House Democrats' impeachment report accuses Trump of abusing power

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at Winfield House in London on Dec. 3 2019

"We have a very hard decision ahead of us to make, " said Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., in releasing the findings. "Now the defense would have to come out of the mouth, I would think, of people who've refused to testify", like Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and Trump himself.

"The Democrats' impeachment inquiry, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, is merely the outgrowth of their obsession with re-litigating the results of the 2016 presidential election", the Republicans said in their report.

The president, at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in London, called the impeachment effort by rival Democrats "unpatriotic", and said he wouldn't be watching Wednesday's hearing.

"This report reflects nothing more than their frustrations".

The report release kicks off what's poised to be a frenzied month in the House, with Democrats on track to potentially vote on impeaching Trump by Christmas. Republicans frequently mentioned it in the hearings as evidence of Ukraine attempting to influence the outcome of the election, as well as other public criticisms Ukranian officials made against Trump.

"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, '" Schiff, Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel of NY and Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney of NY said in a joint statement.

The House intelligence panel voted later Tuesday, in a party-line tally, to send the document to the Judiciary Committee. Hill, who specialized in Russian Federation and European affairs, said the Kremlin was promoting that disinformation campaign to distract from the intelligence community's conclusion that it was Russian Federation that interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of Trump.

As it summons evidence of Trump's misconduct, the report responds to those arguments, pointing out that witnesses requested by Republicans testified in public hearings and expressing the consensus of scholars that no statutory crime is necessary for impeachment (though Democrats have alleged campaign finance and other violations). But that was the way it was, they argued, so they followed orders.

Along with evidence revealed in earlier testimony, the report included previously unreleased cell phone records, including Giuliani's calls raising fresh questions about interactions with the top Republican on the intelligence panel, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, and the White House.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy called on Democrats to end the impeachment "nightmare".

So far, analysts doubt Trump's fellow Republicans would convict and remove him from power, although some politicians have raised the idea of a censure in recent days as a way to rebuke the president's actions without the risk of removal from office. They point out Ukraine received the security assistance and Trump met with Zelenskiy without the country launching an investigation into the Bidens.

In prefacing it, Schiff drew deeply from history, citing George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and other Founding Fathers, to explain grounds for impeachment "as a remedy of last resort".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a critical moment of her leadership as she steers the process ahead after initially resisting the impeachment inquiry, warning it was too divisive for the country and required bipartisan support.

Democrats on Tuesday (Dec 3) accused US President Donald Trump of abusing power to win re-election in 2020, saying in a report that will form the basis of any formal impeachment charges that he solicited foreign interference, undermined national security, and ordered an unprecedented campaign to obstruct Congress.

"I imagine nearly everybody in America believes that impeachment is so divisive but if we were to do it, it has to be compelling, overwhelming, and bipartisan, "McCarthy told reporters during statements made while members of the House Intelligence Committee were voting, along party lines, to advance their report on the impeachment inquiry on to the Judiciary Committee". But they have been under some pressure from the left and from some liberal lawmakers to keep digging before a final impeachment vote.



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