Democrats Planning 'Slow Bleed' Hearing Strategy to Sabotage Trump's Presidency
House Democratic leaders aim to put Trump on trial with lengthy public hearings
House Democratic leaders are planning to put President Donald Trump on trial using a "slow bleed" hearing strategy in a bid to sabotage the rest of his presidency, according to reports.
On Monday, Democrats announced sweeping investigations into President Trump by the House Judiciary Committee to discern if his Administration and associates engaged in corruption or any other abuse of power.
The committee, led by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), revealed it had sent out 81 requests for documents to start building its record for the investigation into "alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Trump."
“We have seen the damage done to our democratic institutions in the two years that the Congress refused to conduct responsible oversight,” Nadler said in a statement Monday.
“Congress must provide a check on abuses of power. Equally, we must protect and respect the work of Special Counsel, but we cannot rely on others to do the investigative work for us.”
According to Axios’ Mike Allen, leaders are planning to roll out a “slow-bleed strategy with lengthy public hearings and scores of witnesses to methodically pick apart Trump's finances and presidency.”
The plan would ensure that President Trump would “essentially be on public trial for months to come” and would be coordinated on by as many as eight House committees, Axios reported.
According to Fox News, a House leadership source told Axios the push is designed to avoid giving Trump a boost in 2020 by going the impeachment route.
“Many in leadership believe impeachment could help Trump get re-elected,” the leadership source said.
“The last thing they want to do is help Trump.”
The report comes as Democratic leaders -- including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- have repeatedly appeared uncomfortable with directly calling for impeachment proceedings, despite some rank-and-file members pushing for it.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said on Sunday he thinks a 2016 offer for dirt on Hillary Clinton by a Russian lawyer to members of the Trump campaign and the subsequent meeting is “direct evidence” of collusion on the part of the president’s team.
“They offer that dirt. There is an acceptance of that offer in writing from the president’s son, Don Jr., and there is overt acts and furtherance of that… That to me is direct evidence,” he told CBS’ “Face The Nation.”
After more than two years of Presidential Harassment, the only things that have been proven is that Democrats and other broke the law. The hostile Cohen testimony, given by a liar to reduce his prison time, proved no Collusion! His just written book manuscript showed what he.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2019
...said was a total lie, but Fake Media won’t show it. I am an innocent man being persecuted by some very bad, conflicted & corrupt people in a Witch Hunt that is illegal & should never have been allowed to start - And only because I won the Election! Despite this, great success!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2019
However, The California lawmaker, who has been one of Trump’s fiercest critics, stopped short of calling for impeachment.
"That is something that we will have to await Bob Mueller's report and the underlying evidence to determine," Schiff said.
"We will also have to look at the whole body of improper and criminal actions by the president including those campaign finance crimes to determine whether they rise to the level of removal from office."
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, who would oversee any impeachment proceedings against Trump, also did not directly mention impeachment when announcing he will submit more than 60 document requests to the White House and Justice.
“We will be issuing document requests to over 60 different people and individuals from the White House to the Department of Justice, Donald Trump, Jr., [Trump Organization CFO] Allen Weisselberg, to begin the investigations to present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power,” the New York Democrat said on ABC News' "This Week."
In response, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said on "This Week" that Nadler had "decided to impeach the president the day the president won the election."
"Listen to exactly what he said. He talks about impeachment before he even became chairman and then he says, 'you've got to persuade people to get there,'" McCarthy said.
"There's nothing that the president did wrong."
The issue of impeachment has been a hot topic for Democrats since taking control of the House, with some seizing on a January report by BuzzFeed claiming Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie about the timing of discussions over a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow to publicly float the possibility.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office, though, sharply disputed the report.
Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, had called for Trump to leave office or face impeachment if the report was accurate.
“If the @BuzzFeed story is true, President Trump must resign or be impeached.”
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., said the House should begin to “establish a record” of whether Trump “committed high crimes,” repeatedly hinting on Twitter at impeachment proceedings.
House Democrats, like Reps. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., and Al Green, D-Texas, on the first day of the new Congress, introduced articles of impeachment against the president.