Democrats accuse Trump of abusing power, obstructing Congress' impeachment probe

Carla Harmon
December 4, 2019

"It will be up to the Congress to determine whether these acts rise to the level of an impeachable offense, whether the president shall be held to account, and whether we as a nation are committed to the rule of law-or, instead, whether a president who uses the power of his office to coerce foreign interference in a USA election is something that Americans must simply 'get over, '" Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel wrote in a joint statement.

Several witnesses also testified about a phone conversation between Sondland and the president that took place a day after the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in which Trump allegedly asked Sondland if Zelenskiy was "gonna do the investigation".

The almost three-month impeachment inquiry "has found that President Trump, personally and acting through agents within and outside of the US government, solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his reelection", the report stated.

The House Intelligence Committee has held public and private hearings investigating the president for the past three months.

The findings are set to be handed over to the House Judiciary Committee, which is taking over the next phase of the impeachment inquiry.

Schiff told MSNBC his committee would continue its investigation even while the judiciary panel did its work.

Secondly, the report said, Trump actively sought to obstruct the congressional probe, refusing to provide documents to investigators, preventing witnesses from appearing, and threatening some of those who did appear.

The Democrats argue that "damage. will be long-lasting and potentially irrevocable if the President's ability to stonewall Congress goes unchecked".

Democrats are hell-bent on impeaching Trump, so Nadler has to rewrite American history and massage the meaning of the Constitution's Impeachment Clause to fit the pile of nonevidence Adam Schiff's Intelligence Committee has produced.

The report puts the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, at the center of an effort to force out the US ambassador to Ukraine and pressure Ukraine's government on Trump's behalf to investigate Biden and his son, as well as a conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election and aided Democrats.

Opinion polls show Americans are bitterly divided over whether to impeach Trump.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy delivers remarks during an impeachment press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The report is expected to support charges of abuse of power, bribery, obstruction of justice and contempt of Congress, based on evidence from more than a dozen witnesses who depicted Trump withholding military aid and a White House summit unless Zelensky opened the investigations.

The report "reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger straining to prove something when there is evidence of nothing".

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 U.S. election.

The report is a summary of weeks of testimonies from top government officials and was approved by the intelligence panel on a partisan vote on Tuesday evening. If the House votes to impeach Trump, then a trial would be held in the Republican-led US Senate. "Democrats seized on the whistle-blower complaint to fulfill their years-old obsession with removing President Trump from office".

He denies any wrongdoing, describing the inquiry as a witch-hunt.

The vote came hours after House Democrats publicly released the report that called evidence of Trump's alleged misconduct and obstruction of Congress "overwhelming".

The committee is scheduled to meet at 6 vote on the reports findings.

The phone records were obtained from AT&T, the report says. "In all cases, we ensure that requests for assistance are valid and that we act in compliance with the law". Nunes declined to comment.

The report also sought to push back at a frequent defense of trump by Republican lawmakers - that the political novice was simply doing what all presidents do.

"The president's misconduct was not an isolated occurrence, nor was it the product of a naïve president", the report said. And that his concerns about role played in a Ukrainian energy company by Hunter Biden, the former vice-president Joe Biden's son, were "valid".

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