Evidence of Trump misconduct 'overwhelming': impeachment report

First Lady Melania Trump made a red hot luxury quick

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement in response to the report, accusing it of reflecting nothing more than "frustrations" from Democrats.

The 300-page report accused Trump of "misconduct" in seeking Ukrainian political interference in the 2020 presidential election and then relentlessly trying to "obstruct" Congress as it carried out an inquiry into his dealings.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing or a "quid pro quo".

On Monday, three Republican lawmakers released a report of their own in support of the president.

Even so, the 300-page report approved by the Democrats on the Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees on Tuesday weaves what we have learned over the last few months into a compelling narrative with an inescapable conclusion: Trump has compromised and subverted USA national security interests for his own domestic political purposes and must be held accountable.

Among formal impeachment charges expected to be considered are abuse of power, obstruction of justice and contempt of Congress, the BBC's Chris Buckler in Washington says.

The president and his lawyers have been invited to attend these hearings, present their case, cross-examine witnesses and request additional testimonies.

The phone records were obtained from AT&T, the report says.

The Democrats' report makes no recommendation on possible articles of impeachment against the president, but makes a case in its point-by-point assertions that Trump broke the law.

The inquiry found that Mr Trump "solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his reelection", Mr Schiff wrote in the report's preface.

"The president placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States, sought to undermine the integrity of the USA presidential election process, and endangered US national security".

Trump pressured "Ukraine into announcing investigations into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and a debunked conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, not Russian Federation, that interfered in the 2016 election".

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The report is a summary of weeks of testimonies from top government officials and was approved by the intelligence panel on a partisan vote on Tuesday evening.

The report's completions hands the process over to the House Judiciary Committee, which will now be responsible for drafting actual articles of impeachment should lawmakers decide to move forward.

Schiff told MSNBC his committee would continue its investigation even while the judiciary panel did its work.

For now, the White House counsel has refused to participate - at least in the first hearing. Democrats, they argue, just want to undo the 2016 election.

"They have to be careful because when the shoe is on the other foot, and some day, hopefully in the very long distant future, you'll have a Democrat president, you'll have a Republican house and they'll do the same thing because somebody picked an orange out of a refrigerator, and you don't like it so let's go and impeach them", said Trump. I think he's maniac.

Trump also asked Zelensky in the July phone call to explore whether a Democratic National Committee server that was breached during the 2016 election and subsequently analyzed by the CrowdStrike firm was in Ukraine. They think this political pressure on a vulnerable USA ally amounts to an abuse of power.

The report puts the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, at the center of an effort to force out the USA ambassador to Ukraine and pressure Ukraine's government on Trump's behalf to investigate Biden and his son, as well as a conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election and aided Democrats. Hunter joined the board of a Ukrainian company when Joe Biden was USA vice-president.

Norman Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, is expected to question four scholars about the legal framework for impeachment and examine whether Trump's actions count as the "high crimes and misdemeanors" spelled out in the constitution as grounds for impeachment. This theory has been widely debunked, and the United States intelligence agencies are unanimous in saying Moscow was behind the hacking of Democratic Party emails in 2016.

Michael Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill argues, "If Congress fails to impeach here, then the impeachment process has lost all meaning".

Congress has more pressing duties such as passing the U.S. -Mexico-Canada trade treaty, on which 176,000 jobs, $68 billion in GDP and the livelihoods of the nation's dairy farmers hinge.

The Republican leader in the House, Kevin McCarthy, told reporters that Schiff, who had vowed to send Trump "back to the golden throne he came from", neglected protecting US national security by focusing on impeachment.

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