US House Judiciary Committee takes further steps toward Trump’s impeachment
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US House Judiciary Committee takes further steps toward Trump’s impeachment

The House Judiciary Committee announced on Tuesday that it was hiring two outspoken lawyers who have urged Trump's indictment and impeachment over “numerous” allegations of corruption, ethics violations and obstructing justice. The key congressional committee, which investigates the US president and his administration, said it was hiring former Obama administration lawyer and ethics watchdog Norm Eisen and high-powered criminal defense attorney Barry Berke as special oversight counsels for the panel. Stressing that the investigation could prove a critical point in the history of the US, Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said the pair will be tasked with helping the Democratic-led committee with oversight of the Justice Department, including the review of US Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, as well as other oversight matters in the committee's jurisdiction. “The president of the United States faces numerous allegations of corruption and obstruction,” Nadler said in a statement. “His conduct and crude statements threaten the basic legal, ethical and constitutional norms that maintain our democratic institutions. Congress has a constitutional duty to be a check and balance against abuses of power when necessary.” Nadler declined to provide further detail about the nature of inquiries into the US president and said Eisen and Berke would consult on matters “related to the Department of Justice, including the department’s review of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.” Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Judiciary Committee official said Democrats would be making public more detailed plans in the coming weeks. The move by the Democratic-controlled House could signal that the committee does not plan to wait for Mueller to complete his legal case against the president. Mueller is investigating allegations that members of Trump's campaign team colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 election in his favor. Mueller has already indicted several Trump associates and more than a dozen Russians accused of meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign. US intelligence agencies claim Russia-linked hackers provided WikiLeaks with damaging information -- in the form of thousands of hacked emails -- about former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to skew the 2016 presidential election in favor of Trump. Trump has repeatedly denied allegations that his campaign colluded with the Russians and has labeled Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has also denied the allegations. The Russia probe has expanded to examine possible attempts by Trump himself to obstruct the course of investigation, which – if proven – could trigger impeachment proceedings against him in Congress. Poll: Majority of Americans trust Mueller over Trump Meanwhile, a Washington Post/Schar School poll released on Tuesday showed that the majority of respondents trusted Mueller's credibility more than President Trump's. The survey found that 56 percent of Americans viewed Mueller as more credible, while 33 percent said they trusted the president's version of the facts more. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said the special counsel was more interested in “finding out the truth” than “hurting Trump politically.” In a previous poll by Hill.TV, 58 percent of voters said they believe the special counsel is heading an "unbiased" investigation into the Trump campaign. The Washington Post/Schar School poll was conducted over the phone from February 6 to 10 and among a random national sample of 841 adults with a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

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