House Intel Committee Releases Sweeping Report Supporting Trump’s Impeachment
WASHINGTON – The House Select Committee on Intelligence released a massive report Tuesday afternoon outlining the evidence of President Donald Trump’s alleged wrongdoing involving Ukraine.
The 300-page report from the Democrats on the committee will serve as the starting point for the debate over whether Trump should be removed from office.
That debate begins Wednesday at 10 a.m. when the House Judiciary Committee convenes in the Longworth House Office Building.
Based on two months of investigation, the report contains evidence and testimony from current and former U.S. officials.
The heart of the matter is summed up in its preface. It states, “the President engaged in this course of conduct for the benefit of his own presidential reelection, to harm the election prospects of a political rival, and to influence our nation’s upcoming presidential election to his advantage.
“In doing so, the President placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States, sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process, and endangered U.S. national security,” the report says.
Republicans on the Intelligence Committee released their 110-page rebuttal before the majority’s report was made public.
They contend, “The Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is not the organic outgrowth of serious misconduct,” but is instead “an orchestrated campaign to upend our political system.”
They go on to insist that Trump never intended to pressure Ukraine when he asked for a “favor” — investigations of Democrats and Joe Biden.
They also contend the military aid the White House was withholding was not being used as leverage, as Democrats claim, noting the money was released in September 2019, without Ukraine taking action on the requested investigations.
The report does not mention the money was released only after Congress made an issue of the hold up of funding it approved, and after, according to published reports, Trump learned that a whistleblower account of his phone call with the Ukrainian leader would soon be made public.
Trump at the opening of a NATO leaders’ meeting in London on Tuesday criticized the impeachment push as “unpatriotic” and “a bad thing for our country.”
He also said he will not watch the judiciary panel’s hearing Wednesday morning, dismissing it as “nonsense.”
“They’re just wasting their time,” he said.
Wednesday’s hearing will open with historians and legal experts providing a context for a possible impeachment of Trump, and assessing the findings against the president.
The Judiciary Committee will then consider potential articles of impeachment ahead of a possible vote by the full House by Christmas. That would presumably send it to the Senate for a trial in January.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the committee’s report “ought to alarm every American.”
“In great detail it presents the unvarnished facts, as gathered from depositions and testimony from career public servants and Trump appointees, about President Trump’s effort to withhold critical military assistance and a White House meeting in order to extract assistance from the government of Ukraine in his 2020 re-election,” Hoyer said. “In doing so, he betrayed the trust of the American people and the duty of his office. He abused the power of his office for ‘a domestic political errand’ at the expense of our national interests.
“The case against the President is clear; so is the responsibility of the House under our Constitution,” Hoyer continued. “Now, this process moves to the Judiciary Committee, and I urge its Members to consider the same question posed to their colleagues on the Intelligence Committee: was this act of bribery acceptable behavior for a President of the United States, and is it ever permissible for a president to solicit foreign help in an election?”
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