Congress dome file

The Capitol Dome of the Capitol Building at sunrise, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ORG XMIT: WX101

WASHINGTON  The impeachment saga continues with a hearing Monday where attorneys for House Democrats and Republicans will present Judiciary Committee members with information about the allegations against President Donald Trump.

Two Louisiana congressmen — U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, and U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Benton — are on the powerful Judiciary panel that will ultimately vote on articles of impeachment that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has directed House leaders to begin drafting. 

“The president’s actions are a profound violation of the public trust,” Pelosi said Thursday. “His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution.”

The House Judiciary Committee heard from four legal scholars on Wednesday about the impeachment process and the threshold to impeach a president. Democrats invited three law professors who support impeaching, and Republicans brought in one who said he doesn't think there is enough evidence for impeachment.

House GOP Whip Steve Scalise, of Jefferson, has been a vocal supporter of Trump. He said Thursday that he wasn't swayed by the testimony from the three professors who said the president should be impeached.

"We've known for months — really since Democrats took the majority — that they were intent on impeaching the president," he said. 

Trump is accused of abusing his official power by leveraging foreign aid to Ukraine for political purposes.

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The House Intelligence Committee, in a party-line vote Tuesday, adopted a 300-page report detailing witness testimony and the claims that Trump threatened to withhold aid from the Eastern European country if it didn't investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Joe Biden is a candidate for president in 2020, and Trump is seeking reelection.

Richmond supports impeachment; Johnson opposes.

“The evidence shows that President Trump leveraged taxpayer dollars to get Ukraine to announce sham investigations of President Trump’s political rivals,” said Richmond, who is a co-chair of Biden's campaign. “That taxpayer money was meant to help Ukraine defend itself and, in turn, defend United States interest from Russian aggression.”

Johnson said GOP members believe articles of impeachment will be up for a vote in the committee by the end of the week, then make it to the House floor the following week.

“The predetermined political outcome was made a long time ago,” Johnson said. “They’ve been trying to impeach Donald Trump since the day he’s been in office.”

If the House votes in favor of impeaching Trump, the Senate will hold a trial to determine whether he should be removed from office. It's unlikely that the GOP-controlled upper chamber would agree to do that.

Email Elizabeth Crisp at ecrisp@theadvocate.com and follow on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.