Trump abused power of presidency, Dems conclude in impeachment report

“[T]he president placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States, sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process, and endangered U.S. national security,” the report concludes.

The Intelligence Committee is expected to approve the report along party lines Tuesday evening, ahead of the first impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said his report uncovered “overwhelming” evidence that should be presented to the Judiciary Committee immediately for consideration.

And while there remains substantial investigative work which may point to a broader and longer-running pressure campaign than previously understood, Schiff said his panel had gathered enough evidence to present a persuasive case, and that it would be a mistake to wait for “every last fact.”

“I think what we have produced in remarkably short order is so overwhelming that it ought to be presented to the Judiciary Committee now,” Schiff said, leaving open the possibility of filing supplemental reports if more information emerges.

The report does not specifically recommend articles of impeachment against the president. But it provides the Judiciary Committee with a roadmap as it prepares to consider the evidence and draft articles in the coming weeks — and it outlines a historical precedent for the impeachment process.

Democrats are expected to draft at least two articles of impeachment: one on abuse of power and another on obstruction of Congress.

The report describes a tangled web of contacts among an array of Trump associates and allies as the Ukraine effort took shape earlier this year — including previously undisclosed communications between these individuals and John Solomon, a former columnist for The Hill newspaper whose writings have animated GOP defenses of the president.

The report also includes new details, including phone logs and records describing a more extensive set of contacts than previously known between Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani — whom Trump deputized to lean on top Ukrainian officials — and the top Intelligence Committee Republican, Rep. Devin Nunes of California.

The call logs, which the committee obtained from telecommunications company AT&T, also show contacts between Giuliani and Kash Patel, a former Nunes aide who joined the National Security Council in February, in addition to other communications between an indicted Giuliani associate — Lev Parnas — and an Intelligence Committee GOP aide. Nunes and Parnas also exchanged several phone calls earlier this year, the logs showed.

Schiff declined to comment on Nunes’ inclusion in the report, but said: “It is deeply concerning that at a time when the president of the United States was using the power of his office to dig up dirt on a political rival, that there may be evidence that there were members of Congress complicit in that activity.”

Democrats have argued that Trump abused his power in his dealings with Ukraine and then obstructed Congress’ efforts to uncover the alleged abuse. But their report also alleges “witness intimidation” against a handful of the top witnesses that were called to testify, adding a new potential charge as they consider which “high crimes and misdemeanors” to formally allege against the president.

“President Trump issued threats, openly discussed possible retaliation, made insinuations about witnesses’ character and patriotism, and subjected them to mockery and derision,” Democrats found, suggesting it could discourage witnesses from coming forward in the future.

The report details the extent to which Trump sought to limit his administration’s cooperation with the impeachment inquiry — including his efforts to prevent senior officials from testifying before investigators and the executive branch’s refusal to turn over documents that were subpoenaed or otherwise requested.

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