Congressman Jim Himes questioned witnesses who testified before the House Intelligence Committee last month.

Washington – Rep. Jim Himes, a member of the House Intelligence Committee that has had an outsized role in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, urged Americans on Tuesday to read the panel’s conclusions – that the president has committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” that are impeachable offenses.

“The American people heard in the open hearings, and should read for themselves once again in this comprehensive report, that President Trump abused his power and undermined United States national security to extort a vulnerable foreign power into investigating his political opponent for his personal political benefit,” Himes said.

The Intelligence Committee released a 300-page report Tuesday that says Trump placed his political interests above national interests in his conduct toward Ukraine – pressing the other country’s leader to investigate a political rival – former Vice President Joe Biden – in exchange for the release of U.S. military aid.

But the report does not recommend specific articles of impeachment.

“We have gathered overwhelming evidence that the President’s July 25th phone call with the President of Ukraine, firing of ambassador (Marie) Yovanovitch, and the accompanying efforts by his designees, both inside and outside the State Department, represent a violation of his oath of office and high crimes and misdemeanors,” Himes said.

He said it now falls to the House Judiciary Committee “to take this evidence and decide whether to file articles of impeachment.”

Himes and the other members of the intelligence panel voted late Tuesday along party lines, 13-9, to turn over their report to the Judiciary Committee, which will take up the reins of the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday with a hearing featuring witnesses who are experts in constitutional law.

The intelligence panel’s report provides Democrats on the Judiciary Committee with a road map to impeachment.

Besides laying out the argument for abuse of power, the report details what it says is the White House’s obstruction of Congress.

It points out an article of impeachment drawn up against former President Richard Nixon that focused on his failure to comply with subpoenas. The report said Trump went even further in his defiance of Congress.

“No other President in history has issued an order categorically directing the entire Executive Branch not to testify before Congress, including in the context of an impeachment inquiry,” the report said. “President Trump issued just such an order.”

Himes said the blocking of key witnesses, as well as the failure to turn over documents requested by Congress, was unacceptable.

“If that is the new normal, then say goodbye to our system of checks and balances,” he said.

The report provides details of the web of administration contacts concerning Ukraine and builds a case against the president with the help of testimony from State Department and intelligence agency officials – and Trump’s own words, contained in a partial transcript of a phone call between the president and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Most of the information has already been made public, but the report also provides new details, including phone logs and records.

The report said the president’s top aides, including Vice President Mike Pence and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, “had knowledge of, in some cases facilitated and furthered the president’s scheme (in Ukraine)  and withheld information about the scheme from the Congress and the American public.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other House GOP leaders dismissed the impeachment inquiry report.

The report also delves into the role played by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee and one of Trump’s chief defenders.

The report includes the records of several telephone calls between Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolf Giuliani, and Nunes in April, as the campaign to dig up dirt on Biden and the former vice president’s son, Hunter, and oust Yovanovitch was ramping up.

Giuliani was tasked with urging the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens and find evidence Ukraine had tried to hurt the Trump campaign in 2016.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., brushed off Nunes’ calls.

“It doesn’t raise any concerns. I don’t have a problem with Devin speaking to individuals,” McCarthy said.

In advance of the Democrats’ report, Republicans on the Intelligence Committee released their own 123-page study that says Democrats have failed to establish any impeachable offenses. The GOP lawmakers say there was no wrongdoing by the president and no quid pro quo in relation to Ukraine.

Earlier Tuesday, Trump called Democrats “very unpatriotic” for pursuing impeachment while he is overseas meeting with NATO leaders.

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Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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14 Comments

  1. Can’t wait for the Senate trial. Trump will call Schiff, Pelosi, Biden, Biden Jr, Brennan, Comey, Hillary under oath. And he can declassify all of the Obama administration records – phone calls, emails, text messages. And know the truth.

    I can. Not. Wait.

    1. Watson.
      Where were Mulvaney, Pompeo, Bolton, McGahn, Giuliani etc etc??

      (never mind fact that all those other folks aren’t related to the impeachment before us)

      This is a black and white issue. Treason by Trump.

      1. Democrats had their chance and don’t have a case. And they know it. They’re terrified of a Senate trial because not only can Trump’s attorney subpoena witnesses, he knows the real answers to the questions.

        Can. Not. Wait.

