world

Democrats accuse Trump of abusing power, obstructing impeachment probe

44 Comments
By Patricia Zengerle and David Morgan

U.S. President Donald Trump solicited foreign interference to boost his chances of re-election next year, undermined national security and ordered an "unprecedented" campaign to obstruct Congress, Democrats said in a report on Tuesday that will form the basis of any formal impeachment charges against Trump.

In a 300-page report that alleged sweeping abuse of power, the Democratic-led House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said Trump used U.S. military aid and the prospect of a White House visit to pressure his Ukrainian counterpart to undertake probes that would benefit Trump politically.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

The Republican president "placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States, sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process, and endangered U.S. national security," the report said.

Democrats, who began the formal impeachment inquiry in September, also accused Trump of an "unprecedented" effort to obstruct the investigation, including refusing to provide documents and testimony from his top advisers, unsuccessful attempts to block career government officials from testifying and intimidation of witnesses.

"The evidence of the President’s misconduct is overwhelming, and so too is the evidence of his obstruction of Congress," it said, adding that the wrongdoing was "not an isolated occurrence."

In a news conference following the release of the report, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff described Trump as a "president who believes that he is beyond indictment, beyond impeachment, beyond any form of accountability and indeed above the law."

Trump, who is in London for a NATO summit, accused Democrats of using the impeachment process to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election. Opinion polls show Americans are bitterly divided over whether to impeach Trump.

White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said House Democrats had conducted a "one-sided sham process" that had failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by Trump.

"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,” Grisham said in a statement.

The heart of the impeachment probe is whether Trump misused the power of his office to compel Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to face Trump in the 2020 election.

Lawmakers and the public have heard testimony from current and former officials that military aid was withheld from Ukraine and that a White House meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was conditioned on Kiev conducting the probe, as well as one into a debunked conspiracy theory about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

The House Intelligence Committee is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. to vote on its findings.

The matter will then go to the House Judiciary Committee, which will open its proceedings on Wednesday.

If the full House eventually votes to approve formal impeachment charges, a trial would be held in the Republican-led U.S. Senate, where a two-thirds majority of those present would be required to convict Trump and remove him from office.

PHONE RECORDS

Much of the report drew on the public testimony of current and former government officials, who have described in televised hearings a months-long effort to pressure Ukraine to carry out the investigations sought by Trump.

But it also suggested that wrongdoing within the executive branch extended beyond Trump.

The report said many of Trump's "closest subordinates and advisors," including White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, had knowledge of, and in some cases facilitated and furthered Trump's efforts and withheld information.

It also cited dozens of previously unreported phone records that laid out a pattern of contact between Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, Giuliani’s associates, the House Intelligence Committee's top Republican, Devin Nunes, and the White House's Office of Management and Budget.

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

An AT&T spokesman acknowledged that the telecoms giant complied with a request.

“Like all companies, we are required by law to provide information to government and law enforcement agencies," the spokesman said in a statement. "In all cases, we ensure that requests for assistance are valid and that we act in compliance with the law.”

Schiff, in his news conference, said the phone records showed there was considerable coordination among the parties, including the White House, and there might be evidence that members of Congress were complicit in illegal activity.

House Democrats appear to be contemplating at least two possible articles of impeachment tied to the Ukraine scandal: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Republicans, in an advance rebuttal report released on Monday, said Democrats had not established that Trump had committed an impeachable offense.

The president and other administration officials have criticized the timing of this week's impeachment proceedings as Trump attends the summit overseas, although Democratic then-President Bill Clinton also faced impeachment during a 1998 trip to Israel.

In London, Trump complained Democrats had conducted unfair"witch hunt" hearings in which witnesses who his administration wanted to testify were not called. Senior administration officials have declined to testify in the proceedings.

"We want Biden. We want the son — where’s Hunter? We want the son," Trump said during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trump and other Republicans have suggested that Biden and his son, who was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company for several years, should be investigated for corruption. There is no evidence that either of the Bidens engaged in wrongdoing.

Trump also repeated his defense that his calls with Zelenskiy, including one on July 25 in which he pushed for the probe of the Bidens, were "perfect" and that the impeachment inquiry was "a hoax."

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

44 Comments

Comments have been disabled You can no longer respond to this thread.

Good Stuff.

Keep the circus going.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

> Good Stuff.

Keep the circus going.

