Why Wednesday’s impeachment hearing will be different

Posted at 9:27 PM, Dec 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-03 23:28:03-05

(CNN) — The House Intelligence Committee released its report on its findings (read that here) which means the Judiciary Committee now takes control of the impeachment process.Wednesday’s impeachment hearings will be completely different from the ones we saw last month in a few significant ways:

* The format: Wednesday’s hearing won’t have any flashy testimony with new, juicy details emerging. Instead, four constitutional law professors are headed to the halls of Congress, where they’ll talk about impeachment’s constitutional context. They’ll define key phrases like obstruction of justice and high crimes and misdemeanors.

The White House cited the differences in format when it declined to participate in Wednesday’s hearing, saying “an academic discussion cannot retroactively fix and irretrievably broken process.”

* The committee: For starters, they’re held by an entirely different committee (the House Judiciary Committee rather than the House Intelligence Committee), therefore different members.

You’ll see some familiar Republican faces on the Judiciary Committee, including Reps. Jim Jordan and Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe. Both contributed to testy moments during the Intel hearings — and will likely repeat them in this installment of hearings.

Look for bluster from ranking member Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, who wants to call Schiff to testify. “If he chooses not to, then I really question his veracity and what he’s putting in his report,” Collins said on Fox News Sunday. “I question the motives of why he’s doing it.”

There will also be more outspoken members on the left, including committee chair Jerry Nadler. Speaking of …

* The leadership: Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler cuts an entirely different profile than Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff. Nadler has been a vocal supporter of not just beginning the impeachment inquiry, but of actually impeaching President Trump, since before the process began.

The Point: The impeachment hearings are back, but this will be an entirely different show.