      2. So, if in his defense trump’s lawyers call all the people you say to testify, they should have no problem having McGahn, Pompeo, Guiliani, and trump testify under oath, correct? Based on the evidence presented, it’s clear that trump et. al will not testify because lying under oath is, in fact, against the law. And finally, please explain how you have first-hand knowledge of the feelings of the Democrats. Thanks!

      3. In what ludicrous court room would you call witnesses to where their testimony could be subject to divisive cross examination? Secondly show us some evidence that anyone has lied or will lie under oath??

      4. Why did he give Ukraine lethal weapons that Obama wouldn’t? Why did he cancel the intermediate nuclear treaty with Russia when Obama wouldn’t? Why did he force NATO countries to spend more as a deterrent to Russia? Obama was their best friend.

        Dims had their chance and still can’t make up theirs mind exactly what he did.

        The Senate trial will show where actual treason and sedition has taken place. Lawyer up Schiff, Biden, Comey, Brennan, Obama and Hillary. After all she said “if this ever comes out, we all hang”.

        She’s right once in her life.

  2. “We have gathered overwhelming evidence that the President’s July 25th phone call with the President of Ukraine, firing of ambassador (Marie) Yovanovitch, and the accompanying efforts by his designees, both inside and outside the State Department, represent a violation of his oath of office and high crimes and misdemeanors,” Himes said.

    Policy disagreements, proved hearsay lies by a “whistleblower,’ ‘no direct knowledge,’ ‘guessing,’ ‘presuming,’ ‘so-and-so told me they heard,’ etc is NOT ‘overwhelming evidence’ of anything beyond an attempt to do what Democrats could not do through the voting booth in 2016. Now, before anyone tries the ‘Hillary had more votes’ argument, that’s not the election system laid out in the Constitution.

    Atty Turley–no fan of POTUS: “Impeachment has to be based on proof, not presumptions.”

  3. Trump is the most corrupt and unfit person to hold the Office of President of the United States, at least in my lifetime. While I acknowledge that he was legitimately elected, he has brought impeachment on himself through multiple acts of misconduct. It’s a real shame he will be acquitted in the Senate trial.

  4. If THIS isn’t impeachable than NOTHING is impeachable. Shame on Partisans , both politicians and citizens. They don’t know what it means to be an American, nor how to be patriotic to our Country.

    All the Trump supporters I knw don’t even know who Marie Yovanovitch is, nor do they seem to care. They don’t know who Gordon Sondland is, nor do they care. Fiona Apple….etc etc
    All Trump supporters I know get their “news” from either Fox news or Facebook. Yesterday one ofthem said to me “Well, what about Chappaquiddick?”……My God……

    1. I’m with you, James Norris. All I keep hearing is “but what about the Clintons”? And I keep thinking, if Obama had done even half of what Trump has done, Republicans would have been calling for his head, “legitimately elected” be damned. The prevailing attitude of Trump supporters that I know boils down to “my mind’s made up, don’t confuse me with the facts”. Very, very scary.

      BTW, I’m sure this was just a slip of the keyboard, but I believe you meant Fiona Hill, not Fiona Apple. Or perhaps you were just testing us to see who’s paying attention.

  5. Since President Trump was elected, Democrats have been trying to figure out how to remove him from office. What they have not been doing, is anything that actually benefits the American people. Nothing to improve or replace Obamacare. Nothing to improve the nation’s infrastructure. Nothing to lower prescription drug prices. Nothing to resolve the problem of illegal immigrants on the southern border.

    1. Mark,
      I’m confused.
      Trump & Repubs (control of Congress) had his first 2 years to introduce their “beautiful new healthcare with a lot more coverage for a lot less cost”. All the while undercutting and trying to destroy Obamacare coverage???????????????????????????? (I won’t bother siting Trumps abdication of leadership on the other things you site)

  6. I have read the whole report and listened to all the questions and hearings that have been aired and transcripts released. I don’t know where Rep. Hines got his law degree but hearsay was never and never has been admissible in court except under very special circumstances which this evidence does not reach. So as far as high crimes and misdemeanors there is nothing in there. I notice=d that the report did not include the question that was asked of every witness. “Did you have any evidence their was a crime committed by the president.” Answer by all witnesses was, “NO”

    1. Agreed! Plus Trump has every right to investigate Ukrainian corruption that had been driven by Obama/Biden with Ukraine. I certainly don’t want my tax dollars being freely handed over to corruption laden governments

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