WASHINGTON -- The House Judiciary Committee, which is spearheading the Democratic-led impeachment drive, will move swiftly to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump, possibly by the end of this week, the panel's chairman said Sunday.
Trump's congressional supporters separately found themselves on the defensive over the disclosure that the president's personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, traveled last week to Ukraine and met with political figures associated with efforts to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Giuliani is a central character in the impeachment drama, having led what witnesses' portrayed as a shadow foreign policy built around the president's personal political agenda of advancing the discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election, and that the Bidens engaged in corruption.
The Judiciary Committee plans a hearing on Monday to hear evidence gathered by the Intelligence Committee during its investigation.
The results may determine how broad the articles of impeachment against Trump will be -- in particular, whether they will reach back to episodes of possible obstruction of justice outlined in the Russia report submitted last spring by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
Mueller said he could not exonerate Trump of obstruction but indicated he followed Justice Department guidelines saying a sitting president could not be indicted. That was widely read as a suggestion that the only available remedy was impeachment.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the Judiciary Committee chairman, said the scope and nature of the articles of impeachment were still under consideration. Abuse of presidential power in connection with Ukraine policy and obstruction of the current impeachment probe were expected to be the centerpiece.
"The fact is that we're not going to make any decision as to how broad the articles should be, as to what they contain, what the wording is, until after the hearing" on Monday, Nadler said on CNN's "State of the Union."
"We'll bring articles of impeachment, presumably, before the committee at some point later in the week," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Citing what he called "uncontested" evidence that Trump acted improperly to pressure Ukraine, Nadler said the fast pace of the impeachment proceedings was dictated by pressing worries about the integrity of the 2020 campaign.