The House Intelligence Committee released Tuesday its official report on the impeachment investigation into President Trump’s Ukraine pressure campaign.
The full report runs 300 pages and is broken into two sections: “The President’s Misconduct” and “The President’s Obstruction of the House of Representatives’ Impeachment Inquiry.”
Much of the report quotes witness testimony already made public. But it also includes new details the committee obtained through phone logs.
The logs showed contacts between the leaders of the pressure effort at key moments, including during the smear campaign against then-U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovonovitch.
The new report marks an important step as the House moves towards impeaching President over his and his allies’ efforts to launch Ukrainian investigations into his political rivals.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) peppered the introduction to the report with historical context, reminding readers that the founding fathers warned of the threat of a President who would put “personal or political interests” above those of the country. He quoted George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, who foresaw “unprincipled men” violating the American people’s trust.
Schiff emphasized the weightiness of deciding to launch an impeachment inquiry against Trump, adding that he was only pushed to action when the revelation of the “alarming events” detailed in the report left him no choice.
In the preface, Schiff painted Trump as the “author of his own impeachment,” not a bumbling and untested political neophyte but a knowing actor who “welcomed and utilized” Russian interference in 2016, and sought assistance from Ukraine for his own re-election.
Schiff highlighted Trump’s infamous July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky as the “dramatic crescendo” of a months-long pressure campaign and the clearest example of Trump putting personal gain — sham investigations into the Bidens — above national interest.
Schiff further contextualized the call by placing it on the day after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified to Congress about the threat of foreign interference in 2020.
“With this backdrop, the solicitation of new foreign intervention was the act of a president unbound, not one chastened by experience,” Schiff wrote. “It was the act of a president who viewed himself as unaccountable and determined to use his vast official powers to secure his reelection.”
Trump’s willingness to use foreign powers to further his domestic ends added an “urgency” to the investigation, Schiff wrote, as Trump publicly suggested that both China and Ukraine investigate the Bidens in an attempt to hobble the candidate he sees as his most formidable 2020 opponent.
Schiff also dinged the White House for its attempts to obstruct the committee’s fact finding and credited “courageous public servants” with helping it reach its conclusions. He cited the administration’s unchecked obstinance as another potentially long-lasting wound from the impeachment inquiry process.
“The damage to our system of checks and balances, and to the balance of power within our three branches of government, will be long-lasting and potentially irrevocable if the President’s ability to stonewall Congress goes unchecked,” he wrote.
Once the House Intelligence Committee votes to adopt the report on Tuesday, it will be transmitted to the House Judiciary Committee, which will lead the next stage of the impeachment proceedings.
The completion of the House Intelligence Committee’s work comes less than three months after committee learned of the existence of a whistleblower complaint that blew the Ukraine scandal out into the open.
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