Donald Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani: “A president who perverts his role as chief diplomat to serve private rather than public ends has unquestionably engaged in ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’”
The House Judiciary Committee publishes a 52-page report setting out the impeachable charges against Donald Trump, amid his pressure on Ukraine for investigations to tarnish political rivals and to cover up Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election.
The Committee’s Democrats set out the legal and historical foundations for the weight of evidence establishing the campaign by Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani since November 2018.
The report defines the charge of bribery through Trump’s quid pro quo — freezing $391 million in security assistance and refusing a White House visit to new Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy — until Kyiv announced the investigation of Presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Impeachable bribery occurs when the president offers, solicits, or accepts something of personal value to influence his own official actions. By rendering such bribery impeachable, the framers sought to ensure that the nation could expel a leader who would sell out the interests of “We the People” for his own personal gain….
At minimum, that duty requires presidents “to exercise their power only when it is motivated in the public interest rather than in their private self-interest”. A president can thus be removed for exercising power with a corrupt purpose, even if his action would otherwise be permissible.
The report also cites Trump for obstruction of Congress, after the White House ordered officials not to comply with subpoenas for testimony and documents.
“A president who perverts his role as chief diplomat to serve private rather than public ends has unquestionably engaged in ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’— especially if he invited, rather than opposed, foreign interference in our politics,” the document summarized.
The committee is expected to vote on the articles of impeachment this week, setting up a possible vote of the full House during the week of December 16.
On Monday, the committee will formally receive the report of the House Intelligence Committee. In the report, published last Tuesday, the Intelligence Committee documented the charges through the testimony of 17 current and former US officials over the past two months.
The Intelligence Committee’s Democratic and Republican lawyers will testify, as will the Judiciary Committee’s counsels.
Judiciary Committee chair Rep. Jerry Nadler summarized via Twitter:
The Framers worst nightmare is what we are facing in this very moment. President Trump abused his power, betrayed our national security, and corrupted our elections, all for personal gain. The Constitution details only one remedy for this misconduct: impeachment.
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) December 7, 2019