Completely agree. It is good that the decks are exercising oversight. The longer Donny keeps his circus going, the more evidence the dems get.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Democrats accuse Trump of abusing power, obstructing impeachment probe

Accuse? Everyone knows that's what he did, even Trump fans. Republicans just want to see him get away with it because losing a President would be too damaging for them.

Party before country.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Abuse of power? That’s it?

Not gonna work when that power is actually assigned to the the executive branch.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

I think this was the point where Nixon quit, wasn't it?

I predict Trump will show his ethics are below even those of Nixon's. Nixon at least cared more about the country than himself, when push came to shove.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Between Trump "perfect" call on July 25th with Zelensky and Mick Mulvaney's admission of a quid pro quo in October, that is pretty much all the evidence necessary to validly impeach Trump. Unless you are an "ostrich" member of the GOP.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

> Abuse of power? That’s it?

Yeah, it’s just abuse of power. Not that big of a deal.

Not gonna work when that power is actually assigned to the the executive branch.

No branch of the government has the power to solicit foreign assistance for a political campaign. Try again, blacklab.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

@blacklalsAbuse of power? That’s it?

Those pushing for the US to become an authoritarian state like Russia accept and defend Trump's 'abuses of power', while also accepting his dishonesty, lack of integrity, ethics, and morality. In their zeal to see Trump's coup succeed, to see him further undermine the republic and the democratic systems it was built on they've become blind followers unable to reason beyond what their messiah tells them to parrot.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Yes IF you can prove that’s what happened. You can’t. Thus “abuse of power” as such a vague generalization. What happened to bribery and corruption by the way? bait and switch again.

No branch of the government has the power to solicit foreign assistance for a political campaign. Try again, blacklab

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

No one is above the law. Biden’s son doesn’t get a free pass if he committed crimes just because it hurts Daddy’s soon to be over campaign.

did Manafort get a pass as Trump campaign manager?nope, the DNC helped and encouraged Ukraine in his case.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

No one is above the law. Biden’s son doesn’t get a free pass if he committed crimes just because it hurts Daddy’s soon to be over campaign.

You're damn straight, that's why Donny is getting impeached. I can't wait to see the moron defend himself on the stand. Its going to be hilarious, kind of like watching all these sycophants defend such an abysmal human. I mean this is what you're pinning your legacy on? This inarticulate idiot? hahahahaha

5 ( +6 / -1 )

“abuse of power” as such a vague generalization

No, it's not. Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine--which had been appropriated by Congress--in return for a public announcement by the Ukrainian president that Joe Biden's son would be investigated. For the purpose of hurting Joe Biden's presidential campaign. This has been corroborated by various people. The White House provided no explanation at the time for this aid being withheld. The aid to Ukraine was released just after the whistleblower's complaint became public. This is fact. There is no evidence that Trump was interested in corruption in Ukraine beyond so-called corruption by Hunter Biden (for which there is no evidence either).

Fact. Trump used the power of his office to undermine national security and the co-equal branch of government for his own political gain. That is abuse of power, bribery, and corruption rolled into one.

Live with it. You're supporting a crook.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Nixon at least cared more about the country than himself, when push came to shove.

Nixon was many things, but a moron was not one: he quit before he was impeached, allowing Ford to pardon him. An impeached president cannot be pardoned regardless of senate conviction.

The most likely scenario is that Trump is impeached, not convicted, loses in 2020, and then has no recourse but to face the judicial process.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Without doubt Trump is unfit for office and should be removed. But who is waiting in the wings to take power?

Trump is the symptom of the sickness that rots his supporters and removing him won't cure the disease, no more than killing Bin Laden solved Islamic extremism.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The accussed abused!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No one is above the law. Biden’s son doesn’t get a free pass if he committed crimes just because it hurts Daddy’s soon to be over campaign.

Keep beating that dead horse Black! Your guy Volker testified the Hunter smear was "not credible". You need to keep up on your alt-right talking points...

The overwhelming mountain of evidence has crushed the Repubs - they continue to rely on process arguments that are beyond pathetic. Whining and crying like two-year olds - mimicking the Great Orange Whiner..

So Donnie, if you want to prove you're innocent, when are you, Pence, Pompeo, Perry, Mulvaney, and Crazy Rudy coming to testify under oath?

Invite Bolton too - we all want to hear about that Ukraine "drug deal"...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Blacklabel: Yes IF you can prove that’s what happened. You can’t.

