Schiff: Judiciary Committee to receive impeachment report ‘soon after’ Thanksgiving recess

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told Democratic lawmakers on Monday that the committees overseeing the impeachment inquiry are preparing a report for the House Judiciary Committee that they hope to send shortly after members return from their one-week Thanksgiving recess.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter sent to members of the House Democratic Caucus, Schiff said the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform committees continue to investigate President Trump. He did not rule out the possibility of additional hearings or depositions.

But he also said investigators did not want to allow the administration to delay their probe through court challenges.

“Over the course of our inquiry, we have uncovered a months-long effort in which President Trump again sought foreign interference in our elections for his personal and political benefit at the expense of our national interest. As the evidence conclusively shows, President Trump conditioned official acts—a White House meeting desperately desired by the new Ukrainian president and critical U.S. military assistance—on Ukraine announcing sham, politically-motivated investigations that would help President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign,” he wrote. 

“The corrupt intent made plain in the record of the July 25 call between Presidents Trump and Zelensky has been supplemented by significant evidence showing the extent of the President’s abuse of power both before and after the July 25 telephone call. This conduct directed by the President not only became more ‘insidious’ over time, but was known to the vice president, the president’s chief of staff, the secretary of State, and others down the line.”

The California Democrat defended how the committees have conducted the probe, adding he believes they have uncovered “massive amounts” of evidence despite “obstruction” from the White House during the course of the two weeks of public hearings and 17 depositions that took place behind closed doors.  

The letter notes a dozen would-be witnesses defied subpoenas, and Schiff argues the White House undertook “an unprecedented campaign of obstruction” as they worked to conduct the investigation. 

“In fact, the Committees did not receive a single document from any executive branch agencies pursuant to our subpoenas,” he continued. 

“And, yet, this effort to stonewall failed in the face of repeated witness testimony that provided the Committees with direct evidence of the president’s actions and identified records documenting the president’s effort and the complicity of senior officials in it.”  

The report is expected to include the administration’s attempts to block officials from testifying before the committees to allow the Judiciary Committee — which would ultimately be tasked with drawing up articles of impeachment that could potentially come to the floor — to deliberate on whether “an article of impeachment based on obstruction of Congress is warranted.” 

“Such obstruction was the basis of the third article of impeachment against President Richard Nixon. Further, we will be forced to infer from this obstruction that the testimony of these witnesses would tend to incriminate the President further since he would have encouraged—rather than blocked—the testimony of senior officials like Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former National Security Advisor Ambassador John Bolton, if he believed it would somehow be helpful to him,” the letter says. 

“The fact that the president has uniformly instructed all executive branch agencies and senior officials to obstruct the investigation further demonstrates consciousness of guilt on the part of the President.”

Schiff noted that if any additional evidence emerges it will also be sent to the Judiciary Committee. 

“What is left to us now is to decide whether this behavior is compatible with the office of the presidency, and whether the Constitutional process of impeachment is warranted,” he wrote. 

“It has been our hope all along that our Republican colleagues would seek the facts and give due consideration to the weighty constitutional decision before us, placing country above party. We still hope that will be the case. But we cannot relinquish our constitutional responsibilities because others may choose to do so.” 

Tags Adam Schiff Donald Trump Impeachment impeachment inquiry John Bolton Mick Mulvaney Mike Pompeo

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