FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., October 28, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday unveiled legislation formally laying out next steps in their impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, which authorizes public committee hearings and the public release of transcripts of closed-door depositions.

The legislation was previewed on Monday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It could be voted upon by the full House, which is controlled by Democrats, as soon as this week.

Even before the measure was unveiled, House Republican leaders said they would oppose it in protest of the closed-door proceedings by House panels over the past few weeks.

Under the legislation, the Intelligence Committee, which would hold public hearings, as well as other panels investigating Trump, would forward their findings to the House Judiciary Committee, which would also conduct hearings.

Trump and his lawyers would be allowed to participate in such Judiciary Committee hearings, according to a Democratic fact sheet describing the legislation. They could cross examine witnesses, present their case and respond to evidence gathered and raise objections to testimony given.

The text of the legislation states that the Judiciary Committee “shall report to the House of Representatives such resolutions, articles of impeachment or other recommendations as it deems proper.”

Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Leslie Adler

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