US House Democrats on Tuesday released their final report, which aims to provide the basis for formal impeachment charges against US President Donald Trump.
In the 300-page report, the Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee concludes that Trump, both personally and through intermediaries, pressured the Ukrainian government into investigating Democratic political rival Joe Biden for the sake of his own political gain.
"The president placed his personal political interests above the national interests of the United States, sought to undermine the integrity of the US presidential election process, and endangered US national security," the report reads.
It characterizes the president's misconduct as neither "an isolated occurrence, nor was it the product of a naive president."
The report also describes "unprecedented" effort to obstruct the investigation, including attempts to block testimony and refusing to provide documents.
"The evidence of the president's misconduct is overwhelming, and so too is the evidence of his obstruction of Congress," it says.
Obstruction charges alone would be enough to move ahead with impeachment proceedings.
The report is a summary of weeks of testimonies from top government officials and was approved by the intelligence panel on a partisan vote on Tuesday evening. The approval vote was 13-9 in favor.
If the full House ultimately votes the same way, formal impeachment charges and a trial would be held in the Republican-led
US Senate, where a two-thirds majority would be required to convict Trump, thus removing him from office.
Republicans: 'Sham process'
Responding to the report Tuesday night, the White House called the investigation a "sham process" and said the report showed no evidence of wrongdoing.
"This report reflects nothing more than their frustrations," said White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham. "Chairman Schiff's report reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger straining to prove something when there is evidence of nothing."
From the sidelines of a NATO summit in London, Trump attacked the inquiry and said key witnesses had not been called.
"We want Biden. We want the son — Where’s Hunter? We want the son," he said during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
On Monday, three Republican lawmakers released a report of their own in support of the president. The 123-page document blames the impeachment inquiry on "unelected bureaucrats" unhappy with Trump's governing style.
"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," reads the report by three members of the House of Representatives.
It also argues that Trump was correct to withhold aid from Ukraine, citing problems with corruption in the country.
kp/ng (dpa, Reuters)