Read: Democrats release impeachment report

Analyst on CNN poll Never seen anything like this before

Instead, Democrats who say they're looking for the president's censure are looking for a way out, said Collins.

The chairman's interest in that thread, which also has involved litigation by the House against Trump and the Justice Department involving evidence from Mueller and other matters, may mean the question isn't settled as to whether Nadler might favor a broad indictment of Trump that takes elements from the Russian Federation investigation - or focuses closely on Schiff's report.

Much of the narrative in the report was well known, but the document does contain new information, notably a batch of phone logs that Democrats say were obtained by subpoenaing third-party phone records.

The 300-page report from the House Intelligence Committee sets the stage for the impeachment of a United States president for just the third time in history.

The committee based the report on weeks of private and public testimony from more than a dozen diplomats and other officials, which led Democrats to the conclusion that there is sufficient evidence to suggest the Trump administration threatened to withhold $250 million in congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigations of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden by the government in Kiev.

After more than two months of investigation, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to examine whether Trump's alleged misdeeds in his dealings with Ukraine qualify as the "high crimes and misdemeanors" punishable by impeachment under the U.S. Constitution.

"The president abused his power to advance his personal, political interests over our own national security interests", as another staffer said.

The White House cited the differences in format when it declined to participate in Wednesday's hearing, saying "an academic discussion can not retroactively fix and irretrievably broken process".

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday that the report "outlines in considerable detail a scheme that began actually well before the recall of Ambassador (Marie) Yovanovitch, and was created to further two political objectives of the President, which is an investigation into Joe Biden and an investigation into this debunked conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine that interfered in the last election, not Russian Federation - notwithstanding all of our intelligence agencies concluding it was Russian Federation, notwithstanding the fact that it's actually Putin's narrative that Ukraine did it, not us".

US, China trade deal expected before tariff increase
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At the hearing, Democrats pushed past the Republican objections to elicit testimony from the three of the four legal experts they invited to explain why Trump's actions constituted impeachment offenses.

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

The panel includes some of Trump's most vocal allies in Congress, such as Reps.

The White House and congressional Republicans have rejected the Democratic allegations.

The Point: The impeachment hearings are back, but this will be an entirely different show. The Judiciary Committee could vote next week and the full House Could vote by Christmas.

PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor obtained the opening statement.

The Judiciary Committee retakes center stage in the impeachment inquiry with looming choices to make about how to proceed: which witnesses to hear from, which hearings to hold, the way Trump and his lawyers can participate, and drafting and possibly voting on articles of impeachment before the end of the year.

House rules provide the president and his attorneys the right to cross-examine witnesses and review evidence before the committee, but little ability to bring forward witnesses of their own.

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