Based on weeks of testimony by current and former officials, as well as other evidence, the report is meant to provide members of the Judiciary Committee -and ultimately the full House - with evidence and legal arguments as they consider whether to vote on articles of impeachment against Trump. But the idea has never taken off among Democratic leaders, who have taken a more cautious and narrow tack to the impeachment probe.
"The president's serious misconduct, including bribery, soliciting a personal favor from a foreign leader in exchange for his exercise of power, and obstructing justice and Congress are worse than the misconduct of any prior president", he said.
While congressional Democrats for months have accused the president of "abuse of power" in connection with pressuring Ukraine, the report conspicuously stopped short of leveling that charge.
Instead, they concluded that Trump was acting on "genuine and reasonable" skepticism of Ukraine and "valid" concerns about possible corruption involving Americans, not political self-interest, when he pressed the country for investigations of his Democratic rivals. "In both cases, he got caught", Nadler said. His administration also conditioned a potential White House meeting with Zelenskyy on announcement of the investigations, witnesses told the Democrats' impeachment inquiry last month.
The Democrats' investigation of Trump centres on a July 25 telephone call the president had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which Trump asked for "a favour". But on Wednesday, Nadler and other Judiciary Committee Democrats signaled an openness to expanding beyond that, even as they publicly remained circumspect about moving forward with articles of impeachment at all.
In a 123-page document that echoed the defiant messaging that Trump has employed in his own defence, the Republicans did not concede a single point of wrongdoing or hint of misbehaviour by the president.
"The president's defiance of Congress is all the more troubling due to the rationale he claims for his obstruction: His arguments and those of his subordinates, including his White House Counsel Pat Cipollone in his October 8th letter to the Speaker and three committee chairs, boil down to the assertion that he is above the law", Gerhardt continued. Click the link to confirm your subscription and begin receiving our newsletters.
Please Donate TodayDid you enjoy this article? But none showed a glimmer of doubt, making them seem at times more like ideologues than academics. "All of them are fierce defenders of President Donald Trump, and all are promising to hold nothing back as the impeachment proceedings shift from the House Intelligence Committee to the Judiciary panel".
Based on two months of investigation sparked by a still-anonymous government whistleblower's complaint, the Intelligence Committee's Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report relies heavily on testimony from current and former us officials who defied White House orders and appeared. "The obstruction of Congress is a problem because it undermines the basic principle of the constitution", said Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law School.
Schiff went on to describe Trump as a "president who believes that he is beyond indictment, beyond impeachment, beyond any form of accountability and indeed above the law". "That demand constituted an abuse of power".
"If left unanswered, President Trump's ongoing effort to thwart Congress' impeachment power risks doing grave harm to the institution of Congress, the balance of power between our branches of government, and the Constitutional order that the President and every Member of Congress have sworn to protect and defend".
With the president overseas at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meetings in London, the shift marks a perilous moment in his troubled presidency after the release on Tuesday of a 300-page report by House Intelligence Committee investigators describing Trump's months-long effort to pressure Ukraine.
The political risks are high for all parties as the house presses only the fourth presidential impeachment inquiry in USA history.
The White House issued a statement on Tuesday sharply criticizing the report and the impeachment proceedings.
"A case for impeachment could be made, but it cannot be made on this record", he added. They derided the pro-impeachment witnesses as "three stooges" who are helping Democrats perpetuate "more of the same old sham!"
"The discussion today will be about whether constitutional principles support impeachment based on 300 pages of supposed "facts" we just received, which ignore inconvenient, exculpatory information", Collins said. Should we include every time he told a witness not to come?