House Intel Committee releases report detailing ‘scheme’ by Trump to pressure Ukraine for his benefit
By Katherine Faukders
ABC NEWS – Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee detail what they call a “scheme” by President Donald Trump to pressure Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy to announce investigations into his political opponent and withhold aid to the country for his own personal and political benefit in a Democratic impeachment report released Tuesday afternoon.
While the report makes no explicit recommendation for possible articles of impeachment, it offers a detailed roadmap that the House Judiciary Committee is expected to use to write them. The report details the president’s actions to leverage Zelenskiy with the help of his close advisers — specifically naming acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Energy Secretary Rick Perry, along with other administration officials.
The report accuses the president of undermining U.S. national security interests and U.S. policy as it relates to Ukraine, the sources said. It is roughly 175 pages long and divided into two sections — one focused on the substance of the allegations detailing the president’s alleged abuse of power and the second section outlines the obstruction of the impeachment inquiry, focusing on witness intimidation and blocking witness testimony.
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released their own report Monday evening which refutes many of the findings laid out by the Democrats.
That 123-page report argues that Trump should not be impeached because there is no evidence that his actions were done specifically to “benefit in the 2020 election.”
Republicans will have until Thursday to reply to the report voted on Tuesday with their own remarks that will also be passed along to the House Judiciary Committee.
Once the Judiciary Committee has had time to consider the report and conduct their own hearings, the first of which is scheduled for Wednesday, they’ll determine whether or not to propose articles of impeachment.
A whistleblower report which alleged that Trump had dangled a White House meeting and military aid to Ukraine in exchange for Ukrainian officials opening an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, on a July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy launched the House impeachment investigation earlier this year.
It’s been almost nine weeks since members of the House Intelligence Committee began hearing from witnesses as part of the impeachment investigation.
The committee publicly interviewed 12 officials over the two weeks leading up to the Thanksgiving recess. Those hearings followed almost six weeks of closed door depositions with 17 individuals.
During both public and closed door hearings, officials interviewed consistently testified that they believed a meeting between Trump and Zelenskiy was contingent upon Zelenskiy making an announcement of plans to investigate Biden.
This is a claim that Trump and other White House officials have denied.