Wed, Dec 04, 2019 - Page 7 News List

Trump offenses not established: report

REPUBLICAN RESPONSE:The report said Trump was justified in citing corruption as a reason to delay meeting with Ukraine’s president and to withhold security aid

Bloomberg

A report from Republican lawmakers said that the US House of Representatives’ investigation of US President Donald Trump failed to establish any impeachable offenses and instead paints a picture of “unelected bureaucrats” disagreeing with the president’s style, worldview and foreign-policy decisions.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released their conclusions on Monday as the panel’s Democrats are letting members review the majority report after two months of investigation into Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine.

Democrats were expected to release their findings before the Judiciary Committee’s first public hearing today.

The Republican report said that evidence gathered during the inquiry did not establish that Trump withheld US security assistance to pressure Ukraine to investigate the president’s political rivals for the purpose of benefiting him in next year’s election, or that he sought to obstruct the House’s investigation of those charges.

The findings are to be sent along with the Democratic report to the Judiciary Committee, which is to begin hearings this week to determine whether to bring articles of impeachment against Trump.

The Republican document said that the impeachment case rests “almost entirely on hearsay, presumption and emotion” to arrive at a “predetermined outcome.”

Trump’s request that Ukraine announce an investigation of former US vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s involvement with Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company, was not part of a quid pro quo, bribery or extortion, the Republican report said.

Trump was justified in citing corruption as a reason to delay meeting with Ukraine’s president and to withhold security assistance that had already been approved by the US Congress, it said.

“Where there are ambiguous facts, the Democrats interpret them in a light most unfavorable to the president,” it said. “The Democrats also flatly disregard any perception of potential wrongdoing with respect to Hunter Biden’s presence on the board of Burisma Holdings or Ukrainian influence in the 2016 election.”

Trump on Monday tweeted his support for the Republican findings, repeating a call for people to read the memo the White House released in September of his telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The Republican document also defended the role that Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, played in Ukraine.

“There is nothing inherently improper with Mayor Giuliani’s involvement, because the Ukrainians knew that he was a conduit to convince President Trump that President Zelenskiy was serious about reform,” the report said.

The report criticized the impeachment inquiry as relying heavily on career public servants who it said opposed Trump’s approach to foreign policy and the whistleblower complaint in September that prompted the impeachment inquiry.

“Their disagreements with President Trump’s policies and their discomfort with President Trump’s actions set in motion the anonymous, secondhand whistleblower complaint,” the report said. “For Democrats, impeachment is a tool for settling political scores and relitigating election results with which they disagreed.”

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