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House judiciary committee details Trump charges in impeachment report

By Darryl Coote
House judiciary committee details Trump charges in impeachment report
House judiciary committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler votes in favor of the second article of impeachment against President Donald Trump during a hearing Friday on Capitol Hill. Photo by Patrick Semansky/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Days before the full House is expected to vote on two articles of impeachment brought against President Donald Trump, the House judiciary committee released a report Monday outlining how it came to its accusations.

The 658-page report, separated into four sections and released early Monday, details the process by which the committee arrived at its recommended articles of impeachment and the facts underlying the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

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The committee voted Friday to approve two articles of impeachment against Trump, advancing the charges to the full House for a vote that could occur as early as Wednesday.

Monday's report states the evidence is "powerful enough" and the danger of delay "great enough" that inaction would be irresponsible.

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"President Trump will continue to threaten the nation's security, democracy and constitutional system if he is allowed to remain in office," the report said.

The report argues that Trump has betrayed the trust of the American people by using the nation's highest office for personal gain by soliciting a vulnerable Ukraine to investigate a political rival. The committee launched its impeachment inquiry following revelations that Trump threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine unless it investigates Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden, who served on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma between 2014 and early this year.

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"President Trump has realized the Framer's worst nightmare," the report states. "He has abused his power in soliciting and pressuring a vulnerable foreign nation to corrupt the next United States presidential election by sabotaging a political opponent and endorsing a debunked conspiracy theory promoted by our adversary, Russia."

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The report also states that in the process of the judiciary committee's investigation into the quid pro quo arrangement with Ukraine, Trump directed agencies, offices and officials at the executive branch to ignore investigative subpoenas and perform other measures to obstruct the inquiry.

"In the history of our Republic, no president has obstructed Congress like President Trump," it notes. "If President [Richard] Nixon's obstruction of Congress raised a slippery slope concern, we now find ourselves at the bottom of the slope, surveying the damage to our Constitution."

Nixon resigned as president in 1974 amid an ongoing impeachment process stemming from the Watergate scandal.

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Rep. Doug Collins, the ranking Republican on the House judiciary committee, dismissed the articles of impeachment in his dissenting view, stating the report's evidence is not only "weak," but it "dangerously lowers the bar of future impeachments."

"Before the House of Representatives are two articles of impeachment against the president of the United States, Donald John Trump. To these articles, the minority dissents," he wrote. "The president has neither abused the power granted to him by the American people nor obstructed Congress. The majority has failed to prove a case for impeachment. In fact, the paltry record on which the majority relies is an affront to the constitutional process of impeachment and will have grave consequences for future presidents."

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The report follows Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer sending a letter Sunday to Republican leader Mitch McConnell proposing parameters for an expectant impeachment trial in the upper chamber.

The Democrats said they want to hear from four former and present Trump administration officials, including former national security adviser John Bolton.

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