Everyone knows that's what happened. Are you here to say that Trump is innocent? It's the question you won't answer because you'll either have to humiliate yourself by promoting an obvious lie by Trump or you'll have to stand up to Trump, which you don't have the spine to do. You're not that type of man.

Either way you lose.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Everyone knows that's what happened. Are you here to say that Trump is innocent?

Yup. Now as I have said before, I think the call was bad judgment and inappropriate, but impeachable, no.

Either way you lose.

Actually, Schiff loses, big time.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Overwhelming evidence.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Meh.  Schiff is a clown.  DT may shoot his mouth off but framing this as some major danger to the US or abuse of power is just ridiculous.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

As Kevin McCarthy said, the Democrats did not make a case for Overwhelming, Compelling and Bipartisan evidence and now once again, their vote fell along on party lines, so can we now continue and hurry this side show farce along so that we can get back to normal and the Dems come to their senses and turn their attention to the American people and pass some bills, bills that can get bipartisan support and pass the Senate because as long as the Democrats continue the path on this fruitless and wasted endeavor, they’ll never get anything accomplished. They need to be smart, just once.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Trump is a serial Co conspirator, Trump should accept responsibility for his criminal behavior,

What criminal behavior? Liberals throw that accusation without a single shred of evidence that points to high crimes and misdemeanors, this is why the public is turning against this farce.

he been busted by a Ukrainian official, that has inside knowledge of Trump conspiracy to withhold aid Google Olena Zerkal

But they got that aid unlike Obama that gave the Ukrainians some blankets to keep warm while the Russians raid their towns.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Couple questions for the Trumpers here;

1) The 2 week testimony proved one thing - Giuliani was point-man for the shakedown of the Ukrainians to get made-up dirt on Biden. Everyone testified that Rudy was the main facilitator and leader of that effort. Trumpers here say that there was no evidence tying Trump to that effort. OK, so we're left with two possible conclusions - either Rudy was acting under Trump's direction, or he was freelancing and Trump knew nothing about it.

Which is it?

2) Trump is saying (again) the Ukraine probe is a witch hunt. If so, he could end the witch hunt right now if he wanted to - he could direct Pence, Pompeo, Mulvaney, Perry, and Giuliani to testify; either now or once the Senate trial begins. They could all testify that Trump knew nothing of the shakedown and was totally innocent - case closed. He could also authorize release of State Dept documents that could prove his story. But he's prevented these officials from testifying and the release of State Dept documents...

Why won't he allow these folks to testify or the release of documents if they could prove his innocence?

We'll be waiting....

7 ( +7 / -0 )

U.S. President Donald Trump solicited foreign interference to boost his chances of re-election next year

Wrong. He wanted to be sure Zelensky was a true corruption fighter before giving the notoriously corrupt Ukraine more taxpayer money. He can't help it if the Bidens are involved in the corruption.

The most likely scenario is that Trump is impeached, not convicted, loses in 2020

Loses to who? The Democrats know they don't have a candidate who can beat him, hence this impeachment attempt. Pathetic.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

But they got that aid unlike

After Donny got caught. It's like giving the money back after you get caught robbing a bank. Do you think that makes it okay? Hahahahah

Also, what was Donnys personal attorney doing calling the office of budget management, and why were they calling him?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

After Donny got caught.

That’s shifty Schiff’s version. In a court of law, you don’t win cases of probability or assumptions.

It's like giving the money back after you get caught robbing a bank. Do you think that makes it okay? Hahahahah

Apples to mangoes argument and besides, the man ain’t going nowhere.

Also, what was Donnys personal attorney doing calling the office of budget management, and why were they calling him?

Don’t ask me, ask Rudi.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

That’s shifty Schiff’s version. In a court of law, you don’t win cases of probability or assumptions.

Umm no, that's a fact. That is in the public record. And this isn't a court. Hilarious. theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/27/trump-whistleblower-complaint-ukraine-aid

3 ( +3 / -0 )

2) Trump is saying (again) the Ukraine probe is a witch hunt.

True that.

If so, he could end the witch hunt right now if he wanted to - he could direct Pence, Pompeo, Mulvaney, Perry, and Giuliani to testify; either now or once the Senate trial begins.

You have to be the most naive on the planet to think of Trump did that Schiff would say, I am satisfied and now I’ll leave this all alone. Trump would be stupid to even play Schiff’s game. He should fight him and the weaselly house Democrats with every fiber of his being.

