The House Judiciary Committee is conducting an impeachment inquiry into President Trump, said the panel’s chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.
Nadler told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Thursday the committee will decide by the end of the year whether or not to refer articles of impeachment to the House floor.
“This is formal impeachment proceedings,” Nadler said. “We are investigating all the evidence, we’re gathering the evidence.”
The New York Democrat said the committee will vote, “hopefully by the end of the year — vote to vote articles of impeachment to the House floor. Or we won’t.”
“That’s a decision that we’ll have to make. But that’s exactly the process we’re in right now,” he told CNN.
Nadler is focused on Robert Mueller’s account of Trump instructing former White House counsel Don McGahn to fire the special counsel, alleging possible obstruction of justice. Mueller listed it as a possible case of obstruction, but he declined to refer charges, leaving the decision to the Justice Department. The Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded there was no justification for prosecution.
The Hill noted that more than half of House Democrats, nevertheless, support launching an impeachment inquiry.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has warned that impeachment would be divisive and ultimately would fail. But Nadler said Pelosi “has been very cooperative” and signed off on recent court filings specifying his committee’s investigation is an impeachment inquiry.
The committee’s ranking member, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., insisted no formal impeachment inquiry is taking place, the Hill reported.
“Chairman Nadler is either uniformed about what a formal impeachment inquiry is or he is deliberately misleading the American public to score cheap political points. Which is it, Chairman?” he tweeted.
Last month, House Judiciary Democrats asked a federal court to turn over confidential grand jury material from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The brief said the panel was investigating whether to recommend articles of impeachment, and Nadler told reporters he was “in effect” conducting an impeachment inquiry.
On Wednesday, the panel filed a lawsuit against McGahn for defying the committee’s subpoena for testimony.