Tuesday, 14 July, 2020

US House set to release Trump impeachment probe report

US House set to release Trump impeachment probe report US House set to release Trump impeachment probe report
Adrian Cunningham | 04 December, 2019, 13:51

Evidence of misconduct was overwhelming "and so too is the evidence of his obstruction of Congress", it adds.

"The president placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States, sought to undermine the integrity of the USA presidential election process, and endangered US national security".

"You can have things that meet the legal standard of high crimes and misdemeanors but won't be introduced as article of impeachment because of the politics", the aide said.

Lawmakers are formally accusing U.S. President Donald Trump of misconduct and obstruction, based on a months-long effort by him "to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election".

Trump again stated on December 3 that the impeachment inquiry is "a hoax" and Zelensky again refuted claims made about his interactions with Trump, telling reporters over the weekend: "I never talked to the president from the position of a quid pro quo".

The report by the House Intelligence Committee on the Democrats' investigation concluded that Trump abused his power, compromised national security and then tried to cover it up - findings that make a formal House impeachment vote all but certain.

The White House dismissed the report.

Before the draft report was made public, House Republicans released their own 123-page report that condemned the "unelected bureaucrats" who testified, saying they "fundamentally disagreed with President Trump's style, world view and decisions". And many members of the House Democratic Caucus have been operating on an assumption the California Democrat could deny efforts to incorporate the Mueller report into impeachment articles.

The House Intelligence Committee and the public have heard testimony from current and former officials that military aid was withheld from Ukraine and that a White House meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was conditioned on Kyiv probing Biden and his son Hunter as well as a debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine interference in the 2016 United States election. The new Ukrainian leader was seeking both as a show of legitimacy and support as his country battles Russian aggression. "These investigations were created to benefit his 2020 presidential reelection campaign". He calls Trump's call with Ukraine "anything but 'perfect", as the president claims.

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The House intelligence committee will vote later Tuesday to advance its findings, based on the closed-door and public hearings it held over the past weeks, to to the House judiciary committee to determine the article of impeachment.

Democrats could begin drafting articles of impeachment against the president in a matter of days, with a Judiciary Committee vote next week.

The committee is likely to hold additional hearings, though none have been scheduled yet.

Republican members of Congress say the Democrats uncovered no smoking guns that would merit Trump's impeachment.

And the committee also found Giuliani in contact on August 8 with numbers associated with the White House, and European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland also in contact with White House and OMB phone numbers on August 9 as negotiations with Ukrainian officials about announcing investigations were ongoing.

"Our investigation determined that this telephone call was neither the start nor the end of President Trump's efforts to bend US foreign policy for his personal gain", it said.

In London, Mr Trump slammed Mr Schiff by name, calling him "a maniac", "a very sick man" and "a deranged human being".

The report from the Democrats also implicates Trump subordinates in helping to further his Ukraine "scheme", including acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, former Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. It also suggests that other senior administration officials may have been involved. "A case for impeachment could be made, but it cannot be made on this record", he says. The complaint also detailed efforts by White House lawyers to "lock down" records of the call in a secure electronic system not typically used for such material.

Fiona Hill, former National Security Council Russia expert, arrives to testify during the House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on November 21, 2019. The 12 career diplomats, civil servants and political appointees who testified also detailed the back-channel diplomacy led Giuliani, which undermined long-held USA foreign policy objectives, the report states.