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December 5, 2019

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House issues impeachment report

THE evidence for impeaching US President Donald Trump for misconduct in office and obstruction is “overwhelming,” the report on the House investigation into the US leader said on Tuesday.

The 300-page report, meant as the basis for articles of impeachment, accused Trump of endangering national security and of an unparalleled effort to stifle the probe into claims he pressured Ukraine for dirt on a Democratic election rival.

The report was approved by the intelligence panel on a partisan vote on Tuesday evening.

If the full House eventually votes to approve formal impeachment charges, a trial would be held in the Republican-led US Senate, where a two-thirds majority of those present would be required to convict Trump and remove him from office.

Republican Congressman Mark Meadows, a Trump ally, quickly tweeted his response to the vote, calling the impeachment efforts “baseless and nakedly partisan.”

The House Judiciary Committee led by Democrat Jerry Nadler was scheduled to hear from four legal experts in the panel’s first hearing yesterday as part of the Trump impeachment inquiry.

Nadler has said they “expect to discuss the constitutional framework through which the House may analyze the evidence gathered in the present inquiry” and whether Trump’s alleged actions “warrant the House’s exercising its authority to adopt articles of impeachment.”

The report was the result of a fast-moving investigation based on interviews with 17 current and former Trump administration officials who had offered their narratives of the White House’s handling of its Ukraine policy.

“The 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” next year, the report said.

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

The report, which will form the basis for the House Judiciary Committee to draw up formal charges, or articles of impeachment, in the coming weeks, spells out two key areas of wrongdoing by Trump.

In the first instance, it alleged, Trump conditioned military aid and a face-to-face meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky on Kiev opening several politically motivated investigations, including into former vice president Joe Biden, the Democratic frontrunner in the 2020 election race.

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 evidence of the President’s misconduct is overwhelming, and so too is the evidence of his obstruction of Congress,” said the report.

“No other president has flouted the Constitution and power of Congress to conduct oversight to this extent.”

Trump, who is in London for a NATO summit, repeated accusations that Democrats are using the impeachment process to engage in a politically-motivated attack seeking to undo the results of the 2016 presidential election by removing him from office.

In a statement, White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham dismissed both the report and the investigation led by House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff.

“At the end of a one-sided sham process, Chairman Schiff and the Democrats utterly failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump,” she said. The report “reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger straining to prove something when there is evidence of nothing.”




 

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