The evidence for impeaching President Donald Trump for misconduct in office and obstruction is “overwhelming,” the final report on the House investigation into the U.S. leader said 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 impeachment inquiry has found that President Trump, personally and acting through agents within and outside of the U.S. 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 U.S. presidential election process, and endangered U.S. national security.”
Schiff: "This kind of conduct by a president of the United States, putting his own personal and political interest above the interests of the American people, is exactly why [the Founders] prescribed a remedy as extraordinary as the remedy of impeachment." https://t.co/SEeU6RwH74 pic.twitter.com/DDWJS4FJG5
— ABC News (@ABC) December 3, 2019
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.”
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.”
It’s unclear when or if the Judiciary Committee will bring forth articles of impeachment based on the report. If it does, the House would then hold a final vote to impeach the president, which would lead to a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Two-thirds of the Senate would have to vote to convict in order for Trump to be removed from office, a prospect analysts believe is unlikely.
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