Democrats impeachment report: Trump misused office to solicit election help from Ukraine

Chairman Jerrold Nadler D-N.Y. listens during a hearing on Capitol Hill Oct. 22 2019 on election security

Susan Walsh AP

For Republicans offering an early rebuttal ahead of the report's public release, the proceedings are simply a "hoax", with Trump insisting he did nothing wrong and his GOP allies in line behind him.

The factual basis for the drawing up of articles of impeachment will be supplied by the House Intelligence Committee, which began reviewing a draft majority report based on weeks of closed-door and public hearings held on Trump's actions in relation to Ukraine.

Trump suggested that a long-awaited trade deal with China would have to wait until after the next United States presidential election in November 2020 - with no end now in sight to the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing.

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 White House has refused to cooperate with the investigation, accusing Democrats of an unfair process and a partisan attempt to nullify the results of the 2016 presidential election. "In some ways I think I think it's better to wait until after the election with China", he told reporters.

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Rudy Giuliani's interest in Ukraine was far broader and far more potentially important to him than has been previously understood. Kirschner said Trump may be "realizing that all of his bluff and bluster and all of his attacks on the process are not working".

Nunes and his colleagues also underscored during Schiff's open impeachment hearings that aid for Ukraine, although frozen, was never cut off and Zelenskiy never committed to any investigations. He kept saying he didn't think reports he read from were fake news. "The evidence does not establish any impeachable offense". He talked about why the White House is not planning to participate on Wednesday.

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.

"None of the Democrats' witnesses testified to having evidence of bribery, extortion, or any high crime or misdemeanours", it argues, in reference to the constitutional clause that permits the removal of a president.

If, following the hearings, the House of Representatives votes to pass articles of impeachment, the Senate is forced to hold a trial.

Pompeo told "Fox & Friends" that there is a long tradition of supporting a president when he is traveling overseas and shouldn't be distracted by problems at home while discussing worldwide issues with allies.

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Rossow also said that first responders and medical professionals worked to rescue the victims in "extreme weather conditions". The three survivors were transported to Sioux Falls for treatment, Rossow said.

Turley also said this spring that Trump's efforts to interfere with a Justice Department investigation of Russia's involvement in the 2016 election, as outlined in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, did not amount to obstruction of justice.

The Republicans insist that Trump's interest in Hunter Biden's lucrative position on the board of Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm, was justified and 'valid'. McClintock said he doesn't believe Trump did anything wrong in the July 25 call with Zelensky that is at the heart of the investigation. Joe Biden has bragged about forcing Shokin's ouster by withholding $1 billion in loan guarantees from Ukraine. The Republicans concluded that there is no evidence to establish that the president orchestrated a so-called "irregular channel" to implement Ukraine policy.

Nadler called White House's response "unfortunate" in a statement on Monday.

Republicans again cite Trump's transparency in releasing the call summary as evidence against obstruction, and they argue that the stance the White House took in not cooperating with the inquiry was because Democrats were not adhering to "basic legal concepts of due process and the presumption of innocence". He was speaking of the transcripts of his phone conversation with Trump.

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