United States President Donald Trump placed personal political interests “above national interests”, said the panel leading the impeachment inquiry in its report to House lawmakers. The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report was made public on Tuesday by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
The impeachment inquiry focuses on a July 25 phone conversation between the US president and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump had asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Joe Biden, who is in the running to be a Democratic candidate in the presidential elections slated for next year. Trump also asked for Biden’s son Hunter Biden, who had served as a director for Ukrainian energy company Burisma, to be investigated.
According to the report, Trump tried to “solicit foreign interference” from Ukraine to help his 2020 re-election bid. “President Trump’s scheme subverted US foreign policy toward Ukraine and undermined our national security in favour of two politically-motivated investigations that would help his presidential re-election campaign,” it said. The 300-page report added that the evidence of misconduct was overwhelming “and so too is the evidence of his obstruction of Congress”.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has called the inquiry a witch-hunt. Before the draft report was released, the president called the Democrat-led investigation “very unpatriotic”. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham claimed the Democrats “utterly failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing”, reported BBC. “It reflects nothing more than their frustrations,” she added.
The intelligence committee voted 13 to 9 along party lines to approve the report and send it to the House Judiciary Committee.
The judiciary panel will on Wednesday hold a hearing to examine the evidence report and further proceedings to consider formal articles of impeachment. The White House has refused to participate in the hearings, claiming there was no “semblance of a fair process”.