US Chamber Report: Trump abused power, obstructed Congress

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump He misused the power of his office to obtain a personal political benefit by seeking foreign intervention in the US electoral process and obstructed Congress by hampering efforts to investigate, a House report published on Tuesday concluded in findings that form the basis for A possible political trial.

The 300-page report by Democrats in the House Intelligence Committee does not rule whether Trump's actions stemming from a July 25 phone call with Ukraine reach the level of high crimes and misdemeanors that justify the accusation. That will be decided by Congress. But it details the president's significant misconduct that the House Judiciary Committee will begin assessing on Wednesday.

The evidence we have found is really overwhelming that the president used the power of his office to secure political favors and abuse the confidence that Americans placed in him and jeopardize our security, said the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff , California Democrat. He told The Associated Press.

It was a difficult decision to follow this path, because it is very important for the country, he said. But the president was the author of his own political trial investigation by repeatedly seeking foreign aid in his election campaigns.

Schiff added: Americans must understand that this president is putting his personal political interests above his own. And that is putting the country in danger.

In a statement, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said: President Schiff and the Democrats failed to present any evidence of irregularities by President Trump. She said the report reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger trying to prove something when there is no evidence of anything.

The president, at a NATO meeting in London, described the political trial effort of the rival Democrats as antipatriotic and said he would not see Wednesday’s hearing.

The Trump-Ukraine Accusation Investigation Report provides a detailed and surprising description of a hidden diplomacy led by Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani , resulting in layers of accusations that can be distilled into specific acts, such as bribery or obstruction, and the most amorphous accusation that Trump abused his power by putting his interests above the nation.

Based on two months of investigation caused by a complaint by the complainant of the government still anonymous, the report is largely based on the testimony of current and former United States officials who challenged the White House's orders not to appear.

The investigation found that Trump requested interference from a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his re-election, Schiff wrote in the preface to the report. In doing so, the president tried to undermine the integrity of the US presidential electoral process and jeopardized the national security of the United States, the report said. When Congress began investigating, he added, Trump obstructed the investigation like no other president in history.

Along with the revelations of previous testimonies, the report included unpublished cell phone records that raised new questions about Giuliani's interactions with the main Republican on the intelligence panel, Representative Devin Nunes of California and the White House. Nunes declined to comment.

The Chamber's intelligence panel voted later Tuesday, in a match count, to send the document to the Judiciary Committee.

Republicans defended the president in his own 123-page rebuttal alleging that Trump never intended to pressure Ukraine when he asked for a favor: Democratic investigations and Joe biden . They say the military aid that the White House was withholding was not being used as a lever, as the Democrats claim, and in addition, the $ 400 million was finally released, although only after a congressional protest. Democrats, they argue, just want to undo the 2016 elections.

For Republicans who line up behind Trump, the investigation is simply a hoax. Trump criticized the House for moving forward with the proceedings while abroad, a violation of the political decorum that traditionally leaves party differences at the water's edge.

House of Representatives leader Kevin McCarthy called on Democrats to end the nightmare of political trial. He said: They worry that if they don't accuse this president they can't beat him in an election.

The report will lay the groundwork for the Judicial Committee to evaluate possible articles of political judgment, presenting a historical proof of political judgment with a case that is dividing Congress and the country.

In the foreword, Schiff was deeply inspired by the story, citing George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and other Founding Fathers, to explain the reasons for the political trial as a remedy of last resort.

Democrats once hoped to influence Republicans to consider Trump's impeachment, but now they face an increasingly tough partisan division because of the quick procedures to dismiss the president.

President of the house Nancy Pelosi He faces a critical moment in his leadership while leading the process ahead after initially resisting the political trial investigation, warning that it was too divisive for the country and required bipartisan support.

Possible grounds for political trial focus on whether Trump abused his office when he pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to initiate investigations into Trump's political rivals. At that time, Trump was withholding $ 400 million in military aid, jeopardizing key support as Ukraine faces an aggressive Russia on its border.

The report also accuses Trump of becoming the first and only president in the history of the United States to openly and indiscriminately challenge the constitutional authority of the House to carry out the political trial procedures by telling officials not to comply with Document citations and testimonials.

For the Democrats who enter what is now a largely partisan process, the political challenge if they proceed is to elaborate the articles of political judgment in a way that gets the most support from their ranks and not expose the majority of Pelosi to divisions messy, especially when Republicans stand by the president

While liberal Democrats are pressuring the party to go further and incorporate the findings of former Special Advisor Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections and other Trump actions, the more centrist and moderate Democrats prefer to keep the Ukrainian affair as a simpler narrative that Americans understand.

Trump's campaign is spending a lot to run ads against first-line lawmakers, many of the districts that Trump won in 2016, but that turned to 2018 to give Democrats the majority of the House. Pelosi will protect these legislators as procedures develop.

By listening to legal experts at Wednesday's session, Democrats could begin drafting articles of political judgment against the president in a matter of days. The Judiciary Committee could vote next week and the entire House could vote at Christmas. He then moves to the Senate for a trial in 2020.

The White House rejected an invitation to participate on Wednesday, and lawyer Pat Cipollone denounced the proceedings as an unfounded and highly partisan investigation.

Trump had previously suggested that he might be willing to offer written testimony under certain conditions, although the advisors suggested that they did not anticipate that the Democrats would agree with them.

Cipollone, who will inform Senate Republicans on Wednesday, left open the question of whether White House officials would participate in additional House hearings.

Republicans on the committee, led by Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, plan to use procedural measures to stop the process and portray the investigation as unfair to the president.

The rules of the House of Representatives grant the president and his lawyers the right to question witnesses and review the evidence before the committee, but little capacity to present their own witnesses.