U.S. lawmakers are formally accusing President Donald Trump of misconduct and obstruction, based on what they say is a months-long effort by the president “to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election.”
The report, released Tuesday by the House Intelligence Committee—which is controlled by opposition Democrats—is titled “The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report.”
Republican members of Congress say the Democrats uncovered no smoking guns that would merit Trump’s impeachment.
Democrats disagree. “The evidence is clear that President Trump used the power of his office to pressure Ukraine into announcing investigations into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and a debunked conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election. These investigations were designed to benefit his 2020 presidential re-election campaign,” according to a statement released by Adam Schiff, Carolyn Maloney and Eliot Engel, who respectively chair the Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees of the House of Representatives.
“The evidence is also clear that President Trump conditioned official acts on the public announcement of these investigations: a coveted White House visit and critical U.S. military assistance Ukraine needed to fight its Russian adversary,” the statement adds.
The Democratic lawmakers also accuse the president of engaging “in categorical and unprecedented obstruction in order to cover up his misconduct.”
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham is rejecting the report’s conclusion.
“At the end of a one-sided sham process, Chairman Schiff and the Democrats utterly failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump,” she said in a statement. “This report reflects nothing more than their frustrations. Chairman Schiff’s report reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger straining to prove something when there is evidence of nothing.”
Schiff told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference that if Congress does not punish Trump for soliciting foreign interference in a U.S. election, "we are begging for more of the same."