Nearly 300 former US officials sign statement backing Trump impeachment inquiry

Nearly 300 former U.S. foreign policy and national security officials have signed a letter supporting Democrats' impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald TrumpWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal MORE amid a scandal over his conversations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

In the letter published Friday, the officials write that Trump's actions related to his efforts to urge Zelensky to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' Biden: McCarthy's support of Cheney ouster is 'above my pay grade' Conservative group sues over prioritization of women, minorities for restaurant aid MORE constitute a “profound national security concern” for the United States.


"To be clear, we do not wish to prejudge the totality of the facts or Congress’ deliberative process. At the same time, there is no escaping that what we already know is serious enough to merit impeachment proceedings," the officials wrote.

"President Trump appears to have leveraged the authority and resources of the highest office in the land to invite additional foreign interference into our democratic processes. That would constitute an unconscionable abuse of power," the statement continued.

"It also would represent an effort to subordinate America’s national interests—and those of our closest allies and partners—to the President’s personal political interest."

The letter, signed by many former Obama administration officials as well as some who served under the Bush administration, including former Justice Department national security chief Matthew Olsen, goes on to warn that U.S. national security will be "on offer" to foreign governments if Congress fails to act.

Democrats announced the beginning of an impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, a move that was swiftly condemned by the White House and allies of the president on Capitol Hill who accused Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Inflation jumps at fastest pace since 2008 | Biden 'encouraged' on bipartisan infrastructure deal Overnight Health Care: CDC approves Pfizer vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15 | House moderates signal concerns with Pelosi drug pricing bill | Panel blasts COVID-19 response Biden 'encouraged' by meeting with congressional leaders on infrastructure MORE (D-Calif.) and her party of being unwilling to accept the 2016 election results.

Some Republicans have broken with the White House over the president's contacts with Ukraine, including Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R), who announced his support of the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday.