 45 minutes, the other three were kind of -- even aside from the substance of what they were saying, they were getting broken up. They each had to have a certain amount of time, whereas Turley, who was very articulate, was just allowed to talk on and on and on, and he made a tremendous amount of sense. So, I think he definitely got the better of them.

Laura Ingraham: I mean, Harmeet, being mocked by Trudeau, or kind of chided -- poked by Trudeau and Macron yesterday in London, most of all, that’s great for Trump. They’ve been trashing American presidents since I worked for Reagan, that’s for sure, over in Europe. And then today he’s being mocked by the the academic elites. How does that play in flyover-state America and all these battleground states? How is that going to play?

Harmeet Dhillon: Well, I think the president thrives on it, first of all, and that's sort of his superpower. And I think that you're absolutely right. Middle America -- normal people do not kowtow and just love what these foreign leaders are saying, or disrespecting our president is really going to backfire on them. And I -- you know, I and many Americans love the fact that he's demanding accountability from these foreign -- the wealthy foreign powers who are refusing to pay their fair share, which is [unintelligible] all along.

Laura Ingraham: And that’s what he was doing in the beginning --

Harmeet Dhillon: Exactly right.

Laura Ingraham: In the beginning of that phone call with Zelensky, which gets overlooked, they were talking about the missiles and the Javelin missiles, and he said, “Well, and I’ve got to get those European countries -- they’ve got to be ponying up some more money,” the proximity of Ukraine to Europe obviously much closer than the proximity of the United States. John, one Democrat witness today compared Trump to a king, that tired old analogy, and -- can you imagine -- it wasn't in a complimentary way. Watch.

[begin video clip]

Pamela Karlan: When the president said, “Do us a favor,” he was using the royal “we” there. It wasn't a favor for the United States. He should have said, “Do me a favor,” because only kings say “us” when they mean “me.”

[end video clip]

John Eastman: You know --

Laura Ingraham: John, was Trump acting like a monarch on the July -- by the way, she seems extremely angry all the time, okay?

John Eastman: Probably because, you know, she --

Laura Ingraham: Angry, angry, bitter, bitter, angry, angry, bitter. That’s what she sounds like.

John Eastman: Because if Hillary had won the election she might have been on the Supreme Court. Who knows? But, look, this was almost as bad as her ridiculous comment about Barron Trump. The president's statement was, “Do us a favor because our country has been through a lot lately, and Ukraine knows something about it. We'd like to get to the bottom of that.” That has nothing to do with royal “we” or anything else. Maybe she didn't read the whole transcript; it’s short [laughs]. But what they're coming in there with is such a bias and an animosity and a venom against the president that they can't even think straight. I was invited to be a witness by the Republicans several weeks ago, and it got blocked, and I'm glad that they went with Jonathan Turley because he's been opposite me on -- he's been the Democrat go-to guy for decades on -- I testified with him at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing back in the Bush administration. He was on the opposite side to me. He did a tremendous job just kind of analyzing the legal analysis without the political bias in this thing. Kudos to him.

Laura Ingraham: I want to play something now -- this is also from Karlan, and we're going to skip forward. Excuse me, to my producers, because we’re going to go to something they're not expecting. She was asked about the timing of all this all, Sol, and if indeed it's so important, why the rush? Why are they rushing this forward? Didn’t have fact witnesses today; you had academic witnesses today. And she basically waved off any concern about rushing because of next year's election. Watch.

[begin video clip]

Pamela Karlan: I think the evidence to this point shows that the president is soliciting foreign involvement in our election. You need to act now to prevent foreign interference in the next election like the one we had in the past.

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: It's urgent; must act, because apparently Ukraine and Russia and China are all now helping Trump.

Harmeet Dhillon: Yeah.

Sol Wisenberg: This is a real -- one of the real problems they have, which I thought Turley did a very good job with, is the rush. You know, they don't even know -- they haven't even written the articles of impeachment yet. The Intelligence Committee report that all of these three professors had read was not even prepared until 24 hours before the testimony. That's just unheard of, and I just think it hurts them, and they don't have a good explanation for it.

Laura Ingraham: AP reporting tonight that, though no date has been set, the Democrats are charging toward a Christmastime vote on removing the 45th president. That's going to go over well as people are stuffing stockings; coal for them, by the way. It's a starkly partisan undertaking, a situation Pelosi had hoped to avoid, Harmeet, but now seems inevitable. And by the way, they're throwing in Mueller. They might go back and throw Mueller into the mix as well. They must have watched my impeachment stew angle last night.

Harmeet Dhillon: Well, these are the wages of desperation, Laura. They don't have enough of any one theory, and even put together, they don’t have enough.

Laura Ingraham: It’s a grab bag. This is a grab-bag impeachment.

Harmeet Dhillon: It’s absolutely a grab bag, and the desperation shows. Look, as a trial lawyer, I could say in a real court these people would not be allowed to testify even as expert witnesses. They had no knowledge; we don't know what the facts are. They are unable to get beyond their bias; they are unable to cite the law that supports their positions, and it really shows. And Turley took the right approach, which is stepping back from their myopic vision and pointing out what harm these people are doing to the Constitution and to future Democratic presidents, by the way, because if these are the new rules, this is going to happen to every future president.

Sol Wisenberg: And I think, importantly, Turley says -- and I agree with him, by the way -- this was not a perfect phone call to him; he's disturbed by the phone call, as I am too. But guess what?

Laura Ingraham: I'm not at all disturbed by it.

Harmeet Dhillon: I'm not disturbed by it in this light.

Sol Wisenberg: I know -- I know you're not.

Laura Ingraham: In this light.

Sol Wisenberg: -- you're not. But -- but I am. And people -- the point is, people can disagree about that and still realize that this is not -- that you can't impeach a President of the United States a year before the election based on this event.

Laura Ingraham: [unintelligible]

Harmeet Dhillon: Well, they can vote him out if they don't like it, but there's still 11 --

Laura Ingraham: Yeah, 11 -- 11 months from now.

Harmeet Dhillon: Yeah.

Laura Ingraham: As I mentioned just a few moments ago, John, Nadler laid the groundwork -- you listen closely -- for resurrecting -- and people are going to think I'm -- this is ridiculous, like a fantasy -- the Mueller report from the grave. Watch.

[begin video clip]

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: John, Adam Schiff said this investigation is ongoing, by the way, over in the House Intel. So, this may be [unintelligible] rolling investigation. Maybe they'll get -- you know, keep it rolling until maybe not Christmastime. I'd kick it over to the new year and see how that works out for them.

John Eastman: Maybe we ought to look into Adam Schiff's actually digging out the phone records of ranking member Nunes and reporter John Solomon. I mean, this is an extraordinary violation of Constitutional rights that Adam Schiff has now admitted to. Look, Nadler and also Professor Carlin made this point, and it's a laughingstock point, that Trump invited Russia hacking when he said, "Hillary's destroyed the emails on her private server. Maybe we should ask the Russians for them." The notion that that -- they're making this into the big lie that he somehow invited the Russian hacking, which is just utter nonsense. He was making a laughable joke about Hillary keeping emails on a private server that every foreign government in the world had access to because it was unsecured. I mean, this is -- it's such -- it's -- it would be laughable if it wasn't so deadly serious. And what they're doing undermining this country. The president is over at a NATO meeting, and they're pulling this crap. I mean, this is -- this is stunning to me.

Laura Ingraham: But I think -- I will state again, anytime the president of the United States can be mocked the way he was by academic elites, one who looks he's right out of Nicholas Nickelby from like 1947, other who just seems really angry, and the other one is kind of flat and boring. I think most people watch this going, "Wait, how are the patriots doing?"

Harmeet Dhillon: That's right.

Laura Ingraham: What's going on with -- what's going on with that Saints game.

Harmeet Dhillon: Just the appearance of this, they did themselves no favors politically. Setting aside the content, who wants to hear professors prattle on with their --

Laura Ingraham: I mean, and, Sol, what I love is they're always undermining the framers or the founders, "a bunch of old dead white guys." And then like today, "Well, as George Washington --"

Harmeet Dhillon: It was a seance.

Laura Ingraham: " -- said in his farewell address."

Sol Wisenberg: Well, they're all originalists today.

Laura Ingraham: Yeah.

Harmeet Dhillon: Yeah.

Sol Wisenberg: And so, I thought that was -- that was refreshing. But, look, politics aside, ideology aside, just the utter stupidity of the bringing Baron Trump in is just mind-boggling to me. I --

Laura Ingraham: Let me tell you, that's who she is.

Harmeet Dhillon: Yep, that's how she --

Laura Ingraham: That's who she is. That was a planned and choreographed line.

Harmeet Dhillon: That's right.

Laura Ingraham: That was a setup question. She knew she was going to say it. That was --

Harmeet Dhillon: She got lost, too. There were --

Laura Ingraham: She got applause on that.

Harmeet Dhillon: -- a lot of Democrats who thought it was a good idea.

Laura Ingraham: Absolutely.

Harmeet Dhillon: Of course, she did.

Sol Wisenberg: She rehearsed it at the --

Harmeet Dhillon: Of course, she did.

Sol Wisenberg: -- Stanford Law faculty room.

Laura Ingraham: Yeah, exactly. Counselors --

Harmeet Dhillon: [unintelligible] back home.

Laura Ingraham: Thank you very much. Real legal eagles. Up next, two key moments from today's testimony that could have hurt the Democrats. A member of the Judiciary Committee and a manager during the Clinton impeachment will be here to respond. And cracks are forming in Pelosi's party over impeachment, and Henry says yes. He's here with exclusive reporting next.

[commercial break]

Laura Ingraham: Democrats are preparing to take the plunge. Sources telling Fox that Pelosi asked her caucus, "Are you ready? If you have a problem with impeachment, now is the time to speak up." Well, The Washington Post is reporting her caucus -- this is before the hearing today -- erupted with shouts of, "Yay, approval," when she said this. But are moderate Democrats really onboard? Joining me now with exclusive insight, Fox News chief national correspondent Ed Henry. He's also host of America's News Headquarters with Ed Henry. All right, Ed.

Ed Henry: Laura, good to see you.

Laura Ingraham: What are you -- what are you hearing from your sources tonight?

Ed Henry: Well, I talked to several senior Republicans tonight, and they told me they think this hearing went so poorly for the majority. The GOP leaders are now hopeful they're going to get even more Democrats voting no on actual articles of impeachment beyond the two Democrats who voted no on opening this inquiry last month. The only two Democrats to break with their party and vote no on opening the inquiry, remember, Colin Peterson of Minnesota, Jeff Andrew of New Jersey. Now, Peterson told Minnesota Public Radio at that time, "What I've said all along is that you can't do this with one party. It's not smart, it's not going to work. I think if this is handled incorrectly, it will re-elect Trump. That's what I think."

Well, Republicans tonight, including Jim Jordan, who I spoke to a few moments ago, think even more moderate Democrats from Trump-leaning districts will agree with that sentiment from Peterson and vote against articles because chairman Jerry Nadler today opened the door to drafting at least one article of impeachment based on the Mueller report. That article would be based on obstruction of justice charges that were never proven. Remember, Mueller decided to not even make a recommendation one way or the other. Jonathan Turley today also raised questions about the legitimacy of the impeachment probe by noting how quickly Democrats are rushing through it. He's called it "the shortest investigation producing the thinnest record of wrongdoing ever."

Peter Baker of the New York Times noted today that the House impeached President Bill Clinton 101 days after receiving the Starr report. We are now just 71 days after Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened up the inquiry. So, it’s likely to go faster than the Clinton inquiry. Interesting that even some in the mainstream media are raising questions today about the fairness of this. Major Garrett of CBS News said the image of three of the four witnesses being so strongly anti-Trump and then the Democrats largely skipping over Jonathan Turley, the fourth witness, because he didn’t agree with their narrative, Garrett said it’s something that may stick with independent voters, wondering why Democrats decided to stack the witness table. That if they’re so sure of their narrative, they’re so sure that they have the president on impeachment, they would be willing to test it before dissenting voices. Instead, it seems like Democrats are sticking to their narrative, Laura.

Laura Ingraham: Ed, fascinating. It did look like a bit of a pig pile and it was three against one. And I think people always like the underdog there. But he came across as very credible, I thought. Thanks so much, Ed.

Male Speaker: Good to see you.

Laura Ingraham: All right. There was an important moment involving GOP witness Jonathan Turley that did expose how impeachment norms recognized during past inquiries have been just completely abandoned. Turley made a distinction between this impeachment effort and those involving Nixon and Clinton.

[begin video clip]  Jonathan Turley: Those were not just proven crimes. They were accepted crimes. That is even the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee agreed that Bill Clinton had committed perjury. In the case of Nixon, the crimes were established. No one seriously disagreed with those crimes.  [end video clip]  Laura Ingraham: Joining me now is Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner of the Judiciary Committee. He also served as a House impeachment manager. I remember this well because I was interviewing him then when I was on another network during all that -- all those shenanigans back then. Congressman, now, you’re one of the few sitting members of Congress who can speak to the last two impeachment efforts. What are your thoughts on what we saw today?

Jim Sensenbrenner: It was a farce and a sham. The Democrats keep on re-defining what a high crime and misdemeanor is. Remember, this all started out with the president asking President Zelensky, “Will you do me a favor?” Now, that, now, has become abuse of power, asking somebody to do them a favor. Now, you compare that with the Nixon impeachment and the Clinton impeachment where there are actual crimes that were alleged. And both Kenneth Starr and the independent counsel in the Nixon impeachment outlined what crimes there were. Donald Trump has committed no crime. And they want to impeach him because he asked Zelensky to do him a favor. What a joke.  Laura Ingraham: Pam Karlan, professor at Stanford University Law School, one of the top law schools in the United States, made this comment about abuse of power. Watch.

[begin video clip]  Pam Karlan: Drawing a foreign government into our elections is an especially serious abuse of power because it undermines democracy itself.  [end video clip]

Jim Sensenbrenner: Undoing an election a year before the next election undoes democracy. Sixty-three million people voted for Donald Trump. He was duly elected. And this cabal, which includes Nadler and Schiff, right from the time took his hand off the Bible and started his speech saying, “The impeachment starts now.” And the lawyer for the so-called whistleblower called it a “coup.” Well, democracies don’t have coups. And I think we’re protecting democracy by saying, “Hey, a high crime and misdemeanor has got to mean something rather than this moving target based on focus groups that the Democrats are using.”  Laura Ingraham: But she keeps saying, as you heard in the sound bite, that the president was drawing foreign powers into the U.S. election. At one point, as I played in the angle, she’s referencing the Chinese, the Russians, and the Ukrainians. So, to draw foreign interference into an American election, that’s a classic definition of abuse of power.

Jim Sensenbrenner: Well, I don’t think the president was doing that. With Ukraine, we have a mutual legal assistance treaty. And Joseph Biden -- and he was bragging about the fact that he held up a billion dollars of aid to Ukraine unless they fired the prosecutor within six hours. You know, he was doing something that was more abusive when he was vice president than Donald Trump has ever been alleged to. Now, we have this MLAT with Ukraine, which means that if Ukraine has evidence of any violation of law by a U.S. citizen, they are to cooperate with us and vice versa. Now, it’s not just, again, the prosecutor fired. You know, there are questions about Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations and Frauds Act --

Laura Ingraham: Well, apparently, the Democrats want to throw all that out the window now. That we’re supposed to just write checks to foreign governments of foreign countries regardless of corruption, despite the fact that Fiona Hill is supposed to be the be all and end all of stopping corruption in any foreign country. So, that’s the thing that’s amazing. If you’re running for office in a future presidential election, and you do something that is perhaps not kosher when you were vice president, then you can never be investigated. Apparently, you can never have questions asked about you. It’s full immunity. That’s what’s amazing to me.

Jim Sensenbrenner: Well, it is amazing. And if Joe Biden were not running for vice president, he better lawyer up because he’d be in big trouble.  Laura Ingraham: Noah Feldman from Harvard Law School had clerked for Justice Souter. I clerked for Thomas, my little -- in my view, a better justice. But he was up there saying that the fact that the White House would not turn over a single document, or email, or text message, or appear demonstrates obstruction of Congress, obstruction of justice that is very, very serious. Let’s watch.

[begin video clip]  Noah Feldman: A president who says, as this president did say, “I will not cooperate in any way, shape, or form with your process,” robs a coordinate branch of government; he robs the House of Representatives of its basic constitutional power of impeachment.

[end video clip]

Jim Sensenbrenner: Why should anybody turn over documents to a group of people that have wanted from day one to kick you out of office and to reverse what the voters decided in the 2016 election? You know, there’s lots of occurring prior [spelled phonetically] privilege. There is lots of executive privilege involved in that.

Laura Ingraham: But did you hear that he says it “robs you in the House of your constitutional prerogative?”

Jim Sensenbrenner: Well, the president has constitutional prerogatives, too. But Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff really don’t care about them.  Laura Ingraham: When I watched this today, it reminded me of why law school should have been, like, one year, okay [laughs]? Because --

Jim Sensenbrenner: [laughs]

Laura Ingraham: -- you had to sit there and be lectured by people. What was it like in the room?

Jim Sensenbrenner: Well, what it was like in the room?

Laura Ingraham: Nadler was dozing off at one point. We caught him. We caught him on camera.

Jim Sensenbrenner: Well, this was, like, an eight-and-a-half-hour law school lecture.  Now, I graduated from law school over 50 years ago and was admitted to the Wisconsin bar. I didn’t expect going to Congress would send me back to law school. I went to law school today and the, at least, the three Democrat witnesses, you know, simplified everything on major constitutional issues.  Laura Ingraham: Do you think there's buyer’s remorse from some of the moderate Democrats? You probably speak across party, you know, across a partisan aisle every now and then with them. What’s your sense?

Jim Sensenbrenner: Oh, there sure is buyer’s remorse. Because the 31 Democrats who represent districts that Trump carried in the ’16 election think that because Nancy Pelosi is leading the lemmings off the cliff, you know, they’re going to be ones that are not going to be re-elected. Because I think that the defining issue in the 2020 election is the overreach that Pelosi, and Schiff, and Nadler have done on impeachments. We need to have Adam Schiff appear. You know, he wrote the report that the Democrats are using. Nadler had Robert Mueller appear to present his report. If Mueller can do that, why can’t Schiff?

Laura Ingraham: Congressman, have a good holiday if I don’t see you and --

Jim Sensenbrenner: And Merry Christmas to you.

Laura Ingraham: All right. Merry Christmas. All right, coming up, a revealing analysis of how the witnesses’ style might have impacted their arguments today. And the First Lady under fire yet again for her wardrobe. I kid you not. Raymond Arroyo joins me next with all the details, seen and unseen.

[commercial break]

Laura Ingraham: It’s time for our Seen and Unseen segment, where we expose the big cultural stories of the day; the style of the impeachment witnesses; and it must be Christmas, because the media -- they’re hitting the First Lady again. Joining us with all the details, unsavory as they are, Raymond Arroyo, FOX News contributor. Raymond, you notice the style of today’s impeachment witnesses?

Raymond Arroyo: I did.

Laura Ingraham: Why is that so important with all the Founders being cited?

Raymond Arroyo: Because this impeachment is basically a political exercise, Laura.

Laura Ingraham: It’s a performance.

Raymond Arroyo: It is, and the Democrats are trying to win over the American people, the viewers, and they will never get to your substance if they can’t get past your style. Look at Harvard professor Noah Feldman, who adopted what I like to call the Charles Dickens fop approach.

[begin video clip]

Noah Feldman: My job is to study and to teach the Constitution from its origins until the present. The words “high crimes and misdemeanors” referred to abuse of the office of the presidency. Again, the words “abuse of office” are not mystical or magical. They are very clear. Shall any man be above justice?

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: He desperately needs to reach out to Masterpiece Theater. There -- somewhere there’s a Jane Austen villain just waiting for him to essay the role.

Laura Ingraham: Like Nicholas Nickleby from --

Raymond Arroyo: [laughs]

Laura Ingraham: -- [unintelligible] --

Raymond Arroyo: From the ’40s.

Laura Ingraham: Yeah. It’s --

Raymond Arroyo: But he does favor that actor, Laura. But you can’t be that imperious and win people over sitting home, getting home from work in the afternoon.

Laura Ingraham: I’ve never liked --

Raymond Arroyo: That doesn’t work.

Laura Ingraham: -- a spread collar. What are those called?

Raymond Arroyo: Well, he just had a little --

Laura Ingraham: A little bit.

Raymond Arroyo: -- kind of odd demeanor. Then Stanford professor and liberal legal icon Pamela Karlan got indignant when Doug Collins questioned whether she read the 30-page Schiff report. She tried the “Can you hear me? I’m talking” approach.

Pamela Karlan: I’m insulted by the suggestion that as a law professor I don’t care about those facts. I’ve been giving a lot of money to charity recently because of all the poor people in the United States. I spent all of Thanksgiving vacation sitting there reading these transcripts. I don’t think --

Matt Gaetz: Show of hands?

Pamela Karlan: -- we’re obligated to say anything about how we cast --

Matt Gaetz: No, just show of hands. Pamela Karlan: -- our ballots.

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: You know, pleading yaps never work. That is a man’s idea of an audio nightmare watching that. I thought that today. Nobody likes to be yelled at --

Laura Ingraham: Hectored at.

Raymond Arroyo: -- and she kind of yelled and yapped through the whole proceeding.

Laura Ingraham: She was just very -- she’s unhappy.

Raymond Arroyo: But, Laura, this is not a fact-based inquiry. This is speculative legal reasoning. You’d better have a damn compelling style [unintelligible].

Laura Ingraham: You said 30-page Schiff report.

Raymond Arroyo: I meant 300.

Laura Ingraham: If only it were 30 pages.

Raymond Arroyo: Right?

Laura Ingraham: But, oh, she was -- “How dare you question me?”

Raymond Arroyo: Okay, we’ve got to get to Professor Michael Gerhardt of North Carolina Law. He perfected the tired insurance salesman pitch [snoring].

[begin video clip]

Michael Gerhardt: Our Framers’ generation pledged their lives and fortunes to rebel against a monarch whom they saw as corrupt, tyrannical, and entitled to do no wrong. The House Judiciary Committee in 1974 approved three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon, who resigned a few days later.  [end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: Okay.

Laura Ingraham: What do you have? Oh, we’re back.

Raymond Arroyo: Jack --

Laura Ingraham: Sorry.

Raymond Arroyo: Oh, we’re back. I’m sorry.

Laura Ingraham: Well, it’s nearly Christmas, and the First Lady unveiled the White House Christmas decorations this year, and, well, amazingly, the media is not attacking the decorations as they have in the years past, but they are attacking --

Raymond Arroyo: Her jacket.

Laura Ingraham: [laughs]

Raymond Arroyo: Yeah, the Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan called the jacket ridiculous, writing, “But more than a silly fashion folly, the coat is a distraction. It’s a discomforting affectation taken to a ludicrous extreme. That simple flourish exudes cold, dismissive aloofness.” This --

Laura Ingraham: Oh, she’s such a hater. She’s such a hater, that Robin Givhan.

Raymond Arroyo: We are now politicizing a jacket thrown over the First Lady’s shoulders. What -- this -- by the way, Laura, the political venom that they hurl at this First Lady --

Laura Ingraham: I know. Barron Trump --

Raymond Arroyo: -- it’s unbelievable.

Laura Ingraham: Today, it was Barron Trump by Karlan, and I’m sorry, her apology is not accepted. Barron Trump, and then Melania’s coat. They’ve been hating on Melania the whole time.

Raymond Arroyo: At least they left the decorations alone.

Laura Ingraham: But it’s the same writer -- I think we wrote about it in the Obama Diaries.

Raymond Arroyo: This is --

Laura Ingraham: What did she say?

Raymond Arroyo: -- the same writer, Laura, who praises Michelle Obama. She could show up in a shower curtain; she’d get Karlan’s [unintelligible].

Laura Ingraham: Cargo shorts.

Raymond Arroyo: During her recent book tour, Obama wore this, and Givham wrote, “Michelle Obama can wear whatever she wants now,” that “what she wants now is sparkly thigh-high boots. It wasn’t just an eye-catching ensemble. It was fashion, fashion” –

Multiple Speakers: Fashion.

Raymond Arroyo: Okay, I’m not going to comment on this. I’m not going to -- I’m not a fashion expert --

Laura Ingraham: Neither am I --

Raymond Arroyo: -- I’m not a fashion critic.

Laura Ingraham: -- Lord knows.

Raymond Arroyo: But I’m going to let the audience decide. What looks more fashion to you, and what looks like a silly fashion folly? Go.

Laura Ingraham: Well, I’m not a fashion expert, but I'll let the viewers decide.

Raymond Arroyo: I just -- I resent the idea, and I think Rachel Campos Duffy had it right earlier this week when she said, “Where are the other First Ladies coming out and defending” --

Laura Ingraham: Yeah, where’s Laura Bush?

Raymond Arroyo: -- “this sisterhood” --

Laura Ingraham: Why isn’t Laura Bush speaking out?

Raymond Arroyo: Well, Laura Bush; Mrs. Carter. Any of these women should come forward and say, “You know what? First Ladies are off limits.” This woman spent from July to now decorating the White House.

Laura Ingraham: How many magazine covers has Melania been on? Michelle Obama --

Raymond Arroyo: I think one --

Laura Ingraham: -- was on everything.

Raymond Arroyo: I think one, and it was --

Laura Ingraham: People.

Raymond Arroyo: -- like -- I don’t know what it was. It was some -- you know, “Melania is leaving Trump” was probably on the cover --

Laura Ingraham: No, no, no.

Raymond Arroyo: -- because they love to --

Laura Ingraham: No, no, no.

Raymond Arroyo: -- you know, pitch that narrative.

Laura Ingraham: But that Robin Givhan is such a partisan hater [laughs] on -- she can’t stand Trump.

Raymond Arroyo: You know, but when you spend that time at the White House, there’s a gold -- there’s a tree for the Gold Star families.

Laura Ingraham: It’s beautiful.

Raymond Arroyo: It’s in the spirit of patriotism. Salute the holidays. Have a laugh.

Laura Ingraham: How the liberals have become --

Raymond Arroyo: Leave the First Lady alone.

Laura Ingraham: -- the killjoys of all time.

Raymond Arroyo: It’s --

Laura Ingraham: They are un-fun; they are un-funny. They take themselves so seriously, and all you people who obsess all day long about Trump, G-A-L. Get a life, okay? Raymond, thank you so much.

Raymond Arroyo: You’re welcome.

Laura Ingraham: And up next, the elites versus Trump, both at home and abroad. Dan Bongino and Chris Hahn debate it next.

[commercial break]

[begin video clip]

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: Now, we first played that for you last night. But since then, it's gotten even better. A fantastic 24 hours for this president. First, he infuriated foreign elites for making them late to a cocktail party. That's why they were really mad. And then he was attacked by these unhinged partisan bitter, angry academics who think he should be impeached for a phone call.

[begin video clip]

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: Mm. I wonder whom the American people will side with. Here to debate, Dan Bongino, former secret service agent, Fox News contributor, author of "Exonerated," and Chris Hahn, former aide to Senator Chuck Schumer, host of The Aggressive Progressive podcast. Dan, I think this probably goes down as one of the top three or four best 24-hours for the president in the last six months.

Dan Bongino: Yeah, I mean, seriously, if it was legal, the president should cut a check to these three. I mean, they were like central casting characters out of like a movie about snobs like Bonfire of the Vanities really. I mean, Jerry Nadler -- I didn't think anybody could get more incompetent than Adam Schiff. But Jerry Nadler has rapidly proven me wrong. Let me make another point. Let's get away from the three snobby law school professors who thought it was funny to attack the president's teenage child. But, Laura, just on the other front, do you actually believe Democrats out there, that -- that Justin Trudeau and Macron, their dislike of the president is a negative for a mechanic in Pennsylvania or a coal miner in West Virginia? Good luck with that approach.

Laura Ingraham: All right.

Dan Bongino: You're making the same mistake you made in 2016.

Laura Ingraham: Dan, they hated Reagan. They called him Ronnie Ray Gun. They showed up by the hundreds of thousands in Germany when he made his final trip. I mean, these people couldn't stand Reagan. They can't stand most Republican presidents. Chris, looking at that panel today, okay, three against one. Now, that was -- that was cute. But do you really think -- take your -- take your Democrat hat off. Just visually, getting lectured by three liberal law professors is really what was going to tip the balance for the Democrats today?

Chris Hahn: Well, this is part of the impeachment process. It happens during Nixon's impeachment, it happened during the Clinton impeachment. In fact, two of these professors were on the panel during the Clinton impeachment to talk about the Constitutionality of impeachment.

Laura Ingraham: Yeah, that was after. But that was after Starr.

Chris Hahn: And it went so bad --

Laura Ingraham: Yeah, that was after the Starr report came out, though.

Chris Hahn: Well, it went -- it went -- well, there is no Starr report. This is after the Schiff report.

Laura Ingraham: Right.

Chris Hahn: Right?

Laura Ingraham: That's the whole point.

Chris Hahn: So we're at the same moment in time. So -- so, it went so bad for Doug Collins, the ranking member today that the governor of Georgia appointed a woman whose husband donated to Hillary Clinton to the Senate seat that he wanted and the president wanted. That's how badly --

Laura Ingraham: No one can follow that.

Chris Hahn: -- he looked today at that hearing.

Laura Ingraham: All right. Nobody --

Chris Hahn: It's amazing.

Laura Ingraham: Nobody can follow that. Alright, let me tell you what -- what some of those in the Democrat party are saying about getting back to the -- the look of this spectacle today. Watch.

[begin video clip]

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: Dan, that's what Al Sharpton was saying about the next Democrat debate. There's going to be no person of color. About the debate, he said that. We played that last night on the show. Now Al Green saying this about the hearing today.

Dan Bongino: Well, first let me say Chris' point about Doug Collins was idiotic. I mean, Chris, you're usually smarter. That was the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Chris Hahn: Sure.

Dan Bongino: But secondly, why --

Chris Hahn: Sure.

Dan Bongino: -- warn Democrats --

Chris Hahn: [unintelligible] be there a hearing?

Dan Bongino: Now, far be it for me to give advice to Democrats. But, identity politics -- I've warned them a long time ago, my show and elsewhere, is inherently cannibalistic. It eventually eats itself in this endless search for new victims. And you're seeing it now, Laura. You're seeing the implosion in Hollywood. You're seeing Democrats now attack each other because you didn't have either a black or an Asian or a Hispanic law professor who was as snobby as the white law -- I mean, this is just absurd. It's ridiculous. This has been a total disaster for the Democrats.

Laura Ingraham: This was Major Garrett CBS talking about what the candidates are finding and what they're finding in going out into middle America asking voters what they care about.  [begin video clip] [end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: Get back to work, Chris. Any concerns there that this may be one big, huge backfire?

Chris Hahn: Well, the House has passed 400 bills, including 250 or so that were bipartisan bills, that are sitting on Mitch McConnell's desk. So, if anybody should get back to work, it's Mitch McConnell and the Senate who are just the graveyard to the legislation that the House of Representatives in a bipartisan fashion has passed. So, I agree. The Senate should get to work right now.

Laura Ingraham: Okay. So, you're fine with --

Chris Hahn: Call Mitch McConnell today and get him to work.

Laura Ingraham: -- USMCA. You're fine -- okay, you're fine with USMCA being stalled out, right? You're fine with that. Pelosi used to be for that, but you're fine with that. And by the way, the Senate is back to work. They confirmed four new federal judges today.

Chris Hahn: Yes. That's it. That's all they do.

Laura Ingraham: Yeah. Trump dominates the federal courts.

Chris Hahn: All they do is what the Federalist Society wants them to do.

Laura Ingraham: Yeah. That's -- well, guess what?

Chris Hahn: It's like the Federalist Society of the Senate.

Laura Ingraham: We're better -- we're better at it. Our White House --

Dan Bongino: Chris has all the talking points tonight.

Laura Ingraham: -- counsel is better at it than your White House counsel was, and so that's why they're dominating on the federal courts.

Chris Hahn: Look --

Laura Ingraham: Gentlemen, thank you so much.

Chris Hahn: -- I am -- I am not going -- I'm not going to argue with that.

Laura Ingraham: Okay, good. Okay. Chalk one up to Cipollone. Alright, don't go away. I'll be answering your emails in tonight's Ingraham Inbox when we return.

[commercial break]

Laura Ingraham: Don’t you love that graphic? So catchy, “Ingraham’s Inbox.” Well, the first email tonight is from Jody. “My fear is that the Horowitz Report is going to a Comey/Clinton repeat, mistakes were made but no laws were broken. More deep state mumbo jumbo and no one held accountable. We’re really getting tired of this routine. Am I wrong, Laura?” I don’t know if you’re wrong. It probably won’t be everything you hoped for, but I bet there will be some choice nuggets within. Remember, he can’t prosecute, he can only kind of lay it at the feet of Durham. This from John and Andy. “Laura, politics did eventually find their way into our Thanksgiving dinner table and our conversations, as a result, I have fewer names to buy for on my Christmas list.” See? It works out for you. And finally, Ken writing, “Stop using the word, ‘great.’ Every Sean Hannity show is not ‘great,’ every guest is not ‘great,’ every panel is not ‘great.’ I implore you to stop.” That is a great idea. That’s all the time we have tonight. Send your thoughts to Ingraham Angle at foxnews.com. And Shannon Bream with the Fox News at Night team, take it from here and we’ll have a terrific show. Shannon?

Shannon Bream: [laughs] Listen, I heard what you said at the top of the show. Every time someone asks me about going to law school, I say, “Don’t do it.” Is that bad?

Laura Ingraham: [laughs]  Shannon Bream: I’m just trying to save them.  Laura Ingraham: Think long and hard about it.  Shannon Bream: Yeah.  Laura Ingraham: That’s what I will tell them.

By: Jeff Mordock of the Washington Times

The ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee Thursday called for Chairman Jerrold L. Nadler to hold a “minority day of hearings,” which would allow Republicans to call their own witnesses to testify before the panel.

Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia sent a letter to Mr. Nadler, New York Democrat, saying congressional rules require a hearing with witnesses held by the minority party ahead of drafting articles of impeachment.

“The requested minority hearing day must take place before articles of impeachment are considered by the committee,” Mr. Collins wrote citing a House rule he described as “clear and unequivocal.”

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee held its first impeachment hearing. During the hearing Mr. Collins and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin Republican, both urged the panel to schedule a minority day of hearings.

“Where is fairness? It was promised. It is not being delivered,” Mr. Collins said.

Mr. Nadler, New York Democrat, tabled the request for a later day. He concluded the hearing Wednesday saying he “looked forward” to discussing the Republican’s request.

Mr. Collins interrupted and told the chairman “there is nothing for you to review.” Mr. Nadler ignored the comment and started his closing remarks.

By: Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

WASHINGTON - It should come as no surprise that the first Republican voice to be heard at Wednesday’s House Judiciary hearing on impeachment was that of Wisconsin’s 41-year veteran of Congress, Jim Sensenbrenner.

Moments after the Judiciary chair, Democrat Jerry Nadler, began the lengthy hearing, Sensenbrenner interjected to demand a separate ‘“minority day” of hearings for witnesses called by Republicans.

Nadler said the request would be considered.  

Sensenbrenner was the first of many Republicans to register their objections to the impeachment process over the course of the hearing, which featured four constitutional scholars debating the meaning of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and whether President Donald Trump has committed impeachable acts.  

“I’m a veteran of impeachments. I’ve been named by the House as an impeachment manager in four impeachments: Clinton and three judges. That’s more than anybody else in history,” the Wisconsin Republican said when his regular five-minute turn to speak at the hearing arrived.   

Sensenbrenner, a past chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the longest-serving Republican in the House, has been a vocal critic of how Democrats have pursued the impeachment of Trump. He co-wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal last month complaining that the current inquiry “is so fundamentally unfair that justice cannot be served.”

Sensenbrenner was one of the House impeachment managers named by Republicans in the impeachment case against Democrat Bill Clinton in 1998 and 1999.  

When his turn came up at Wednesday’s hearing, he assailed Democrats for tying “the country up for three months and going on four now, wrapping everybody in this town around the axle rod. … I think the American public are getting a little bit sick and tired of impeachment, impeachment, impeachment when they know less than year from now they will be able to determine whether Donald Trump stays in office or whether somebody else will get elected.”

Sensenbrenner suggested Trump’s July phone call with the Ukraine president, in which he asked for an investigation of Democrat Joe Biden, constituted less of a “quid pro quo” than when Biden as vice president held up Ukraine aid until that country’s top prosecutor was fired.

Sensenbrenner quoted Biden taking credit in a speech for threating to freeze the aid unless the prosecutor was fired within six hours and then bragging, “Well, (bleep), he got fired.”

Republicans who were in charge of Congress at the time Biden made that comment didn’t launch an impeachment inquiry into Biden, Sensenbrenner said, contrasting that with the Democrats’ inquiry into Trump over the Ukraine phone call.

But Biden’s public comments about the firing of the Ukraine prosecutor were actually made at a talk in early 2018, when he was no longer vice president.

And while Republicans have accused Biden of wanting to fire the Ukraine prosecutor to thwart a corruption investigation into a company tied to his son Hunter, there is little evidence for that. The firing of the prosecutor was widely supported in the international community and stemmed from concerns the prosecutor was too lax on corruption, not too aggressive, according to U.S. and Ukrainian officials.

By: Susan Ferrechio of the Washington Examiner

There are only a dozen days left in the 2019 House legislative calendar, and House Democrats are weighing whether to squeeze in an impeachment vote before they leave town for the year.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders who met privately with Democrats Wednesday did not discuss a date for considering articles of impeachment against President Trump, who they accuse of abusing his office and obstructing Congress.

“There were no dates discussed,” Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland told reporters Wednesday. “The speaker has said, I've said, others have said, we want to do this as expeditiously as possible.”

Behind the scenes, Democrats are weighing a Judiciary Committee vote next week on a handful of impeachment articles pertaining to their allegations that Trump tried to bribe Ukrainian government officials into investigating Joe Biden and the Democrats.

The articles would also charge Trump with obstructing Congress for refusing Democratic demands for witnesses and documents.

In the closed-door briefing Wednesday, Pelosi cautioned Democrats to “give room for their colleagues to reach their own conclusions as the inquiry proceeds,” a top aide said.

The caucus, however, did not reach any group conclusion on whether to move forward with impeachment, but rather, “members overwhelmingly indicated that they want to continue to advance the inquiry on its current deliberative path, one step at a time.”

Next week, the Intelligence Committee lawyers from both parties will testify before the Judiciary Committee about the 300-page impeachment report Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff released Tuesday. Democrats could take up the articles next week, leaving open the possibility of a floor vote before Dec. 20.

Democrats deny they are aiming for a vote this month.

“We are not focused on any timeline, other than to get this right, keep it fair, and make sure our election is secure,” Rep. Eric Swalwell of California said Wednesday.

Swalwell and other lawmakers participated in a public Judiciary Committee hearing on impeachment featuring constitutional scholars.

Democrats said they are still not ready to endorse or reject impeachment, which Schiff has already declared will be a group decision.

“We need to finish this hearing, see all of that evidence from the report,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday. “I’d like to see if the president is going to come and testify. There is a few more things we need to get on the table before we can make that decision.”

The Judiciary Committee consideration of impeachment articles could take days.

The Judiciary Committee took three days to mark up articles impeaching President Bill Clinton in 1998 and six days to mark up articles impeaching President Richard Nixon in 1974.

Democrats, meanwhile, plan an ambitious legislative agenda over the next few weeks that includes a voting rights bill, a prescription drug measure, and critical spending legislation that must pass before a Dec. 20 deadline. Each of those measures will take considerable floor time.

The schedule has left some GOP lawmakers skeptical Democrats can get it all done and impeach the president by the Dec. 20 target adjournment date.

“They could do it, but I don’t think they are going to,” Rep. Mark Meadows told the Washington Examiner when asked about a pre-Christmas impeachment vote.

House Democrats are facing stagnant impeachment poll numbers that may motivate them to move off the matter as quickly as possible.

Rep. Donna Shalala of Florida, who flipped a GOP district in 2018, told the Washington Examiner Wednesday not one constituent raised impeachment during a Thanksgiving week town hall. Instead, they wanted to talk about healthcare, infrastructure, and gun safety.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, who helped run the Clinton impeachment process, accused Democrats of dragging out the Trump investigation for months and consuming the House agenda.

The investigation technically began in the Judiciary Committee in July, when Nadler declared he was holding impeachment proceedings, although Pelosi did not endorse them until the end of September.

“The American public is getting sick and tired of impeachment, impeachment, impeachment, when they know a year from now they will be able to determine whether Donald Trump should remain in office or someone else should be elected,” Sensenbrenner said.

By: Benjamin Siegel of ABC News

Some of President Donald Trump’s fiercest critics and defenders on Capitol Hill return to the spotlight Wednesday as the House Judiciary Committee holds its first hearing in the Ukraine impeachment inquiry.

On Wednesday morning, the panel will hear testimony from constitutional scholars just hours after the House Intelligence Committee released its report Tuesday evening into whether Trump improperly ordered military aid to Ukraine withheld to pressure the country to launch investigations against a potential 2020 political rival.

Led by Democrat Jerry Nadler of New York, the committee is also responsible for drafting and approving any articles of impeachment against Trump, which some Democrats have suggested could include charges focused on bribery, obstruction of justice and obstruction of Congress.

The House Judiciary Committee is much more contentious

Unlike the House Intelligence Committee, a historically buttoned-up panel that has traditionally conducted its oversight of the intelligence community quietly and in a bipartisan fashion, the 41-member Judiciary Committee is one of the oldest and largest in the House, and tends to attract sharp-elbowed lawyers, former prosecutors and passionate advocates because of its sprawling jurisdiction over the justice system, immigration, federal and criminal law.

A mix of party leaders, junior lawmakers, and partisans from both sides of the aisle, the Judiciary Committee also includes some of the most prominent defenders and critics of the president on Capitol Hill.

Members to watch

Trump confidants such as Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who led a Republican protest in the closed-door SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) and disrupted the Intelligence Committee’s work in October, and Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, who has accused Democrats of waging a “coup” against the president, are both members of the committee, and will take part in questioning of any witnesses moving forward.

For the majority, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a constitutional law professor-turned-Trump critic who has helped craft the party’s messaging on impeachment, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., the chair of the Democratic caucus and potential successor to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are among the Democrats to watch.

The Judiciary Committee also includes veterans of past impeachment efforts, including GOP Reps. Steve Chabot of Ohio and Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, who were House mangers in the Senate trial in President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., who was a committee staffer during Watergate.

Four members of the committee will be familiar faces to viewers of the Intelligence Committee’s hearings: Democratic Reps. Eric Swalwell of California and Val Demmings of Florida, along with Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and John Ratcliffe of Texas who serve on both panels.

Democrats plan keep the hearing focused on the details of the Ukraine impeachment investigation, and whether they meet the constitutional threshold of bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors.

Nadler under pressure to keep hearing under control

After Schiff led two weeks of tightly-controlled hearings, many hope Nadler will be able to keep the hearing on track, and prevent the session from resembling the combative hearing with Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager, earlier this year, before the Ukraine matter exploded into public view.

Republicans, for their part, have accused Democrats of running an investigation that has denied Trump due process and the ability to question fact witnesses to events at the center of the impeachment inquiry. Using parliamentary inquiries and points of order, they could seek to fluster Democrats and air their concerns about the proceedings.

The White House has rejected Democrats’ offer to participate in Wednesday’s hearing, but has not ruled out taking part in subsequent hearings.

“We're back, by the way, in rerun season here in the Judiciary Committee. We've already had constitutional scholars in the committee talking about from the Mueller report and others,” Rep. Doug Collins, R-Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday” this past weekend, referring to the committee’s earlier hearings on the investigation by former special counsel Robert Mueller.

“This is a complete American waste of time,” Collins said, foreshadowing the kind of attacks he and other republicans can be expected to stage when the hearing gets underway.

Schiff, meanwhile, says his committee will not let up.

“Even while Judiciary does its work, we will continue investigating.” he said on MSNBC Monday night.

He did not tip his hand on the timing of any impeachment vote, but said Democrats believe the matter has some “urgency.”

“This is a threat to the integrity of the upcoming election, and we don’t feel that it should wait.”

He also said he believes the evidence of obstruction of Congress is “overwhelming.”

What are the witnesses expected to say?

The Judiciary Committee will hear from three constitutional experts called by Democrats and one by Republicans.

The GOP’s witness, George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley, recently wrote in The Hill:

“House Democrats have done a masterful job of holding hearings with testimony from distinguished diplomatic and national security witnesses on the alleged quid pro quo that President Trump sought from Ukraine. The problem is that the record is incomplete and conflicted on critical points. The question is whether Democrats want a real or a recreational impeachment. A real impeachment case can be made, but to make it, they will have to reschedule, reframe, and repeat their House investigation. As compelling and upsetting as much of the testimony has been, the record still lacks direct evidence of a quid pro quo on American military aid to Ukraine," Turley wrote.

Testifying for the Democrats, Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law School, recently wrote in The New York Times: “To be sure, Donald Trump had already created a crisis in the presidency by abusing the power of his office to pressure foreign governments to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. But that act on its own didn’t count as a constitutional crisis, because the Constitution prescribes an answer to presidential abuse of office: impeachment.

“Now that President Trump has announced — via a letter signed by Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel — that he will not cooperate in any way with the impeachment inquiry begun in the House of Representatives, we no longer have just a crisis of the presidency. We also have a breakdown in the fundamental structure of government under the Constitution. That counts as a constitutional crisis,” Feldman said,

Another Democratic witness, Michael Gerhardt a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law, wrote in The Atlantic:

“If you add up the nonsense that the president’s defenders have proliferated and his protestation that the Constitution allows him to do whatever he wants, their proposed result is disturbing: an executive who can shut down an impeachment inquiry and protect from disclosure anything done by anyone in the executive branch, and who is immune to criminal investigation and allowed to defy subpoenas.

“This is not the president our Constitution established. He would be a king, in spite of the fact that the Founders’ generation rebelled against one. They set out to create a presidency that was accountable to Congress if the occupant abused power and breached the public’s trust. Donald Trump’s efforts to delegitimize the impeachment inquiry destroy their vision,” Gerhardt wrote.

The third Democratic witness is Pamela Khan, a professor at Stanford Law School.