NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -On Capitol Hill, Democrats in the U.S. House held another hours-long impeachment hearing against Republican President Donald Trump. It was expected to be the final hearing by the House Judiciary Committee on the matter.
And Dillard University political analyst Robert Collins, Ph.D., believes Democrats will stick with their plans to vote on impeachment sooner rather than later.
"I really think ideally they would like to get this done before the Christmas recess and that way they can say our job is done, they can send it over to the Senate for the trial,” Collins said.
During the hearing by the Judiciary Committee, Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson, a Republican, challenged the panel’s Democratic chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler over testimony given by one of the legal counsels for House Democrats.
“This is not about his conduct, he's talking about the motive and the character of the President of the United States,” Johnson said.
Nadler used his gavel to stop Johnson’s comments.
"The gentleman will suspend. The rules of decorum apply to members of the House not to witnesses,” Nadler said in response.
Congressman Cedric Richmond of New Orleans, the only Democrat in Louisiana’s congressional delegation, asked questions pointing to the allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, in hopes of influencing the 2020 election. Biden, a Democrat, is running for president.
"So, the president was concerned about two investigations and that was the predicate for releasing aid to our allies?” asked Richmond to another legal counsel for Democrats.
“At the time of that email, yes,” answered attorney Daniel Goldman.
Collins, who worked on Capitol Hill for two former Louisiana U.S. senators says Democrats believe they must impeach President Trump on constitutional grounds over his request that a foreign government leader investigate Biden.
Still Collins thinks that Democrats also have political goals in mind.
"The first goal is that they're trying to tarnish the president with the tag of impeachment because they think that will lower his favorability ratings and it will hurt him in the reelection campaign and perhaps they can defeat him on that basis,” Collins said.
If the House votes to impeach Trump as expected then a trial would be held in the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate and Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy would sit as a juror along with the other senators.
"What I’ve followed so far it doesn’t seem like it rises to the level of an impeachable crime. I can tell you what it’s going to do, it’s going to block a lot of good legislation from being considered because it’s going to take all the time and attention,” Cassidy, a Republican, stated.
FOX 8 News talked to Cassidy about the impeachment proceedings from Capitol Hill. Cassidy says he does not blame Trump for not accepting the Democrats’ invitation to take part in the House hearings.
"The Democrats put a whole set of conditions that said you can participate if you again adhere to everything we ask you to do and that’s not really how such proceedings should go forward,” Cassidy says.
Collins thinks national Democrats have another goal in their pursuit of impeachment.
"They are trying to recapture the United States Senate and they believe that forcing those Republicans in swing states to take a tough vote to acquit the president will actually reduce the favorability ratings of those incumbent Republicans and perhaps cause them to lose their seats,” Collins stated.
But will the televised hearings help the Democrats increase public support for impeaching the president?
Collins thinks most of the body politic has made up its mind already.
"Right now, the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over a very small sliver of the electorate, only a few percentage points that are undecided,” said Collins.