The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has named the four witnesses who will testify this week at a public hearing in the impeachment probe of President Donald Trump as a new phase starts in the proceedings.
Four legal scholars are scheduled to appear before the House panel on December 4 at 10 a.m. local time in Washington to provide testimony on the "constitutional grounds for presidential impeachment."
The panel will also receive a report from the fact-finding component of the proceedings, which were led by Democrats in the House Intelligence Committee.
That report, which lays out the evidence Democrats say demonstrates Trump abused his office for political gain, will be made available to the public on December 3, the same day the House will vote on it before transmitting it to the Judiciary Committee.
Democrats have been ascertaining whether Trump, a Republican, had prodded or pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter, who was a hired board member of a Ukrainian energy company.
Trump and his lawyers were invited earlier to appear at the next phase of hearings, but declined on December 1, citing a lack of "fundamental fairness."
In an interview published on December 2, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy denied he spoke to Trump "from a position of a quid pro quo" regarding a July 25 phone call the two had during which Trump asked his counterpart for a "favor."
Scheduled to testify this week are: Noah Feldman of Harvard Law School, Pamela Karlan of Stanford Law School, Michael Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina School of Law, and Jonathan Turley of the George Washington University Law School.
The aim is to have the expert witnesses testify "on the application of the constitutional framework of high crimes and misdemeanors to the very serious allegation regarding the conduct of the president," according to a Democratic source, as cited by CNN.