They could all testify that Trump knew nothing of the shakedown and was totally innocent - case closed.

No because Schiff would find something else to throw around the Presidents ankle.

He could also authorize release of State Dept documents that could prove his story. But he's prevented these officials from testifying and the release of State Dept documents...

Good on him.

Why won't he allow these folks to testify or the release of documents if they could prove his innocence?

We'll be waiting....

Keep waiting as public support for this farce is dwindling and Independents are not up for this as well increasingly. Once Trump is in his second term and Schiff is sucking his thumb and curling up with his pillow the bigger question is, would the Dems be so stupid and try to impeach this President again? ......They actually probably would.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Just what would have Trump done to stop the Putin invasion of the Crimea and its annexation?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Rudy's firm paid $500,000 from Ukraine.

"Fraud Guarantee."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bok bok bok bok! Trump the chicken refusing to go or even sending lawyers to the hearings that are “one-sided and unfair!” the hearings which, we all know, they won’t allow the “evidence” that supposedly exonerates him, and is blocking first-hand testimony while crying about how here’s no first-hand testimony.

coward, all around. Biggest chicken in presidential history, and that’s not even taking his draft dodging into account. Hahaha. Speaks volumes of how much worse his supporters are, and how even more cowardly.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Just what would have Trump done to stop the Putin invasion of the Crimea and its annexation?

Who knows, but he wouldn’t have just sent them blankets, that’s for darn sure.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Apples to mangoes argument and besides, the man ain’t going nowhere.

No, no it it's the same idea. You don't get credit for righting your wrong. You still broke the law.

Don’t ask me, ask Rudi.

I don't have to. Giuliani is Trump's personal lawyer. He holds no office and has no right or reason contact the budget office, except for, of course, doing his clients bidding. :D

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Who knows, but he wouldn’t have just sent them blankets, that’s for darn sure.

No Trump wouldn't have sent a box of bandaids claiming it wasn't American business.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Someone really needs to ask Donny if he's still planning Trump Tower Moscow, I bet he is.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No, no it it's the same idea. You don't get credit for righting your wrong. You still broke the law. 

Then if the WERE true as in the case with Nixon where there WAS an actual crime, a break-in and a coverup you would have Republicans joining in a bipartisan effort to impeach him, you don’t have anything even remotely close to that. Impeachment is like catnip to the Democrats, they just can’t get enough, but when that high is over then they realize it was just temporary.

I don't have to. Giuliani is Trump's personal lawyer.

Ok, so you can make your own assumptions, never stopped liberals before. Waste your time and go ahead or go on Twitter and send him a tweet, I’m sure he’ll respond.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

You don't know anything about the law.

More than most Democrats to see that they’re heading for a cliff, I figured that and I’m not even a paramedic.

You said that resisting arrest is good and that perjury isn't a crime. 

OK so how you going to prove that he perjured himself? Liberals stop talking please show us some proof. Maybe liberals on JT know something that Schiff doesn’t. Lol

You should stick to what you're good at: pretending to be a journalist.

That would be like saying stop pretending to be a conservative. ROFL! Nice try though.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Then if the WERE true as in the case with Nixon where there WAS an actual crime, a break-in and a coverup

Bribery and extortion are crimes. Bribery specifically mentioned as an impeachable offense. :D

you would have Republicans joining in a bipartisan effort to impeach him,

This argument assumes Republicans are honest. And clearly they are not. The first two Republican congressmen to endorse Trump have been charged with corruption, the rest are just scared Donny will tweet mean things. Cowards.

Ok, so you can make your own assumptions, never stopped liberals before. 

I'm not making any assumptions. It is a fact that Giuliani is not a government employee. He is Trump's attorney. And it is also a fact they exchanged phone calls. That shouldn't have happened. If you disagree, I'd love to hear why.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Bribery and extortion are crimes. Bribery specifically mentioned as an impeachable offense. :D 

Good luck trying to prove it and get the Republicans to jump on board. Lol

This argument assumes Republicans are honest. And clearly they are not.

Wait, look at the Dems, especially the House Democrats where lying is Picasso art form.

The first two Republican congressmen to endorse Trump have been charged with corruption, the rest are just scared Donny will tweet mean things. Cowards.

