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House Judiciary chairman says panel could move to impeach by end of year

(CNN) House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said Monday that his panel could move to impeach President Donald Trump by the end of the year, laying out an ambitious fall schedule that could lead to a history-making move by House Democrats to try to remove the President from office.

The comments are the latest indication that efforts to impeach Trump are gathering new steam with a majority of House Democrats now publicly supporting an impeachment inquiry, even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has for months resisted such a move, though she has increasingly left open the option of moving ahead.

Nadler said on MSNBC Monday that his panel could vote later this year on articles of impeachment. First, Nader said, they would pursue their fights in court to get information from the Trump administration, hoping to get court decisions by end of October or early November. Then, he promised September hearings with witnesses "who are not dependent on court proceedings."

And he added: "If we decide to report articles of impeachment, we could get it in the late fall, later part of the year."

That calendar, however, does not take into account any appeals that could take place, which could drag out court fights beyond the fall -- and it's unclear how more time-consuming legal battles would impact Nadler's plans.

But the New York Democrat said that 2020 election-year politics would not influence his panel's ultimate decision on moving head.

"Well, the calendar is whatever it is," Nadler said Monday. "We can't let the election calendar dictate."

As they left for their summer recess, Nadler's committee announced a new court filing seeking grand jury information gathered during special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The committee said in the suit that articles of impeachment are "under consideration as part of the Committee's investigation, although no final determination has been made."

While Pelosi has resisted calls to open up an impeachment probe, she green-lit the language in the lawsuit. In the past, she has said that moving forward with impeachment in the House would be fruitless since two-thirds of the GOP-led Senate is highly unlikely to convict him and remove him from office. But after last month's Mueller hearings in the House, she indicated that was not her primary concern, saying instead they needed to focus on the court fights first before deciding whether to move ahead.

In a Friday statement about the state of House investigations into the President, Pelosi spotlighted the impeachment language in the Judiciary lawsuit and added: "We owe it to our children to ensure that no present or future president can dishonor the oath of office without being held accountable. In America, no one is above the law. The President will be held accountable."

Nadler's committee also plans to move forward with a lawsuit this week to seek testimony and records from former White House counsel Don McGahn, and has authorized subpoenas to a dozen other former White House officials and Trump associates, including former White House officials Michael Flynn, John Kelly and Rick Dearborn, along with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner. It's unclear which witnesses Nadler wants to bring forward for September hearings.