Earlier on Tuesday, the draft report was made public on the website of the US Congress.
On Tuesday evening, the House Intelligence Committee approved a draft report on the investigation into the possible impeachment of President Donald Trump. 13 members of the Committee voted “for,” 9 – “against” the document. Now the report will be sent to the Legal Committee of the lower house of Congress, which will continue the procedure related to the possible prosecution of the US President.
The draft report was released earlier on Tuesday. The results of the investigation can be found not only lawmakers but also the public-the document is published on the website of the US Congress.
The draft report was written following a joint investigation conducted over the past three months by the intelligence, oversight and reform and foreign affairs committees.
The report does not contain accusations against the President: it presents facts and circumstances that, according to the authors of the investigation, demonstrate that “President Trump used his power to pressure Ukraine” in his political interests. In addition, the authors of the report claim that after the General public became aware of the actions taken by Trump, the President tried to “organize unprecedented obstacles” to justice to ” hide his wrongdoing.”
Members of the house Judiciary Committee will decide the question of bringing charges against the President that could lead to his removal from power (the so-called articles of impeachment).
The reaction of the White House
The White House called the investigation process “one-sided and rigged,” saying Democrats failed to provide evidence of wrongdoing by the President.
“As a result of a one-sided rigged process, Chairman Schiff and the Democrats have failed to present any evidence of wrongdoing committed by President Trump. This report reflects nothing but their despair. Chairman Schiff’s report sounds like the drivel of a basement blogger trying to prove something there is no evidence for,” Stephanie Grisham, the White House Press Secretary, said in a statement.
Statement by Democratic Senator Coons
Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also made a statement on the report of the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. According to him, the report shows that “the President deliberately abused his power to put pressure on Ukraine to investigate his political opponent – and for this, he used foreign aid money as a bribe.”
Thus, according to the democratic Senator, it is not just about a phone call from the head of the White House, but also about “an organized, coordinated campaign of the President and his entourage to put pressure on Ukraine to help him achieve re-election.”
Coons expressed hope that the Senate, in which Republicans now represent the majority, will be faithful to the Constitution and will treat the impeachment investigation with the “seriousness that it deserves.”
Republican reaction: “The President has done nothing illegal”
Representatives of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives negatively assessed the results of the impeachment investigation conducted by Democrats. On Friday evening, a press conference was held on Capitol Hill, attended by house Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, House Republican minority Secretary Steve Scalise, Republican conference Chairman Liz Cheney, and Doug Collins, the top Republican on the lower house Judiciary Committee.
Liz Cheney accused Democrats of single-handedly leading the investigation process, making their own decisions about calling witnesses to hearings and drawing their conclusions without consulting representatives of the other party.
“The impeachment process is dragging on slowly and with no direction, no focus because they [Democrats] have one big problem. And that big problem is that the President has done nothing illegal. And they can’t prove anything,” Doug Collins said.
Kevin McCarthy reminded reporters that the speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi demanded to present “convincing, stunning and certified by both parties” evidence of possible violations of Trump so that they could be put to a vote on impeachment.
“These are the three criteria outlined by the speaker… to continue what should happen this week. All three of the criteria she set out was met – none of them. Nothing is compelling, nothing overwhelming. And the only bipartisan vote that took place in the House [during the investigation] showed [no desire] to continue the impeachment investigation,” McCarthy said.