As he left the White House for London, President Donald Trump complained the House Judiciary Committee will hold an impeachment inquiry hearing while he attends a NATO summit that comes at a critical moment for the 70-year-old military alliance. (Dec. 2) AP
WASHINGTON – House Republicans on the Intelligence Committee drafted a report to counter Democratic arguments for the impeachment of President Donald Trump for his dealings with Ukraine.
Democrats who control the panel built a case during weeks of closed-door depositions and then two weeks of public hearings that Trump pressured Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his rival in the 2020 election, former Vice President Joe Biden.
But Republicans, led by Rep. Devin Nunes of California, wrote in a 123-page draft report that the evidence doesn’t support accusations of pressure or that Trump tried to cover up his conversation with Zelensky. Trump released a summary of the July 25 call on Sept. 25 and has argued that he was justified in encouraging an investigation because of widespread corruption in Ukraine.
“The evidence presented does not prove any of these Democrat allegations, and none of the Democrats’ witnesses testified to having evidence of bribery, extortion, or any high crime or misdemeanor,” the draft Republican report said. “The fundamental disagreement apparent in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is a difference of world views and discomfort with President Trump’s policy decisions.”
Republicans argued that Trump had a genuine and “reasonable skepticism” of Ukraine due to history of corruption and his concerns about Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, were “valid” because the Obama administration also noted “concerns” about the vice president’s son’s relationship with Burisma.
The report noted that Trump has a right to block witnesses and documents from being provided because the inquiry has been “an unfair, abusive, and partisan process, and does not constitute obstruction of a legitimate impeachment inquiry.”
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