In the same way House Democrats (especially the Democrats that won in swing States where Trump won big.) have a gun pointed to their heads if they don’t vote for this farce.

I'm not making any assumptions.

Ok, then what proof do you have? Schiff doesn’t have it, but you do I assume?

It is a fact that Giuliani is not a government employee. He is Trump's attorney. And it is also a fact they exchanged phone calls. That shouldn't have happened.

Why?

If you disagree, I'd love to hear why.

https://outline.com/NrTd6F

Because you need to relax, this will be over soon and Trump and the Dems can be on their merrily way and Trump can as well.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Mountains of overwhelming evidence.

But it’s more important the pubs to retain power than to deal with corruption. This just exposes their lack of ethics and their prioritization of party over the people.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

But it’s more important the pubs to retain power than to deal with corruption.

And the Democrats use corruption to get it. Oxymoron right there....

This just exposes their lack of ethics and their prioritization of party over the people

Yeah, liberals claim Schiff is ethical. Well, his house of cards ethics is finally falling apart.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Good luck trying to prove it and get the Republicans to jump on board. Lol

There's plenty of proof, it's been discussed here ad nauseum. Trump demanded Ukraine investigate Biden and his son. Trump withheld the aid, releasing it only after getting caught, suggesting cognizance of guilt. There are numerous phone call backs and forth between Giuliani (Trump's lawyer) and government offices in charge of releasing the funds. I wonder what the witnesses will attest to tomorrow. No criminality? I doubt it.

Why?

Because he's the president's attorney, that's why. This had nothing to do with Trump in his official capacity and everything to do with trying to cheat in the election.

https://outline.com/NrTd6F Because you need to relax, this will be over soon and Trump and the Dems can be on their merrily way and Trump can as well.

Im very relaxed. Obama's crimes, imagined or otherwise, isn't a defense to bribery/extortion. I'd start asking why Trump's personal attorney was making phone calls to OMB. You and I may not know, but a shoulder shrug during the Senate trial isn't going to cut it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Well, I'll assume this is attempt to answer my questions to Trumpers above - though once again no answer to Question 1 on whether Trump knew what Rudy was doing....

2) Trump is saying (again) the Ukraine probe is a witch hunt.

True that.

So why doesn't he prove it by allowing those who can prove his innocence to testify?

If so, he could end the witch hunt right now if he wanted to - he could direct Pence, Pompeo, Mulvaney, Perry, and Giuliani to testify; either now or once the Senate trial begins.

You have to be the most naive on the planet to think of Trump did that Schiff would say, I am satisfied and now I’ll leave this all alone. Trump would be stupid to even play Schiff’s game. He should fight him and the weaselly house Democrats with every fiber of his being.

What? He could prove it is a witch hunt by letting those staff members testify to his innocence - but he blocks them from doing that? Why is he blocking individuals from testifying he is innocent?

They could all testify that Trump knew nothing of the shakedown and was totally innocent - case closed.

No because Schiff would find something else to throw around the Presidents ankle.

BS - he could shut the whole thing down by letting them testify - but he won't allow them. Why?

He could also authorize release of State Dept documents that could prove his story. But he's prevented these officials from testifying and the release of State Dept documents...

Good on him.

Well, I guess its good if those documents incriminate you - one would think that if they could prove his innocence, he'd release them ASAP. Why not release?

Why won't he allow these folks to testify or the release of documents if they could prove his innocence?

We'll be waiting....

Keep waiting as public support for this farce is dwindling and Independents are not up for this as well increasingly. Once Trump is in his second term and Schiff is sucking his thumb and curling up with his pillow the bigger question is, would the Dems be so stupid and try to impeach this President again? ......They actually probably would.

A no show for Question 1 and three swings and a miss on Question 2... Try again...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

takeda.shingen.1991@gmail.comToday 03:03 pm JSTGood luck trying to prove it and get the Republicans to jump on board. Lol

There's plenty of proof, it's been discussed here ad nauseum. Trump demanded Ukraine investigate Biden and his son. Trump withheld the aid, releasing it only after getting caught, suggesting cognizance of guilt. There are numerous phone call backs and forth between Giuliani (Trump's lawyer) and government offices in charge of releasing the funds. I wonder what the witnesses will attest to tomorrow. No criminality? I doubt it.

Trump's criminality is as clear as winter ice. As my backwards 8th grade English teacher used to say, 'No fake, Sherlock!'.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites