The US Democrats on Tuesday accused President Donald Trump of abusing power to win re-election in 2020, saying that will form the basis of any formal impeachment charges that he solicited foreign interference, undermined national security, and ordered an unprecedented campaign to obstruct Congress, according to report.
The 300-page report, meant as the basis for articles of impeachment, accused Trump of endangering national security and of an unparalleled effort to stifle the probe into claims he pressured Ukraine for dirt on a Democratic election rival.
“The impeachment inquiry has found that President Trump, personally and acting through agents within and outside of the US government, solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his reelection” next year, the report further said.
The report, which will form the basis for the House Judiciary Committee to draw up formal charges, or articles of impeachment, in the coming weeks, spells out two key areas of wrongdoing by Trump.
Democrats also accused Trump of an unprecedented effort to obstruct an impeachment inquiry that included categorical refusals to provide documents and testimony from his top advisers, unsuccessful attempts to block career government officials from testifying and the intimidation of witnesses.
According to the report, “Donald Trump is the first President in the history of the United States to seek to completely obstruct an impeachment inquiry undertaken by the House of Representatives”.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and accused Democrats of using the impeachment process to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election. Opinion polls suggest Americans are bitterly divided over whether to impeach Trump.
In November, Trump had described the impeachment probe against him as “witch hunt” and said he was “too busy” to watch it.
Trump administration had ordered officials not to participate in the House enquiry. But lawmakers have spent weeks hearing from current and former government witnesses, largely from the State Department, as one official after another has relayed his or her understanding of events.
After almost a month of calling for greater transparency in the enquiry, the White House changed its strategy this week by prohibiting several of its officials from even testifying behind closed doors before the lower house committees.
Late September, the impeachment inquiry, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi initiated over a complaint by an anonymous whistleblower, is looking into White House’s alleged efforts to withhold military aid to have Ukraine investigate a Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden.
(With inputs from agency)