The House Intelligence Committee concluded in a report released on Tuesday that President Donald Trump engaged in a “months-long effort” to abuse “the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election” and obstructed Congress in its attempts to investigate his behavior as part of the impeachment inquiry.
“President Trump’s scheme subverted U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine and undermined our national security in favor of two politically motivated investigations that would help his presidential reelection campaign. The President demanded that the newly-elected Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, publicly announce investigations into a political rival that he apparently feared the most, former Vice President Joe Biden, and into a discredited theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 presidential election. To compel the Ukrainian President to do his political bidding, President Trump conditioned two official acts on the public announcement of the investigations: a coveted White House visit and critical U.S. military assistance Ukraine needed to fight its Russian adversary.”
The report comes after two months of public and private testimony from ambassadors and other foreign service workers who have knowledge of Trump and his associates’ dealings with Ukraine. Next, this report will become the basis for any articles of impeachment that the House Judiciary Committee drafts. Though the decision to draft articles of impeachment will likely become contested on party lines, if the committee indeed moves forward, the House could be poised to vote on impeachment before the Christmas holiday, according to the New York Times.
“The evidence of the President’s misconduct is overwhelming, and so too is the evidence of his obstruction of Congress. Indeed, it would be hard to imagine a stronger or more complete case of obstruction than that demonstrated by the President since the inquiry began,” House chairman Adam Schiff wrote in the preface to the report. “The damage to our system of checks and balances, and to the balance of power within our three branches of government, will be long-lasting and potentially irrevocable if the President’s ability to stonewall Congress goes unchecked. Any future President will feel empowered to resist an investigation into their own wrongdoing, malfeasance, or corruption, and the result will be a nation at far greater risk of all three.”
The House Intelligence Committee is expected to formally approve the report on Tuesday evening.